Aug. 2022 | Productivity

7 Ways to Stay Productive After a Conference

I reflect on my time at the Writer's Digest Annual Conference and try to keep the motivation going with this list.

Writing conferences are a great way for writers to connect with others and gain valuable information from experts in the field. Attendees often spend weeks (or even months) preparing for a writing conference, but what happens after the conference ends? How do you keep the motivation going long after the conference doors close?

Check out these seven ideas to stay productive after a #writing conference. Share on X

As a three-time attendee of the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference, I understand the importance of prep-work.

The three-day event, which draws writers from around the world, occurs at the end of summer but my preparation starts much earlier.

In May, I assemble my “Conference Action Plan”; a to-do list of items that (sadly) sit on the back burner while I’m working on my novel. I spend the summer months ticking items off items this “dream list” until the moment I walk through the conference doors. And I’m not the only one.

Many writers I’ve met at WDC over the years, have similar preparation rituals for the annual event. Whether they’re completing edits on their novels, updating author websites, or creating business cards, attendees are hard at work during the summer months.

Leaving our writing to work on those items is difficult for writers, especially those just starting out. We’re too busy creating worlds, solving mysteries and chasing dragons to worry about author bios and social media. Major events, such as a writing conference, force us to be productive in those areas. However, the same isn’t true after the conference.

Without the motivation of a deadline (yes, they can be quite motivating), the momentum seems to fade. However, it is possible to stay productive long after the conference ends.

Here are 7 Ways to Stay Productive After a Conference

Keep it Fresh

If you’re like me; the days of seminars, keynotes and chatting with other writers produced a lot of information and plenty more ideas. If you haven’t already done so, jot down what appealed to you and create actionable items for new projects/ideas.

Stay in Touch

Meeting new people at a conference is great, but keeping those connections active is better! Use business cards to reach out to fellow writers with a personal email reminding them who you are and invite them to follow you on your social networks or sign up for your blog. If you didn’t collect cards (why?), use the conference hash tag to connect with other attendees.

Work on Queries/Pitch Follow Ups

It should go without saying, if you had a successful pitch session, you should be busy working on your follow-ups. If you didn’t attend a pitch session, and you’re ready to query, now’s a great time to use the information learned from the sessions to construct query letters.

Tweak Manuscripts

If things didn’t go exactly as planned with your pitch, now’s the time to use what you learned in your sessions to fix your manuscript. Whether it’s a few small changes or a complete overhaul, get to it while the information is still fresh.

Work on Marketing

Many writers I spoke with confessed that their marketing (social, blog, etc.) had not been as strong as they would have liked it to be. There's no better time than the present to make changes to your author website, or create a brand new marketing strategy.


Yes, this should be obvious. It doesn’t matter if your pitch session was successful or not, if you submitted your manuscript or need to work on it, or if you feel you’re “done”… you’re absolutely not. Writing never stops for a writer, so get that sequel started or begin working on that brand new Science Fiction idea you always wanted to write.

Sign Up for More

Conferences and events for writers happen all the time. Sign up for more conferences, apply to a writing residency or join a writing group in your area.

As writers, we need all the motivation we can get.  Use the motivation and the energy from your conference to get up and get to work.

Happy Writing!


Lucas Horn

Lucas Horn is a creative designer who is attracted to men and True Crime, a trifecta which profoundly influenced his debut novel, The Midnight Blaze. When he isn't designing or writing, Lucas likes to travel and search for unique writing locations.

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