Monday, September 26, 2011

ACFW - Post conference tips

Hey guys,
Pepper here - and I just got in from the airport at almost midnight, so I cannot promise my words are gonna make a lot of sense this morning.
Needless to say, ACFW was a blast! Exhausting, overwhelming at times, inspiring almost all the time - but definitely a blast!

As people return home from such a high, I wanted to remind us of five important tips AFTER a conference like this:

1. It is well with your soul - It's often the case that after such a great experience, we come back and 'crash'. When you're around such like-minded and like-spirited people, it's easy to feel a rush of encouragement and support....then we return to our 'normal' lives and things can feel a little less exciting.
Or perhaps the conference didn't fulfill the dreams you'd been hoping for.
Remember, there is a perfect time and season for your talent to bloom. God's call, God's timing - our perseverance.

2. Be faithful - If you received requests, SEND THEM IN. Now, editors and agents don't expect them by tomorrow. Polish, refine...and give yourself a little bit of time - but try to get them in within a month of the conference. 'Showing up' is 3/4 of the success.

3. Rejoice in all things - Giving up your time, energy, and money to go to conference makes quite an impression on the people there. They realize it's no small feat to come. So rejoice in the contacts you made. Meeting people is my FAVORITE part!!!!! Especially getting to meet the Alley Cats and RUTH LOGAN HERNE!!! There are so many things to celebrate! Seekers, Alley friends (waving to them now), and SO MANY MORE!!!  We can rejoice in the encouragement we recieved, in the power behind the Word that we heard, spoke, and sang.
Nothing is too small - and as Jenny B Jones said in her devotional. God says "You got nothin'? I can work with that." - so He takes our small and makes it great for His glory. That's certainly worth celebrating.

4. Be thankful - Don't forget the 'thank you' notes. Whether by snail mail or email, get those out! And not only in material form, but ask God to cultivate a heart of gratitude in you (and me). The more we see every aspect of our lives as handpicked by a loving Father - the easier it is to be thankful. I've GOTTA get mine in the mail. I met marvelous people like Julie Gwin from B & H, Karen Ball, Sandra Bishop, Allen Arnold, Tamela Hancock Murray, Amanda Luedeke, Jeff Gerke AND SO MANY MORE, not to mention my fellow writers - who just encouraged me along the way. It's time to visit Hallmark ;-)

5. Friendships are the spine of any conference - Do not forget that at the bottom of it all, a writer's conference helps us develop lasting friendships. What a blessing to show up somewhere once a year and find kindred spirits - not only those who encourage your for a weekend in September - but friendships that spill over into days, months, and years afterwards. That is the heartbeat of a CHRISTIAN writer's conference because whether those opportunities come from writers, agents, or editors, it's all about cultivating relationships.

And rooming with crazy people like Casey Herringshaw, Mary Vee, and Carol Moncado...well...there are stories that will NEVER be told there ;-)

Not all relationships will end in a 'dream come true' as far as publishing, but God provided the opportunitiy for you to meet each person that you did!
My conference experience was a total SUCCESS because of the relationships I built, deepened, and celebrated at ACFW.

I'll share more about ACFW in my next post - but as you come down from the heights of the conference, remember that God has you  right where He wants you to be and He rejoices over you.

Next time? Maybe I'll write about Post Traumatic Pitch Disorder :-) My friend Karen and I thought we might be suffering from it. (And I'll have MANY MORE Pictures - some you can check out at Words Seasoned With Salt tomorrow)

Any tips you want to share?


Sarah Forgrave said...

Great advice, Pepper. I experienced a low when I got home and saw the empty refrigerator and the full laundry baskets. Let's just say I needed to read this post this morning. :)

Pepper said...

Snicker - Sarah
The SAME THING happened to me!

And I'm sitting at my desk at work trying to get up enough energy to go teach class.


Jeanne Takenaka said...

Pepper, sure enjoyed your post. :) Though I didn't go to ACFW this year, I appreciate your tips, and they can be used, to an extent throughout the year. Thanks for the reminder from Jenny B. Jones' devotional about how much God can do with our "nothing." Needed that today.

Pepper said...

If He created an entire universe out of nothing - I think He can certainly do great things with us ;-)

May the Lord bless you today.

Jessica R. Patch said...

Excellent advice, Pepper! And your words made sense. Looks like you had a great time, all of you! :)

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Loved Jenny's devotion and it was such an honor to meet you guys!

Whirlwind really.

Am I home? I'm in a fog still.
~ Wendy

Denise Hunter said...

I'm sorry to have missed you at conference, Pepper. :( It was an amazing event, though, on so many levels.

Pepper said...

Our talk was so brief. I asked if you were drumming this year and you said, "Nope, they got a guy ;-)"

It was a great conference. So many fab experiences to share in future posts and conversations.

Congrats to all the winners too.

Pepper said...

Thanks. And it was fun! Entertaining, insightful, and inspiring.

did I say exhausting already? ;-)

Pepper said...

TOTALLY understand the fog. I was home a grand total of 7 hours (for sleep) before leaving the house this morning for work.

I apologized to my class already ;-) Poor students.

Krista Phillips said...

I didn't go to conference either, but I well remember the post-conference feeling from previous years! One year, hubby and I extende dour stay to celebrate our anniversary. That was actually REALLY cool, cause we had a ton of fun around Denver and it was a way to unwind from the conference high before going back home!

Next time... try to take an extra day off work:-) I know, I know, easier said than done, but a day to "unload" is always helpful!

And sarah... I never left and am dealing with the same things, HA HA HA!

Mary Vee Writer said...

I chose to take today, Monday, off, didn't get home until 1:00am. So glad I had planned this day off. There was little sleep to be had with three crazy roomies. We laughed sooooo much.

BUT--Last year when I couldn't go, I enjoyed reading the posts from those who went. There is much to learn whether you can attend physically or in spirit.
Stay tuned as we all share morsels from what we learned.

Thanks for the post, Pepper.

Carol Moncado said...

Wait!! Mary says *I'm* crazy?! See if I share cookies next year!

But I do have the very first ever Pepper Basham signed program!!!!!

Go me!!!!

[Thanks Pepper! So glad we got to chat for a minute today!]

Anonymous said...

Aw, Pep. GREAT post, girl!

I've got a question. Is it really okay to wait as long as a month to send in a request? That seems awfully long!

Karen @ a house full of sunshine said...

I'm super impressed that you managed to write a blog post in between arriving home and going to work!! Go, Pepper!!

It's taken me half a day to set the house straight and begin tackling the mountains of laundry. Two boys + one Daddy + one week alone = LOTS of work for Mummy when she gets home. :P

Pepper said...

So glad you made it home. And let me just tell you - I LOVED getting to know you. God has some AWESOME plans for you, lady.

What a blessing to get to know you better!!