Thursday, September 24, 2015

My Top FIVE Moments at ACFW 2015

I got home on Sunday from my first ever ACFW conference, and let me tell you, it was an incredible, life-changing weekend. I felt so favored by God, and I know I was blessed because my experience could have turned out very differently. 

I could have been told by an agent that I have no talent for writing. But that didn’t happen. 

I could have been told by an editor that my story is uninteresting and won’t sell. But that didn’t happen. 

I could have sat next to Bill Meyers at dinner on Thursday, and I could have dropped my phone so far under the table that I had to literally crawl on my knees, in my brown slacks, to get it while Bill held up the table cloth. But that didn’t—oh wait, maybe that one did…

I guess if I’m making a list of top five moments, that definitely goes on the list.

Number Five: Embarrassing myself in front of Bill Meyers. Sure, it’s an embarrassing moment—but it’s a memorable moment nonetheless, and I’m pretty sure he thought nothing of it because in our hour-and-a-half dinner conversation, I found out he is the most down-to-earth, easy-to-talk-to guy. And encouraging. He gave me a word from the Lord before we parted ways, and it was exactly what I needed to hear in that moment.

Number Four: Seeing Francine Rivers win the Lifetime Achievement Award. I was never brave enough to meet her (apart from the Gala, I actually only saw her for a millisecond in passing)—but Howell met her!! Her acceptance speech was beautiful and humble and reminded me why I have loved her and her books for almost 20 years.

Number Three: Meeting amazing new friends—many of whom were in my shoes. I’ve been timid about this process of calling myself a writer (read part one and part two here). But I’m so thankful to be a part of an organization that supports my dreams, and I believe God gave me divine appointments with new friends (especially you, Simone! :)).

Number Two: Getting to meet Kristen Heitzmann. She hugged me. She sat next to me at lunch. She got to meet my husband. And although Howell told me I wasn’t allowed to gush when I met her, I may have swooned a little. She is my all-time favorite author, y’all. And I’m not just saying that because she was there, and I met her. I’m saying, ask anyone who knows me. She’s my favorite. I’ve read all her books. I think she does amazing work with dialogue and character perspective.

Number One: Learning invaluable information for my fiction writing career. I learned so much about story writing and honing my craft, and I gained new knowledge about the publishing process, working with agents, and building my platform.

For now, this introvert is happy to be back in farm country...

...But my work is certainly cut out for me as I begin polishing my manuscript before I send it to potential agent contacts I made.

Check back next week for the top FIVE pieces of advice I received at ACFW, and if you want to share your TOP FIVE moments from the conference, please comment below!

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