…From ACFW Conference, that is.
by Susanne Dietze
If you’re reading this, I can guess you’re not in St. Louis for the 2011 American Christian Fiction Writers Conference. Me neither. We all have our reasons for staying home, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t a little sad—and maybe more than a bit curious about what we’re missing.
While some of our favorite inspirational authors (both published and soon-to-be published) are networking, we’re working day jobs. While they’re marinating in the teaching of notable speakers, we’re marinating tonight’s chicken dinner. Which we’ll be eating while they’re celebrating achievement in inspirational writing with a big ol’ banquet.
But this is not the time to have a pity party! Those of us who are left behind from Conference can accomplish some big things weekend. Here’s what I plan to do:
Be present in the moment and trust in God. Rejoice in wherever you are this weekend, because the Lord most probably wanted you there, whether it’s a family wedding or a kid’s soccer game. God’s faithfulness and love for you is the same as it ever was. Trust in His timing and provision, and pray to be able to discern His will for your future attendance.
Write. Networking is only part of our job as writers. If we don’t have proposals / manuscripts in hand, then there’s nothing to publish. Plan to get some work accomplished toward that end. As for me, I’ll be writing a synopsis.
Do research—for your story or your craft. Since I’m writing a synopsis this weekend (one of my least favorite things to do), I’m going to search online for articles to help me do it well.
Speaking of craft, if you’re a member of ACFW, you can attend the At Home Conference. Teachings on marketing, writing, and networking will be available. Visit http://theathomeconference.blogspot.com/ for more information.
Party. We can join in the celebration for the Genesis and Carol Awards! Participate in the Live Blog, which will occur during the awards ceremony tomorrow, September 24, at 6:30 PM CDT. Visit http://www.acfw.com/conference/liveblog.shtml to take part.
Last year, I was a Genesis finalist but couldn’t attend conference. My family picked up my favorite take-out and we put the laptop on the kitchen table, joining in the Live Blog. I was also blessed that my friend Lisa Richardson sent photos of the banquet food, so I felt part of the party. Except I got to wear comfy yoga pants instead of sequins.
Do one thing to pamper yourself. Yeah, our friends at conference can visit the hotel’s spa. But you’re worth an indulgence, too. Paint your toenails, take a nap, order a zillion-calorie drink at Starbuck’s (mine will be a Pumpkin Spice Latte!)—whatever makes you feel special and nurtured.
I’ll be praying for conference, and for those of us left behind. Perhaps one of these days—maybe even next year—we’ll be there together.
What are you doing this weekend? What’s your favorite Starbuck’s indulgence?
Susanne Dietze has written love stories set in the nineteenth century since she was in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she writes in the hope that her historical romances will encourage and entertain others to the glory of God. Married to a pastor and the mom of two, Susanne loves fancy-schmancy tea parties, travel, and spending time with family and friends. Her work has finaled in the 2010 Genesis Contest, the 2009 Gotcha! Contest, and the Touched By Love Contest, 2008 and 2009. You can visit her on her personal blog, Tea and a Good Book, http://www.susannedietze.blogspot.com/.
Photos courtesy of wikipedia.com