On acceptance rates

Posted by Katie McLaughlin on July 18, 2016

This is a hard one to write, but I need to get this one out of my head and onto paper^H^H^H^H^ bits.

I have a talk which was submitted on a whim based on a joke of a friend, and it got accepted. To a conference in Europe. That’s kinda cool.

Given I wanted to do the “circuit” again in the ‘high’ season (which looking at my calendar is July - Sept), I thought I’d submit that talk to a few different places.

I got accepted to everywhere I submitted. 100% acceptance rate.

And it’s not cool.

I have 7 events in the next ~55 days. It’s all the same talk, but it’s for different audiences, so I’ll be making slight crafting changes for each event. That’s fine.

But 7 in 55 days is a lot. And that’s in 3 countries (one remotely (logistics pending)). It’s staggering.

The problem is that I have a real problem in saying no. I got accepted to events that I’ve done in the past, ok, that’s fine, I was probably planning to go anyway. I got accepted to an event that pays for travel/accomodation. OK. I got accepted to a local one in my home city. Ok, that’s fine too. But then I stepped back and checked just how full my calendar is now, and it’s awfully busy.

I have a CFP Trello board where I keep a list of what I’ve got in the pipeline, including moving cards into the “Collecting No’s” column. That column is quite large, including events big and small. But now that I’m onto a “winner” here, I’ve got a great big note on my board saying: “Stop. Don’t do that to yourself.” That reminder does help, but when unintentionally all your seeds scattered to the wind create flowers, it’s hard not to go “ah crap.”

So given my schedule, and my other discussions about how I (don’t) handle conferences (well), expect a slightly quiet and anxious glasnt about the place (or not, depending on how well I try and hide it, because that’s totally a thing). By the end of September I’ll be done. Apart from that one conference at the start of next year. Because of course I’d say “I’m done” and then name an outlier.