Your Spiritual Packing List

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.

Click to Tweet: Attending an upcoming #writers conference? @aearndt shares your spiritual packing list #writing https://ctt.ec/0xUHa+

~*~

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

 

The two things every writer needs to succeed (and it’s not talent or marketing!)

My husband has a girlfriend. And I really like her. She’s cute and even I enjoy spending time with her. Her name is Lilly.

She’s a 1978 vintage Alfa Romeo Spider.

 

Okay, that was a little tongue-in-cheek but he is spending a lot of time restoring her, from the inside-out. And that included a weekend trip to Iowa get a junker Alfa for parts.

The People-Side of Writing Conferences

by Jeanne Takenaka, @JeanneTakenaka

The first time I attended the American Christian Fiction Writers conference, I was scared, excited, nibbling my fingernails, and not sure what to expect.

Friends further along the writing road settled my nerves so I could enjoy the conference.

A few things to remember as we prepare to attend writing conferences:

Meeting Agents and Editors:

  • Reality check: Though we have opportunities to pitch our stories and meet agents and editors,

Honing Your Craft Through Reading

by Alena Tauriainen, writing as @AlenaWendall

When I started this writing journey, I believed I could set my schedule and everything would line up so I could write. Can you hear God laughing? Really, I’m sure you’re snorting. I know I am.

There are times when I come home after working a 50-hour work week, the house is dirty, dinner still needs to be cooked,

That time we changed the world in our pajamas…

So, every time I teach someplace, people say to me–Hey! when are you going to publish a course on how to write a romance?

Good question. I LOVE teaching on how to write a romance. Because writing a great romance isn’t just about a boy who meets a girl, falls in love and lives happily ever after. A powerful, heart-tugging romance goes deeper. The romance that moves us is the one that heals the deep wounds of the characters,