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.
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
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.
Have you ever dragged yourself to your home office after hours of trying to find something, anything to do rather than focus on the work waiting for you? Does your door post have claw marks leading into your office? And, did even the neighbors hear you whining about forcing yourself into that room of dread? Well, all of these things are true for me. And, it’s all because of THE CHAIR.
Some days you wouldn’t believe the lengths I will go to in avoidance of THE CHAIR. You must be asking yourself what’s wrong with it? Is it hard, uncomfortable in the most unmentionable way? Or is it hooked to a brain sucking machine that has me fearing for my life? No, but it has the power to distract me more than any other piece of equipment in my office.
On cerain days, if you peaked in, you may see me:
- twirling from side to side
- Hanging upside down as it flies across the room
- Rocking irradically as if I was in some freaky horror film
- Raising it to its highest level and dropping in it as if it belonged on a roller coaster
Yet, you won’t see my little fingers clicking away as I focus on the book that’s just waiting to pour out of me (NOT). I’m just focused on the chair.
And this is why I hate it, hate to love it, that is! Here’s my reasons:
- It’s ever so plush.
- It’s versatility is amazing. Like I was saying, it can even be a roller coaster.
- It drives me to distraction. I need to write but it won’t let me. It spends its nights conceiving ways to keep me from putting my imagination to good use on the computer as I play with it.
- The chair doesn’t care about my family the way I do. It knows that once I get in it, it’s all over. They aren’t seeing me for at least four hours.
- And finally, it needs me when I don’t feel needed by anyone else.
This is what makes me avoid my office. It’s all the chair’s fault, and I don’t want to forgive it. Do you have the same problem? I bet your chairs take you hostage too when you’re supposed to be working.