Girls Write Out
Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The next few months will be a busy time for the "Girls" as we get ready to go to Orlando for a conference for published authors, then in September comes our favorite time--the ACFW conference. It's open for registration now, and if you've been thinking about going, quit thinking and just DO IT.

If you're thinking about going, I'm going to give you some advice. Remember the editors and agents put their pants on one leg at a time, just like you. They sleep in cat pajamas and wear fuzzy slippers. They have bad hair days. And they get TIRED, worn to the bone, at conferences. Go to the conference with a servant's heart. Forget about yourself and what you think you can or can't do. It's just like church really. Sometimes we don't feel like going but someone there just might need the smile we send their way or the encouragement we can offer. It's not all about me. Or you. Really. It's about being part of something bigger. It's being part of the body and leaning down to help someone up that next rung. It's about running after coffee or a bottle of water for that weary editor. It's about babysitting for an editor while she talks to your friend. (This happened at one ACFW conference by Nanny Diann.)

There's something so energizing and fulfilling about serving. So tune your attention outward and forget about yourself. You never know what God is going to do with the little loaves and fishes you give Him. He might arrange for you to get that five minutes with an editor you wouldn't have had. He might bring the perfect friends to you (I met Kristin at a conference first) and the rest of us bonded tighter than superglue at the Mt Hermon conferences. The networking and friendships that are born at conference are enduring because no one else understands you like another writer, that weird slant you have on life.

This year the amazing Angie Hunt is our keynote. You will be so glad you came. Really. It just might change your life if you're brave enough to let it. Go EXPECTING the unexpected and see what God will do.
Colleen Coble  
posted at 6:00 AM  
  Comments (13)
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At 12:22 PM, Blogger Cara Putman said...

You're so right, Colleen. I have volunteered in various roles at the conference since my very first conference. That made me feel connected from the first moment. It's a great conference!

At 12:31 PM, Blogger Krista Phillips said...

Oh Oh Oh!! I LOVE your ending to that: EXPECT the unexpected and see what God will do!!

God has been pounding that over my head the last few years and the concept is finally starting to sink in! I have this horrible fear, and I think deep down alot of us do, that if we expect alot from God, then he will let us down, disappoint us. We go into conferences with very low expectations, "Oh, I'm just year to learn", "I'm really not expecting for someone to like my book." We think, ok, we know we'll at least get that, so if we get more, great, if we don't, then God is still ok, cause it wasn't like I was expecting anything! Ok, so if God is really telling you to go to this conference to soak it in and learn, then GREAT! But don't expect that because you are scared that God won't come through. God wants to WOW us! He wants to knock us off our socks and give us GOOD gifts. Will you have a book contract when you leave? Maybe not. But Maybe so too!! I say, go in expecting God to do mighty great things, and put your heart out there, and God will take care of it.

This said, this is gonna be my first ACFW! WOOHOO! I am rediculously excited. I have only been to one very very small conference before, so am nervous as all get out, but I am going in there with open expectations, ready to receive whatever God deems appropriate to give.

Sorry, a slight soapbox I know:-) I'll step down now and go to lunch!

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Whoohoo, Krista, so glad you're going! When does your plane arrive? I'll be watching for you in the lobby.

At 1:31 PM, Blogger Tiff (Amber Miller) Stockton said...

You make an excellent point, Colleen. Go with a servant's heart. Like Cara, I've volunteered or worked in some capacity every year since the first ACFW in 2002. And at other conferences I've attended, I've always offered to help in some way. It's brought blessings in abundance, and I love helping others. Takes the focus off my bumbling attempts at making up for my incurable foot-in-mouth syndrome. :)

Krista, so glad you'll be coming to Minneapolis. We love first-timers, and you're going to get a welcome like you've never seen.

For those who haven't experienced one, Colleen gives the best hugs too! Come, even if it's just for that. LOL!

At 1:55 PM, Blogger Krista Phillips said...

I will be arriving on Thursday, not sure what time, but definately by 2 for the newbie session. There are 2 other girls from our local writers group going, and we figured we can have a girls roadtrip up there, so that aught to be a treat! (Not that it matters, but I am a bit younger than both of the women... and have a bit of a lead foot, so if you see this 27 year old arrive with two women behind her with looks of horror on their faces and windblown hair, you'll know it's me!) We are coming from Nashville, so yah, it will be fun. What I'll do to save a buck!!

Oh! Denise! I bought convenient groom today on my lunch hour and read the first 2 chapters! I LOVE it so far, and will be antsy all afternoon to finish!

At 2:22 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

I'll watch for you, Krista. LOL I'll have smelling salts standing by!

