Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Potholders or Business Cards?
Today at my Words for the Journey Christian Writers meeting, the topic was getting ready for conferences. It is 37 days until the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, but who's counting? Yes, I am a little more than excited. Sharen, our fearless leader, was giving us some tips on conferences and she said that it is always good to be loving toward the editors, agents and authors with whom you have appointments. In fact, one time she met with a gal who gave her something after their appointment that the woman had made. It made a quite an impression on Sharen.
What? I thought. She brought crafts to give out to the editors?
Sharen clarified and said that the woman gave her a beautiful homemade thank you card.
My mind was already dancing with ideas and I blurted out in humor, "I'll bring potholders!"
Can you imagine? I am sitting with an editor from a major publishing house pitching my idea for a book. The 15-minute meeting goes well and I feel I connected. As we say goodbye and shake hands, I whip out a potholder with my email on it...hmm.
Michele, another wonderful writer, dared me. I wish she hadn't have done that.
We at Words for the Journey laughed about it and went off on a rabbit trail for a second. We do that.
Later, Michele, who also heads up speaker conferences, offered her advice. "Make time before the conference to get away and be okay with who you are in God and with God alone. Don't put all your eggs into the conference basket. You will come across as desperate and needy, not just hungry to learn."
Potholders? Desperate for acceptance or hungry to connect? Hmmm.
In all seriousness the meeting got me to thinking...Do I have the right attitude about this conference? What about my writing future? Do I have balance?
I'm reading Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyers and this morning I read, "Anytime you are out of balance, it is an invitation to Satan to attack."
I have not counted my writing rejections, but I am pretty sure they number over 40. So much so, when I didn't even win Honorable Mention this past week for my Erma Bombeck Writing Contest entry, I was bummed but not despondent. In fact, after a while I said, "Oh well." Today at WFTJ I made a bunch of jokes about my rejection. Some might say I came off as, well, bitter. :0) Bitterness at being rejected makes other writers laugh. Every time. It's because we all completely relate.
But is my foundation level? Once again, am I balanced?
The only way I can know this is to once again head on over to the throne of God and give it all to Him. Writing for publication is a long haul. Looking at this conference as an answer to my dreams is a sure way to experience disappointment. God is in charge. I am not. My security is in a relationship with my Lord, published or not, agented or not, a great writer or not. He is enough. Right?
Easy to forget that. So I will take up Michelle's advice and do what I need to do to ensure I am "balanced" for the conference. I will take some time to just hang out with Jesus, just Him and me, and REST in His lap. When I am living Matthew 6:33, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you," I am in balance. My priorities are in line and I find myself being okay with whatever comes.
So in the next month I will be spending more and more time, really quiet alone time, with Christ. The Spirit will give me peace and joy where I need it the most. And maybe in our time of solitude, who knows? Maybe we'll make potholders.