Post-ACFW Conference Thoughts

Ugh.

That has nothing to do with the conference. It’s just how I feel in general. Five more weeks of this pregnancy to go. Uncomfortable. Back hurts. Little tiny pummeling feet. Heartburn. Makes it hard to think about anything, much less something that happened three days ago.

I’m writing this post as I go, by the way.

Rewinding my brain.

Here we go. I attended the American Christian Fiction Writer’s conference on Saturday. It did not disappoint. Up at 5:30 am. (Unheard of lately, so I was obviously motivated to go.) One hour drive into downtown. Voila, a hotel full of Christian writers. There were A LOT of attendees. Humbling to see so many authors and hopeful authors in one room.

I won’t detail my entire day, I’ll just say, I attended three excellent workshops which left me much to think about. I talked one on one with an editor for fifteen minutes and received valuable advice regarding the first few pages of my manuscript. I met fellow writers, saw one of my cyber buddies in person for the first time and got to hang out with her and chat. Sat in on a panel of agents. Bought a book from the bookstore that I actually intend to read.

All in all the day left me with much to think about. While I was there, I realized, “So, schmoozing is sort of a job requirement for any serious writer. I’m not sure I like that.” And, “If I were to become a successful writer, would I have to stand up in front of a bunch of people and teach a workshop?” (That’s thinking way too far ahead, I know.)

I guess what I mean to say is, the introvert in me was a bit intimidated. So many talented people. Who am I to think I could ever call these agents, editors, published authors my peers? I’m just a computer programmer that actually enjoys hiding out in her cube, not talking to people unless I feel like it. Never having to be the center of attention unless I feel like it.

I’m not meaning to imply that I’m a hermit at work. I’m not. It’s just, there’s no schmoozing in my current job. None. And that’s the way I like it.

Oddly, one of the lessons I learned Saturday is that, successful writers often become so because they have some natural schmoozing ability. It’s an odd mix of talents then. The introvert who enjoys being alone, who also enjoys breaking out into song and dance (so to speak) now and then. I have some background in entertainment and marketing. A plus. Perhaps, as a writer, I will be tapping into that experience more than I thought (and more than I am comfortable).

Am I willing to embrace ALL the aspects required to become a successful fiction writer? Even those that take me far out of my comfort zone and make me squirm? Hmmmm… Worth thinking about if I’m going to continue to devote so much time to the endeavor.

And yes, I wish I could have attended the entire conference. It was obvious that, by only attending for one day, I was missing out on quite a bit. However, there’s no way this body—these two bodies—would have survived three days. Hopefully the conference is within driving distance next year so I can attend it in full. I’m not ruling out flying. But realistically, my odds of attending greatly diminish if a plane ticket is required. Hey, maybe I should see if they announced next year’s location at Sunday’s final banquet.

Signing off to go visit with my friend, Google.