ACFW Tips: Conference Dos
|Having fun at the MBT Pizza Party at the 2010 ACFW conference|
No, I'm not talking about my Christmas wish list.
I'm prepping for ACFW, which is the talk of the CBA writing world right now.
I'm no conference newbie, not with more than a decade of conference attendance behind me (and a drawer full of name tags to prove it. Not really. I tossed 'em in an organizing frenzy a couple of years ago.)
Over at the MBT Ponderers blog, I posted about what I'm packing for the conference. Hint: I'm not limiting myself to a carry on bag.
There's a lot of chatter on the Internet--Twitter and various writers' blogs--about how to enjoy the conference. How to succeed, whether you're an introvert or an extrovert or somewhere in between. Me? I'm an introvert who doesn't mind taking center stage, so long as I'm promised downtime afterward. Realizing you're likely dashing from blog to blog and taking frantic notes, I'm going to give you my ACFW To Do list:
- Be yourself. You're the only you attending the conference. I'd like to meet you when we say hi--not you-pretending-to-be-someone-else.
- Ask questions. Here's a good question to ask when you meet someone new: What do you write? Then sit back and listen to their answer. Don't worry about preparing your answer just in case they ask you about your writing--and they probably will. You've been me-focused for so many weeks pre-conference. Isn't it nice to think about someone else?
- Reach out. Odds are there's someone at the conference who's even more overwhelmed than you are. Maybe they are a first-timer. Or maybe they're pitching their novel for the first time. Encourage someone else. Let them practice their pitch with you and then pray with them before they head off for that nerve-wracking 15 minute appointment.
- Have fun. There's fun to be had at the conference. Enjoy the workshops. Enjoy the keynote speakers. Pitch your book.(Yes, this can be fun! Get excited about sharing your idea!) But take time to meet with friends for coffee. Browse the bookstore together or go work out at the exercise room. It's okay to go off-schedule and focus on relationships.
- Slow down. Before you know it, you'll be packing your suitcase for the trip home.Wait! Didn't you just get here? Start each day by asking yourself: What do I want to accomplish today? And then leave room for God to change your plans. End each day by looking back and savoring the unexpected blessings He revealed.