Friday, September 17, 2010

The Word "Oops" Doesn't Exist in God's Vocabulary

This week while I attend the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Conference in Indianapolis Thursday through Monday, I thought it would be fun and beneficial for you to invite some of my talented authors to share their experiences and inspiration with you.

Today’s guest blogger is Bonnie Calhoun, who has coauthored a new fun suspense novel Deadly Accord with Michelle Sutton. Bonnie is the publisher of the Christian Fiction Online Magazine and runs the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance. She is also the Northeast Zone Director for ACFW. Check out what Bonnie is up to at the websites posted at the end of this blog.

Bonnie S. Calhoun

For any of you out there who are aspiring to be a published author, or have just recently gotten your first contract, I know the majority of your brain power is being expended dreaming about the journey you are embarking on (I know . . . *sigh* . . . I ended with a preposition).

I’m here to tell you that it is everything that you are dreaming about: well-wishing friends, long lost relatives who now want to claim you because you have a published book, people that “get” your stories, and people that “don’t get” your stories.

But there’s another side to publishing that you probably never thought about: cover art discussions, title discussions (don’t ever try to set a title in stone, ‘cause someone will come along with a big hammer and smash that rock to pieces and come up with a much better title), macro edits and content edits, and enough kinds of edits to make your head swim.

But never fear! All of these changes are not meant to hurt you but rather to help you be your upmost finest as an author! And that brings me to my actual subject today.


Now that we’re here at the ACFW conference, my burning desire is to address the fear and anxiety that comes along with attending the conference. I have heard all of these remarks at least once:
“What will happen to me since I didn’t get the appointment that I wanted?”
“I’m crushed because that agent didn’t like my work.”
“That editor didn’t even seem to be paying attention to me?”
“I’m going to throw up again; I’m so scared and nervous about pitching my work to strangers.” (No kidding. Someone said that on their Facebook page!)
People! We are children of the One True and Holy God. Father did not create us with the spirit of fear. There is one word that I am absolutely positive is NOT in Father’s vocabulary. That word is “Oops!” (accompanied by a smack to the forehead.)

Nothing that we do, or that is done to us, or even that happens to us at the conference, takes Father by surprise! When it’s your turn to shine, He will get you there no matter what circumstance has to be overcome. All things work together for His glory, and there is no way on God’s green earth that His plan for your life and your writing can be thwarted.

Yes, I give you the option of being nervous meeting new people, but remember when you go in to meet those people, Father’s Holy Spirit is right there inside of you. Just take a deep breath, and tell Father you are ready for however He orders your journey.,, and

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!


  1. Such GREAT advice. Editors are very intimidating - at first. I met Barbara in Philly. She was my 2nd appt. EVER and she put me at ease quickly. My 1st appt. - I won't talk about except to say that if my body reacted with nausea I'd have been more comfortable. My fear reaction is tears - which I fought hard!

  2. Nerves have a way of exposing themselves in hard to control methods. It takes strentgh of character to walk into a situation knowing your nerves will be in full force. These situations are practice in control, good luck.

  3. I need to print this and GLUE it into my conference binder. Great words of wisdom. Thank you!

  4. Excellent post, Bonnie. Thank you for the reminder that ALL things are working together for good to those who love the Lord. Blessings on your writing journey, too.

  5. I'll add my "AMEN" to all your comments. It's during these appointments that the Lord is teaching us how to survive in the publishing world. As He would say, "Be bold and confident!" ;)