By Teresa Tysinger
You guys! Can you believe the ACFW Conference is just a few short weeks away? It’s like a trip to Disney World for Christian authors. (If you think that’s overstating, then you’ve obviously never been to one.)
Like many of you, I’m working hard to prepare. Here’s a glimpse at my to-do list in progress:
• Sketch out goals for what I hope to achieve at conference
• Submit one-sheet to critique group for proofreading
• Print updated business cards
• Research agents/editors I’m scheduled to meet
• Practice elevator pitch for finished manuscript
• Prepare one-sentence “log-line”
• Prepare short answer for “What are you working on now?”
• Have a copy of manuscript printed (just in case-you never know!)
• Schedule hair-cut and mani/pedi
That last one may seem out of place, but we all know that some good self-care and primping can add a boost of confidence.
Despite the above list, this post isn’t meant to breed anxiety. I simply want you to know that you’re not alone. This pre-conference boat is full of authors doing the exact same thing. I’d bet my first published novel that even the most seasoned author has her fair share of butterflies before a big conference like ACFW. You’re in good company.
We have a unique advantage, you and I. In no other professional group have I encountered the genuine support and encouragement from colleagues than as a member of ACFW. Technically each other’s competition, ACFW members cheer each other on and celebrate victories, big and small. We do this with a fervor rooted in our shared faith.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” Hebrews 10:24
Brother and sister authors, agents, and editors in Christ…I’m bringing something to this year’s conference for each of you. That’s right, each and every one. I’ll be wearing a button that reads FREE HUGS*.
Now, before you chuckle and roll your eyes, know that I don’t do this as a cute stunt or gimmick. I truly feel this is the best way I can personally, even for a second, help to ease your anxieties and cheer you on.
You’re gonna rock that pitch!
Go blow that editor’s socks off!
Knock ’em dead at that workshop!
Way to deliver a stellar keynote (ahem, Ted Dekker)!
Wow, that’s an awesome business card!
I’m sure Dad’s doing fine at home with the kiddos, Mama!
Conference not going like you hoped? God’s got more planned for you!
If I don’t see you and offer a hug, please don’t hesitate to approach me. It’ll be my honor and privilege to spur you on, friend. Chances are, I’ll need it, too.
*High-fives and fist bumps available for non-huggers.
By the way, if you’re looking for some tips on preparing for the conference, here are some of my favorite posts:
“Attending a Writer’s Conference? Here’s How to Prepare” on The Write Life
“How to Promote Your Work Without Being Pushy” on The Writer’s Alley
“Preparing for Conferences: Your One-Sheet” on Between the Lines, Books & Such Literary Agency Blog
Teresa Tysinger writes charming southern romances, inspired by grace. Her first (yet-to-be-published) novel, Someplace Familiar, was a finalist in the 2016 Touched By Love Award Contest. She’s a wife, mama, church communications director, and lover of stories with happy endings. Teresa blogs about writing and faith at http://teresatysinger.com.