As I mentioned yesterday, today I am posting a list of everything I hope to get out of the ACFW conference. Enough focusing on fears. Now it's time to focus on the positive. According to many of my ACFW friends who have attended the conference before, here is what I can (and do) expect:
1. Fellowship. What could be better than being with almost 500 other people who "get you"? People who love God and love the craft of writing and are striving to fulfill the purpose God has for their lives. Connecting with those I've corresponded with online and getting the chance to meet them face-to-face is something I so look forward to.
2. Worship. I've heard that the worship at the ACFW conference is nothing short of incredible. I can't wait to see what God will do as hundreds of us join our voices to give praise to the One who gave each of us a piece of His creative heart.
3. Teaching. Besides the keynote speaker, award-winning author Debbie Macomber, the lineup of workshop leaders is wonderful. I will learn about the publishing business and the ins and outs of writing by pros like Jeff Gerke, Sue Brower, Gail Sattler, and Jim and Tracie Peterson. By the time I'm in the air on the way home, my head will be swimming with information. But it's knowledge that will help me become a better writer and further my journey towards publication.
4. Opportunity. I will have the chance to pitch my manuscript to both an editor and an agent. 15 minutes each to tell them what my book is about in a way that entices them to ask me to send the full manuscript or a proposal. Nowhere else would I likely get this opportunity and there is no way I would pass it by. Even if my story isn't for them, being able to discuss my work with such industry professionals will be priceless.
5. Direction. I don't mean direction as in what I should write, exactly, but I do expect to hear from God this weekend. I hope to have ears that hear what He's telling me. Maybe it will be a certain direction regarding my writing. Or maybe it will be something personal that He's dealing with me about. Time away from home will allow me to reflect on what's important and how my writing plays into His purpose for my life.
6. Fun. A chocolate party...a 5 AM computer pajama party in the lobby (hey, the hotel charges $13 per day for in-room internet access!)... late night chats... laughs ... the Awards Banquet ... In the midst of all the seriousness and business, I'm definitely preparing for some fun!
So this is the list I'm focusing on. Getting rid of the fears (but maybe not all the nerves) and concetrating on the fact that I get to attend this amazing conference at all. By the way, if it wasn't for my dad, I wouldn't be going at all! THANKS DAD!
Looking back on this list stirs up more excitement for the whirlwind conference that's ahead. And I have to say, it's a lot more fun thinking about the positive things to come than the negative.
Fear ends where faith begins.
I'm believing that God will do amazing things this weekend.