Tuesday, September 17, 2013

You Won't Believe What I did at the ACFW Conference!

I spent fifteen minutes talking with agent Mary Sue Seymour as we waited for the doors to open for the Gala. I tried to steal the chair from Chip MacGregor’s appointment area the first day because I was tired of standing. He said no. I chatted with Emily Rodmell about her helpful twitter posts. I exchanged greetings with Robin Jones Gunn as we waited for the elevator. I was scolded by Lena Nelson Dooley for not asking to be interviewed on her blog. I made a dozen new writer friends. I ate meals with authors and writers from all over the world. I met two young people ages fifteen and sixteen who were there to learn how to improve their writing. I sat with, and cheered on a Genesis award winner (Hi Suzanne).
            I raised my voice in praise and song with 500 other believers every morning. I sat at the feet of gifted teachers who helped me understand the middle of a book, the dangers of e-pub contracts, and ways to market my book most effectively. I encouraged several writers who were wondering if it would ever happen for them, and shared my story of the bad conference that turned out so well. I was encouraged by those a few steps higher on the ladder that me.  
            I laughed. I cried. I was lifted up by the keynote speaker who reminded us what our gifts and our journeys are all about. I was served by hotel staff that always smiled, always helped, and worked overtime to make sure our stay was perfection.
            I collected business cards from scores of writers with varied skills and talents that I can contact when I need research information. I spent time with Love Inspired authors and editors who have my best interests at heart. I stepped out of my comfort zone and looked to assist first timers and not worry about me.
            I was blessed beyond words.
And you say you can’t afford to go to conference? You can’t afford NOT to.

*(I understand the financial burden of conference, but please remember that there are scholarships available to help. Attendees are always looking for roommates to share the cost. Try and attend a conference near you to cut costs. If you are serious about your writing career you need to step out of your comfort zone and step into the publishing arena. Editors, agents, mentors and ACFW staff are all devoted to helping you learn and grow and work to put you in touch with people who can help. Meeting editors and agents in person can make all the difference. I met my agent when she sat down next to me at dinner. That wouldn’t have happened if I’d stayed home. So pray about it, plan for it and I hope to meet you next year in St Louis.)

1 comment:

  1. You summed it up very well. There's a special kind of magic to conferences that you just can't understand unless you go. I'm glad you had such a wonderful time, and it was a pleasure meeting you!