The Zacchaeus Syndrome

ACFW Advice, appointments, Conference, Friends of ACFW 4 Comments

By Loretta Eidson

Writers conferences attract people from all over the world. The meetings are eye-opening, educational and enjoyable experiences. By the time they arrive, most writers have preselected a favorite author, agent, or editor they’d love to meet or partner with for their writing future.

Indescribable energy fills the air as groups gather in the hotel’s common areas, coffee shops, and classrooms. They meet up with old friends and make new friends.

Everyone’s eager to learn their way around and find the infamous room where their dreams could come true. The place where they’ll share their genre, ideas, or work-in-progress. Maybe, just maybe, someone will offer an encouraging word and help calm the butterflies deep inside as the one-on-one appointment sign-up hour draws near.

Since the number of registrations is limited, it’s not uncommon for a few enthusiastic writers to slip out of the general session meeting before it ends, hoping to be the first in line to register for their desired appointments. Nor is it surprising to see grown adults run down the halls or race across the campus to sign-up or to catch a glimpse of their favorite professional.

I should know, I’ve been guilty of this very thing.

Some shuffle their feet or dance in place as they anxiously anticipate their turn to register. With pen in hand and arms outstretched, they hope to scribble their names on the sign-up sheet before the last time slot fills up. Nervous chatter fills the room with each step forward, and a squeal escapes when they achieve their goal.

It’s not uncommon for people to stand on their tip-toes, crane their necks, or climb stairs as they struggle to see through the crowd to where their respected person is sitting.

The actions by these aspiring authors remind me of the story of Zacchaeus the Tax Collector. He wanted to see Jesus, but there were too many people in his way.

“He (Zacchaeus) wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man, he could not, because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him since Jesus was coming his way.” Luke 19:3-4 NIV

Mention prominent authors like Jerry Jenkins, Ted Dekker, Frank Peretti, or Debbie Macomber or agents like Tamela Hancock Murray, Julie Gwinn, Steve Laube, or Chip MacGregor. What about editors like Vicki Crumpton, Raela Schoenherr, Jan Stob or Tina James?

Who wouldn’t make a mad dash to catch a fifteen-minute session with one of them? Is it possible a smidge of their wisdom could miraculously transfer to the writer, or the long-desired contract might become a reality?

Respecting and adhering to the requests of agents and editors and following through is like Zacchaeus’ actions. When Jesus told him to come down from the tree, he obeyed and welcomed Jesus into his home.

Writers must do their part and be obedient. Submit book proposals as instructed, accept the insight of writing professionals, and be appreciative of their time.

Zacchaeus found salvation through his obedience. Perhaps conference attendees will find success through their perseverance and compliance.

Writer's Conferences and the Zaccheaus Syndrome. Words of wisdom from @lorettajeidson #ACFWBlogs, #amwriting #ACFW2018 Click To Tweet

Loretta Eidson writes romantic suspense. She won first place in the 2018 Foundations Awards at the BRMCWC, is a finalist in the 2018 ACFW Genesis. She was a double finalist in the 2017 Daphne du Maurier contest. She lives in Mississippi with her husband Kenneth, a retired Memphis Police Captain. Visit Loretta on Facebook and Twitter.



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