Post-conference letdown is a common malady

It’s a sensation often felt after weekend gatherings, whether professional conferences or spiritual retreats. On Monday morning, returning to the “real” world is the last thing you want to do.

A pastor at a spiritual retreat I attended a few years back put it best when, on the last day of a three-day retreat, he said something like this:

I don’t want to go home. I want to stay here with you people, whom I’ve come to love, in this place where all my meals are prepared for me, and where I’m waited on and where we enjoy wonderful fellowship and worship … and all my meals are prepared for me.

NAF Featured Authors at ACFW conference

Kristen Stieffel, Will Ramirez, and Ralene Burke at an ACFW luncheon. Photo courtesy of Ralene.

Or, as Morgan Busse put it on her blog, “dessert at lunch and dinner, yes please!”

Monday morning was so dreary for me, I almost didn’t recognize myself. I didn’t even get nervous about e-mailing off the manuscripts I was asked for, though I always have done in the past. I spent way more time on Facebook and other social media sites than normal. It’s almost as if I, the inveterate introvert, suddenly had a case of people withdrawal.

Diane and Grace in costume at ACFW Gala

NAF Alumni Diane M. Graham and her publisher, Grace Bridges of Splashdown Books, at the ACFW Awards Gala. Photo by Kristen Stieffel

This never happens to me. Except after conferences.

It wasn’t until my second or third conference — I think it was at the Florida Christian Writers’ Conference — that someone told me this is common. Normal, even. And then the aforementioned pastor said something similar.

There’s something about being cocooned among like-minded people that makes going back to “normal” life difficult. I’m sure it’s the camaraderie, and not the food.

At least, it’s not entirely the food.

About Kristen Stieffel

Kristen Stieffel is a writer and freelance editor specializing in speculative fiction. She's a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, Christian Editor Connection, and American Christian Fiction Writers.

2 comments on “Post-conference letdown is a common malady

  1. I know exactly what you mean. I always get that little bit of let down on Monday, and then try desperately to recreate it by heading to FB, Twitter, and such places to “gather” with my friends. Then my husband politely tells me to get off the computer. 🙂

    So glad we got a chance to hang out in person, Kristen!

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