Mar 5, 2015

The Post Conference Crazies

by Kari Diane Pike

A number of years ago, a close friend mentioned that her family counselor noticed how he always seemed to have a large peak of  LDS clients right about the first two weeks of September. Intrigued, I asked if he thought that the craziness of getting children ready for school was to blame for the increase of stressed out moms and dads (This was back in the day when most schools began classes the last week of August or the first week of September).

Debbie shook her head. "No. Think about it. What big event involving thousands of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints occurs at Brigham Young University the third week of August ?"

I looked at Debbie, my eyes wide with a flash of understanding, "Education Week." 

"Yep. Think about it. We go to Education Week and spend three or four days attending class after class, discussing how to be better parents, better marriage partners, better Gospel students, better Christians, betters missionaries, better everything. We fill our wells, prepare our oil lamps, and sharpen our minds. And we are excited! Life is going to be different. We are going to implement changes and transform our entire family." Debbie swung her arms open and twirled once in the middle of the kitchen.

"Then we go home." Debbie paused for a moment.

"And guess what. No one else is excited. They weren't there to hear Sister Smith expound on the benefits of that new chore chart or Brother Jones' tear jerking testimony about family home evenings. Nope. They just shake their heads and whisper to each other, 'Mom's going through another one of those phases.' By the end of the second week home, we feel like total failures and find ourselves on the counselor's waiting list." 

A vivid memory of Debbie's rant flashed through my mind yesterday when I found myself drowning my frustrations and insecurities as a writer in copious amounts of chocolate covered cacao nibs, Lindt truffles, and back-to-back episodes of Bones. What was my problem? Oh, wait. What did I attend two weeks ago? Aha. The ANWA Time Out For Writers Conference. You know - that amazing conference for writers where I learned about becoming better at creating prose, climbing mountains, developing interesting characters and intriguing plots, leaping publishing hurdles, and counseled on how to deal with a leaky precuneus. 

I had a terrible case of "post-conference-let-down." The negative chatter in my head made me feel like I was gargling BBs. But now, I knew what to do. I turned to my writing friends and asked for advice. I have very wise and caring friends. They reminded me to:
  • Pray
  • Ponder
  • Take a break
  • Try something new
  • Focus on my strengths
  • Write something just for fun
  • And never, ever forget that I am a writer. That is who I am - whether I'm writing in my head or my journal, a blog, a letter, a novel or a grocery list. Writing is how I make sense of my world. Even if I am the only one who ever reads what I write, I am still and always will be a writer.
So take that precuneus. 

Life is magnificent!



  1. I'm going to have to look up that. word. I'm glad you're feeling more upbeat today.

    1. Try this link Marsha and Mary Ann -

  2. I did look that word up--in two different dictionaries, can't find it. Please educate me. Thanks. Other than that I totally agree with your post. Real life always sets in after a rousing conference.

  3. I didn't go but I recognize the symptoms. Hey I like Bones too!!!

  4. Oh amen, Kari. This is spot-on. Thanks for validating me.


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