Tuesday, July 7, 2009

ACFW Conference Blog Tour 2009

What It’s All About

It’s good to have a focus.

Golf players zero in on the hole (or the flag across the green). Ball players “keep their eye on the ball.” Runners aim for the tape.

As a Christian writer attending an ACFW conference, there are tons of things to focus on: from the business side of workshops, critiques, and meetings with agents or editors, to the more social aspect of fellowshipping or dining together with new friends and old.

But what if the appointments don’t go as expected? What if the editor you pinned your hopes on doesn’t love your project idea? What if the agent of your dreams doesn’t sign you after one glance at your sample chapters? Or what if the onions in the soup give you indigestion and keep

you up all night before a can’t-miss-it workshop?

What if you discover you’ve been writing all wrong all along?

That depends.

What is your focus?

If your focus is winning your top pick editor, or wooing that perfect agent, or hearing “I couldn’t find one thing wrong with your manuscript” from the award-winning author critiquing your project, when those situations go south, you might sink with them.

As in daily writing, if your focus is Jesus, in pleasing Him, in offering Him your hands, your words . . . then the response of those around you at conference isn’t as all-consuming, whether with worry or regrets.

Our perspective changes with our focus. Marathon runners will eventually make the finish line.

How do they get there? They endure because the goal is in sight (even if only mentally for the number of miles).

Make your goal this conference to focus on Jesus and pleasing Him. Be prayerful about your appointments, workshops and whose table to sit at during dinner, but let God cover the results.

I’m going to try following this advice this year. I imagine I’ll stress a lot less and enjoy myself even more than previous years.

Dig in. Get the most you can from the prayer room, from the worship times and from reaching out to help someone else—even if it’s only a smile to share with a weary traveler who arrives at

the end of the first day.

Focus on Jesus and leave the rest to Him.

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