I’ve spent most of this weekend chilling out following YALC and it’s been blissful. I’m not sure about anyone else, but it always takes me a good while to recover after a pretty full on YALC. I’m always so exhausted afterwards so I am hoping this coming week I will have a little spring back in my step and less bags under my eyes.
I love YALC so much. I love the books, the atmosphere, chatting to like minded people from the community and meeting up with authors that are new and familiar to me, bloggers and publishers and of course hanging out with amazing friends and people. It always just makes me smile so much.
Before YALC this year I was feeling in a bit of limbo with my blog, my reading and even my writing. I’ve had a lot going on recently and I’ve found it hard to find the time to fit things in. I’ve been so exhausted that I’ve lacked the motivation to do anything remotely creative. (Although I did manage to binge watch a lot of Netflix!). I even wondered if it was worth carrying on blogging!
I didn’t realise how much I needed something to make me open up my eyes again and as silly as it sounds give me that little boost that I realised I needed in one sense, but maybe not in others. I was SO excited for YALC, but I didn’t realise how much I actually needed YALC to snap me out of my spell of whatever was going on in my brain.
And boy did YALC do that!
I had such a wonderful time!
Some highlights for me personally were –
- Staying in the same hotel as a couple of my friends which meant that we could meet up for breakfast every morning and then walk to YALC together and generally just chat along the way.
- Chatting to so many other bloggers, some new to me and some I’ve met before, but seeing everyone’s happiness and enthusiasm was completely infectious.
- Spending a lot of my time in panels or getting books signed this year rather than the workshops and whilst I had a rough plan on my highlighted YALC schedule of what I wanted to do everyday I found that I ended up just going with the flow and this was just what I needed. It was amazing to hear and see so many wonderful authors and I left everyday feeling inspired by every single one of them.
- Meeting lots of fab authors, but the highlight for me was sitting front row for the Tom and Giovanna Fletcher talk. I even got to ask them a question and then got my book signed! I have been a huge fan of them both for quite some time, but I’ve never met them so this was a dream come true!
- All of the book stands! OMG how fab were they! I could have walked away with far more books than I did. YALC is seriously dangerous for the wallet! As well as all of the books though it was fab to talk to some of the publishers, people that I’ve met before and people that I’ve only chatted to over email. It’s always nice to put a face to a name.
- Meeting up with my personal publishing hero Anne Finnis and spending time with her, Kim Curran and my friend Amy. For those of you who don’t know I am a huge fan of Point Horror and Anne was responsible for publishing them back in the 90’s. We met up at YALC a few years ago now and every time I see her I turn into a fan girl (sounds silly I know, but as I said to Anne…Point Horror was my childhood and if she hadn’t published them I may not be the person I am today!). It was just lovely to take some time out to chat about books and writing amongst other things and the whole conversation was hugely inspiring.
- An evening out with my friends Amy, Olivia and Laura and our families. What a laugh we had over burgers and milkshakes. We have to make this a YALC tradition!
And with thanks to wonderful family and friends I even pushed myself out of my comfort zone….
- I normally just stay up on the YALC floor and don’t venture down to LFCC, but this year my son was determined to get me down there and with my pop vinyl obsession how could I not go down? For those of you who don’t know, I am partially sighted and therefore I find it very stressful and hard in crowded spaces to navigate around without constantly bumping into people. But I did it! And I loved it!
- With thanks to my friend Amy for pushing me a little I pitched my story idea to an agent with a view to gaining some feedback on the idea. It was a nerve-wracking but a great experience and it was great to hear feedback which has given my some fresh ideas to put into my writing
- I had my picture taken with a celebrity, Arthur Darvill. That meant me pushing myself out of my comfort zone again. I was super nervous and terrified of the queuing process down in LFCC, but I did it and as you can tell from my super happy smiling face it was amazing!
These things I would never have done before, but I always say to my son when he is going some where new to always try one thing out of his comfort zone each time, so I thought I would take my own advice!
I guess what I’m trying to say is thank you to everyone who I spoke to, hugged, laughed with and hung out with. I have left YALC feeling motivated and inspired by every single one of you.
If ever I feel like giving up I will simply read back this blog post, think of all of the amazing and wonderful things above and the memories we created and maybe think to myself that I shouldn’t give up. Think about how inspired every single one of you has made me feel, always so welcoming and warm and energetic. That alone is enough. That alone makes me beam with happiness whilst I am writing this.
P.S – Jason Mamoa…that is all!