Recently, I attended the American Christian Fiction Writers annual conference in Dallas TX. I always come away from these gatherings with renewed creativity and an appreciation for just how tough this business is.
But I also come away with a glow.
If you’ve been to a writer’s conference, you probably understand. If not, and if you consider yourself a writer, you need to get to a conference and experience it. The ACFW conference is one I highly recommend, whether you’re new to writing fiction or a multi-published author.
I—intentionally—did not pitch a writing project in Dallas. Instead, I focused on promoting this website and my services as a freelance editor. This freed me to mostly relax and enjoy the conference.
When I did, I realized a few things:
- I like the company of writers, editors, and agents. In an informal lobby gathering one night we had a laugh-fest—as creatives, yes, but also as people.
- You can inhale creativity. I had more new ideas—for my business, my novel, the ACFW Journal—in those few days than I had in the previous three months. Not all are gems, but I think some of them are.
- You can be alone in a room with hundreds of people. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing because you’re really in the world of your novel and everyone there understands.
Now I’m back home, back at work trying to build this business, back in my everyday world—and I’m enjoying the glow.
The keynote speaker for this conference was Michael Hyatt (left), former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing, and the author of Platform: Get Noticed In A Noisy World. He said many things worth remembering, but two pieces of advice stuck with me:
Do not ask, “Where have all the good times gone?” Wisdom knows better than to ask such a thing (Ecclesiastes 7:10, The Voice).
“We often get stuck in a version of how things were and we pine for the old days. But they aren’t coming back. In the future you will look back on this day and think of it as the good ol’ days. You are living in the good ol’ days. God is doing a new work today and you have the privilege of being a part of it.”
“One of the reasons your role (as a writer) is so important is we live in chaotic times. People desperately need stories to sort out the meaning of what they’re experiencing. (They need) a way of thinking about the world to help them make sense of it.
“What do you choose to do with the gift—the future—you’ve been given? Will you lean into it and believe that God is with you?”
What is your response? Share—or simply ponder it in your heart.
Michael Ehret, for Writing on the Fine Line
Man in glow image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Okay, it’s not the same but because I’ve felt ‘the glow’ before, it’s possible to pick up on it via the internet and let everyone’s enthusiasm and ‘reports’ rev up the engines of a ‘stayed at home’ writer. And, we can always buy the conference CDs!
I hope you find new clients, MIchael.
Thanks Debra! I’m glad I could be part of spreading the glow your way.
I’d love to get that conference glow–aiming for it next year.
AND did you go w/the maroon shirt vs the blue (via your twitter question)? I thought everyone looked very snappy on the livestream feed. Watched it for maybe 3 hours, but I can’t say that gave me a huge glow. Hard when you’re wishing you were there to pitch to the editors yourself! Glad you got to promote your business.
Definitely the maroon. 🙂
I would like to have been at ACFW just to meet friends (like you, Peter, and Clarice!) and make a few new ones. The best part of any conference is the people you meet.
True … we had much fun, as you can probably tell from our statuses. Maybe next year?
It was a pleasure meeting you face-to-face Mike! So much of our time is spent in story clouds or online that it’s nice to brush up against real souls now and again. And make new friends. I was pondering what you said in this post and I think you’re spot on. Just being in the company of kindred spirits is invigorating and inhaling that creativity is a tonic to the soul.
I totally resonate with the notion that you can be alone in a room with hundreds of people and its okay because everyone understands where you are. I was lost but now I’m found.
Glowing and growing in spirit …
It was fab to connect with you again, David. Don’t be so long between conferences!