At 3:47 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Thanks, Krista. I hope you enjoy it. :-)

At 4:15 PM, Blogger Andrea said...

Am I losing my mind?? Didn't I reply to a post by Diann about going to the dentist this morning?

I am always a little afraid to expect the unexpected. I have two problems-first, I am afraid God will send me to the middle of some jungle with only bugs to eat! I am a Holiday Inn kind of girl.

Second, I am afraid that I won't like whatever is that is unexpected. I have some control issues! :) I like a plan! I like to know what is coming so I can think (aka worry) about all the things that can wrong and make a plan how to deal with them. Wrong I know!

I have been thinking about whether or not Im being led to change jobs. I really like what I do. The money is not stable and with prices and kids, I need something more stable. I realized I'm afraid to let God handle it. Who knows where I can end up! I've had a couple of possibilities and one I might really like and fit my family's schedule. I automatically figured God won't let me have that one because I might enjoy it. It suddenly hit me HOW WRONG that thinking was! I never thought of that before. He does want whats best for me not for me to be miserable. OH I could go on! This was quite eye opening. I have some work to do in this area!

At 6:09 PM, Blogger Kayla said...

Wow, that was awesome...did Joyce Meyer sneak in here and preach under the guise of being Colleen?! ;)

Andrea, always remember that God created you to excel at and enjoy certain things for a reason. If you're following His will, you won't end up in something miserable. You'll end up using all of the gifts and talents that He has placed in you and end up making a good salary to boot! ;) It is His will that you are in good health and prosper even as your soul prospers. I don't see anything fearful in that!

At 8:53 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

Should I go or shouldn't I?

I have seven chapters of a Heartsongish-type book written with an outline for the rest, and ideas for several more. Is that a good place to be in if you're going to your first ever big girl conference? Or should I wait until next year when I've finished writing this book and tried knocking on a few publishing doors already?

I just joined ACFW a few weeks ago, I'm combing my favorite writers' past works and trying to draw encouragement from the development I see in their writing, oh and I'm reading a great book called "When a Woman Discovers Her Dream." I hope I'm feeling a holy nudge to pursue the writing now, but I'm terribly afraid of setting myself up for a big disappointment. Not sure if I'd want to hang in there. And then there's the expense of going. (Krista, care to swing by PA and pick me up? I love long car trips!) I can do it, but I want to make sure it's the right time before I put out the money for airfare and everything else.

Input anyone? I so don't know what I'm doing. I love to write, but is it the right time for conference? I don't know.

On a side note, I met Angie Hunt at a Young Writers Institute (I think it was just for homeschoolers) several years ago, I think I was a senior in highschool. Got to talk to her for about 20 minutes afterwards since I was volunteering, and she was so encouraging and personable. I'd love to hear her again. I'm sure everyone will really enjoy her.

At 9:38 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Sarah, if you can go this year, I highly encourage you to do it. You'll learn so much and you'll meet editors and other writers that will become wonderful friends and possibly critique partners. Plus, if you get to writing, you can have that heartsongish story finished by then and pitch that book. :-)

At 11:09 PM, Blogger Krista Phillips said...

Denise: I'm done, great job! Loved it Loved it Loved it!

Sarah: I won't go so far as to say I love road trips, but I will bare them to save a couple hundred bucks! PA is a slight bit out of our way though... LOL. Tell you what, you drive down to Nashville, and you can ride up with us!

I also agree with Denise, GO! This is my first as well. I have one completed MS but I still have alot of work to go on it, as I am still learning. There are tons of benefits, like learning "stuff", networking, and heck just practicing your pitching! Now, my own personal stomach is about ready to loose my really yummy frozen strawberry squares I had for dessert just over the thought of pitching, but I figure that is why we need practice:-) Maybe at the next conference I can practice not throwing up on the editors while I pitch... One step at a time right??? hehe!

At 2:15 PM, Blogger Tiff (Amber Miller) Stockton said...

Krista, just picture the editor or agent in a tu-tu and you'll either bust out laughing or relax enough to get out your pitch. Remember, they're people too. They put on their pants one leg at a time and deal with a lot of the same life issues as you.

Sarah, if you are able to go, don't hesitate. GO! And like Denise said, if you get to writing, you can have that heartsong-ish type novel done by conference. JoAnne is a great editor, and you'll love chatting with her about your book if it's aimed at Heartsong. Otherwise, get it done and come to learn how you can improve the book or practice your pitch with others who have been down that road or even just network and soak in the atmosphere.

Whether it's your first or your tenth, you won't regret it.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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