When I talk about going to "conference" I only mean one thing. Sometimes I refer to "conference" and someone will ask if I'm going to XXXXX. That is the next conference in the line-up ya know.
My annual pilgrimage away from all familial responsibilities, to rub shoulders with other writers, to come away excited, that usually is might near my birthday is the ACFW Conference.
AND IT'S COMING!
But this year I will attend with quite a different spirit. It is rather bizarre. Last year I went armed. I had everything my little mind could conjure up to SELL MY BOOK. I went, I saw, I conquered.
Before my feet touched the ground in Nashville, I prepared like a maniac (I totally recommend this). I knew exactly with whom I wanted to talk. I knew little tidbits about their publishing houses, I knew which football teams and candy bars some of them preferred. I was ready. And I accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish. I came home and sent proposals all over the country.
That isn't to say I sold the book.
This year has been tough on me. I got a lot of rejections. I got a lot of positive feedback. And I'm in the middle of self doubt.
Conference is less than six weeks away. Registration is about to close (so you'd better hurry and sign up). And I'm signed up for editor appointments, paid critiques, early bird session, all with the intent of perfecting and selling my manuscript.
But since I signed up, my focus has changed. I feel God is calling me in a different direction. Away from fiction. When it is like pulling teeth to re-work, or write another chapter, but I can blast out an article almost without thought, what does that say to you? Same number of words.
Regardless, I am very excited to go to conference, but this year I have a different purpose. I am going to build relationships. Instead of focusing so much on what an editor had to say to me, I am going to watch for someone who needs to share what an editor had to say to her. And I can't wait.