ACFW Conference – Getting My Head On Straight

Yesterday, while finishing off the remaining Cheetos Puffs, I wallowed in self-pity. Doubting everything, I decided I was foolish to return to work in January and was nearly in tears about things I could not change. Convinced I don’t have what it takes to be a writer, that I was fooling everyone, especially myself, I was seriously considering canceling my trip to ACFW.

Luckily, being concerned about others is a high priority of mine. First and foremost, I’d disappoint my ACFW roommate, because I told her way back in May that I was going and we’d room together. Two weeks doesn’t leave much time to find a decent replacement. Also, a non-refundable airline ticket can be the kick in the pants every poor coward needs.

I realized, as I polished off a piece of the white cake I made my husband (from scratch), that it was simply that Devil Satan paying me another visit. I’ve had to tell him to get the heck out of my house for the last several weeks now. I can see him working on every one around me, but they’re not writers.

The devil infiltrates our thoughts and makes us doubt. God gives us an opportunity and Satan wants to trip us before we can reach the door, make us fall and break our legs, cripple us to keep us from fulfilling God’s will.

This morning, I woke up and wrote. I pulled out an old manuscript I started a few years ago and realized it would work perfectly as book 2 in the series I’ve formulated. That means I’ve got good starts on all three books. Book one is finished, I’m rewriting it to be more CBA friendly. Apparently, I’m some kind of writer, or I wouldn’t have the ideas I do and I certainly wouldn’t be able to put them on paper.

However, I keep coming back to the fact that this has been one heck of a year for me. I’ve let other people read my stuff. What? You mean my writing isn’t as excellent as my mom said it was? But I have potential? That’s good. Good, good, good…

Critique partners are good, but I have to learn to handle the critiques from them, the contests I enter, the published authors I let read snippets of my work. No one has told me to stop writing. I’m not sure any one would, but I have gotten positive and useful feed back in return and that is what I must concentrate on, not the “I cants, I wonts, I’ll never –“

Tonight, while checking email when I should’ve been writing on the book, I ran across Gina Conroy’s blog and this article by Camy Tang on “Conference Confidence.” Read it and come back to me.

Wasn’t that a good article? I link to Camy, so you should check out the wealth of information she shares on her website. Anyway, my point is that I have been so directed on “pitching” my stories, I’d gotten myself freaked out.

I’m not a person that can block out the stress and write through it. I’m trying to become that person, but right now, I let my worries, both tangible and not, get in the way.

Listen, I know agents and editors are just people. I’m blessed that I will have appointments with folks that share my faith. But to be honest, as I was scarfing down an unmentionable amount of Cheetos Puffs, I was getting worked up for no reason and Camy’s contribution on Gina’s blog brought me down to earth.

I am a Sophomore writer. (Check out Randy Ingermanson’s article to find out what you are.) I am what Randy’s paragraph describes. It will be much more useful to me to take my proposal, and simply talk to the editor/agent about it. I’ll have a one-liner ready in case someone else asks me what I’m writing.

But I refuse – REFUSE – to get all worked up about some conference and ruin the opportunity in front of me. God willing, I’ll make some friends, leave good, lasting impressions, and perhaps an editor or agent will request my work. Seizing these opportunities will help me grow as a writer, and get better.