When you arrive at the American Christian Fiction Writers annual conference in Indianapolis this month, keep your heart open to hear the still small voice of God. The secret to hanging up your shingle as a Christian book author is to keep the divine appointments that the Lord has set for you.
If you’re sitting in a workshop that falls flat on your ears, slip out the back and into another class. As creative writers you plan and prepare for this once-a-year conference, marking the workshops you need to attend, but the plans that you have made may be preempted by God.
During mealtimes sit at different tables and network with the people you meet. It’s an interesting phenomenon, but at every conference I’ve found that the Lord directs people with similar interests to sit together for a meal and conversation.
Join a group for coffee or sit in the lobby with a new friend. We always assume that we’re sent to a conference for our benefit, but what if the Lord wants you to encourage a writer who’s ready to give up the dream?
Year after year I hear the most amazing stories about how someone first came to be published. It might have been because they met an agent, editor, or another author in the hallway and struck up a conversation.
One night at dinner an author told me his inspiring story about attending his first writers’ conference where he received a harsh critique of his work. Convinced that his desire to write the best Christian boys books was nothing more than a pipedream, he left the critique room and strode down an empty hallway toward the outside door.
All that stood between him and the door to giving up his dream was one small woman—an agent who just happened to block his way. She encouraged him to continue writing, and he has written several devotionals for boys, who are often neglected in the Christian publishing world. The author’s name is Tim Shoemaker.
When you feel discouraged or depressed and don’t know why you even came to the ACFW conference, remember Tim’s story. And don’t forget to keep your divine appointments.
Please let me know how today’s blog has helped you. This becomes a two-way conversation when you post a comment. Often I jump back on the blog during the day and will answer your questions or respond to your comments. I have both published and unpublished authors who read The Roving Editor, and we’d love to hear from you so that we can learn from your experience. Let’s talk!