ACFW Conference Blog: What to Expect When You’re Expectant

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What to Expect When You’re Expectant by Cynthia Ruchti

That swelling in your feet? Expected. The waves of nausea? Expected. The wave of resentment that the person next to you has no nausea at all? Expected.

The weight gain, imbalance, trouble sleeping, urge to pull out snapshots of your “baby” in embryo stage? Expected.

What can a writer expect when he or she comes expectant to the ACFW conference? All that and so much more.

In the background as I write this, a modernized version of “I Need Thee Every Hour” is playing. How appropriate! This year’s ACFW conference will be my eighth (I missed one because of lack of funds and another because my daughter and son-in-law happened to pick that weekend for their wedding). I still “need Thee every hour” but am vastly more confident about what to expect, like a woman in her eighth pregnancy has a pretty good idea what lies ahead.

* I can expect to outgrow my current wardrobe of knowledge about the craft of Christian fiction. The atmosphere of learning is so thick with information that it will cling to a person just walking the halls.

* I can expect an air of excitement at the ultrasound (paid critique or editor/agent/mentor appointments). Is it a book or a bubble? Is it developing well? Does it look healthy?

* I can expect an instant camaraderie with other writers. “Oh, you’re expecting too? You look great! What are you taking for vitamins? Have you tried ginger tea for morning sickness/writer’s block? Sure, I’d love to hear your labor/plot problem story.”

* I can expect the natural fatigue that comes from carrying the burden of a book that wants to be born, and the elation of feeling it begin to move, to flutter with life.

* I can expect to be awed by the process, emotionally on edge, needing Him (my divine Birthing Coach) every hour, and euphoric in the company of others who understand why I might weep a little if someone comments that they like my premise.

* At the ACFW conference, I can expect to be reminded that our Creator God invited writers into the creative process, and that listening to Him is even more important than learning from those who teach on His behalf.

* I can expect the Lord to arrive before I do, to flood the site with a palpable sense of His presence, and to do a work in my heart beyond what I expected.

As I prepare to be amazed again this year, I look forward to seeing the pictures of other authors’ “babies” now toddlers and teens, rejoice with those newly expecting, and help spread the word when the cry comes, “It’s a BOOK!”

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