by Angela Arndt, @aearndt
The 2017 ACFW Conference starts in the next week or so and the tension is already in the air. (My air, at least.) Will I get the appointments I want? Will I talk to the editors who publish the type of book I write?
Worry hangs like a backpack for weeks before the conference. Will I come home with a request for a query? A proposal? A full? Or, empty-handed?
I worry about my professional presence:
- Does my One Sheet reflect my book well enough?
- Is my elevator speech interesting?
- And those pesky business cards: can I find them, should I update them, do I even need them?
I worry about getting there:
- The TSA regulations, what should I carry on and what should I pack?
- Which shoes are the easiest to get on and off?
- Will I be able to get to the correct gate and make my connecting flight in time?
Sound familiar? I would do better to focus on this list, too:
- Prepare to do the best I can.
- Make a list of things to do and take.
- Check off the items as I go.
- Then forget it.
By that I mean stop worrying. (Yes, I’m talking to myself as I write this.)
- Stop worrying about how people look at you.
- Stop worrying if you’ll get an agent, an editor, or a contract.
- Stop worrying if you’ll get a request for a query, proposal, partial or full.
Some of you may think this is your last conference, your last chance to accomplish your dream. I’ve been there, too, but you never know what God has in mind. Open your heart and mind to His leading. In order to do that, you (and I) need to make one more checklist.
Here’s your Spiritual Packing List.
- Focus on how the conference will bless you. Remember, you’ll be with thousands who have a common goal of glorifying Christ with their story. When we sing, it’ll be like a tiny slice of heaven.
- Okay, that’s a given but if I were to post all the things we could pray about, the list would be a whole post by itself. Thankfully, the ACFW staff and volunteers have prepared a 40 Days of Prayer for the ACFW Conference in the ACFW loop emails.
- Bless others. How? Listen with your heart and watch for those who need encouragement. Find someone who is more nervous than you. Invite a lone passenger into the elevator, even if you have to crowd to get him or her in. If someone’s standing alone in the dining room, call them over your table. Pray with someone who is visibly upset.
After the conference is over when you’re tired and ready to go home, remember the ways you blessed someone and you’ll never remember being nervous.
Angela Arndt writes women’s fiction with a thread of romance. Stories of strong, independent women in difficult situations set in small Southern towns are her favorite. She and her husband live outside one in the middle of a big wood with thousands and thousands of honeybees. Visit her at www.angelaarndt.com