All posts by Erin Unger

CAN YOU SIT STILL AND WAIT?

This was the year. I was determined to go to a writers conference. And, if I was going to invest the money, I was going to be prepared. I perused every square inch of the website for the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. It didn’t take long for me to be overwhelmed by the amount of information and forms that needed to be filled out and reviewed. Who should I list on my appointment form for agents and editors? What classes should I take? What should my continuing session be? The list was sky-high.

It wasn’t long before my priorities fell into place. Let me stress the ‘me’ in that. I was going to meet agents and editors. Isn’t that the real reason everyone goes to these things? All the other stuff was just extra, or so I thought. I made my lists, researched agents and editors, picked out the perfect outfits.

What I didn’t realize was God had a bigger purpose, a higher meaning for me to grasp in this trip of discovery and making connections. The first night wasn’t about getting to those agents. The next morning didn’t bring me any closer to a real editor. What did happen? God used some amazing speakers and Marlene Bagnull to speak to my heart about the real issues of today. At first I wondered what they had to do with writing. I was practically writhing in my seat waiting to get to the appointment room. But then I stopped and listened. What did God have for me in these seemingly unconnected meetings?

It hit me. He wanted me to stop my plans and listen, to sit still and wait for His purpose, HIS PLAN.

Surprised, I sat bewildered in my seat. Without waiting on the Lord, my plans were empty. I’d get nowhere. None of my work would matter. It was in that moment I tuned out the noise of many around me and got alone with my Savior.

This is where the silence of waiting began, and then the prayers to
our eternal Father.

So when you get to you conference. Sit still and listen for His voice. Let Him direct you that your plans will align with His.

As God’s Word says in Jeremiah 29:11-12 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

The Most Important Thing to Take to a Writers Conference

There’s a long list of all the supplies, proposals, and papers to bring with you to a writers conference. With American Christian Fiction Writers’ conference just around the corner, lots of writers are heading to meet agents and editors. The demand is high to nail your pitch and write the proposal of the century. But one thing you may not be thinking of is your promises from the year before. Did you tell a faculty member or an agent you’d work on a specific goal at your last conference? Well guess what? They remember these things. My search in the Bible produced Paul’s statement in Corinthians:

II Cor. 8:10-11 And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a perfomance also out of that which ye have.

So have you started a new manuscript, worked on your social media, or promised to improve your self-editing skills then fallen prey to doubts or busyness of life? I’m guilty of it myself. When I wrote my first post this week, I looked back at the one I’d created before. Guess what? The last one was written a year ago to the day. Oops.

Let me encourage you to get back to work. There’s only about five weeks until the ACFW Conference. Return to the previous year’s goals so you’re ready when you get to the conference to say, “This is what I’ve done…”

The most important thing you’ll bring with you is tangible progress.

8 Reasons Why Writers Should Attend Writers Conferences

I’d been writing and composing proposals and sending them off for months when everything came to a screaming halt. The agents wanted to see potential clients face to face. How was that going to happen? They said not to show up at their office. No stalking allowed. So what could I do? I needed a writers conference. It was the next step to get published. After searching the web, the cost of attending one blared across the screen. I gasped in shock, and my jaw dropped. Could I find the money? My husband exclaimed that my writing was more important than money. Didn’t the agents’ websites suggest how much more likely they were to take me seriously if I made the investment to go? I found the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference online, and squeezed my eyes closed as I hit the submit payment button.

God’s leading was evident when I left for the conference. I met two amazing ladies the first day, and we stuck together through the conference. They were a great source of encouragement and companionship. The speakers were funny and engaging, and I knew I was where I was meant to be.

So you’re asking yourself why I’m going on about this? I gained more than just contact with some great agents and publishers. This is what I got out of it:

  • Connecting with agents on a personal level
  • Meeting the most amazing people who are going through the same things you are in your writing career
  • Great workshops and writing clinics
  • Uplifting speakers who understand the difficult journey of a writer
  • Selling you published books in the book store
  • Advise from caring staff members
  • Hearing why God gave us this purpose we must fulfill
  • Encouragement

    So if you’re wondering whether or not to go, take the plunge. You’ll learn, grow, be strengthened in the Lord. For some of you, it’ll be the answer to the question, “Should I keep writing or quit?” If this is God’s plan for you, He’ll provide the money.