Thursday, September 27, 2012

Taking the Jesus out of ACFW.....

SO COOL seeing my books
in the conference bookstore...
even cooler on Saturday seeing them
... (continued from title) would totally stink!

I wrestled with going to ACFW this year.

I'd gone in 2008 and 2009 and LOVED IT. Granted, I'd had frazzled nerves each time, trying to pitch to agents/editors etc. But they were wonderful times of learning about writing craft and networking with authors.

2010 and 2011 I missed because I had a very special little girl at home who needed her mommy much more than mommy needed ACFW.

But 2012 came. And I wanted to go SO INCREDIBLY BAD.

Caramel Mousse Cheesecake. *swoon*
After much fretting about money and praying, my husband and I both decided it'd be best for me to go. It's my first year with a book out. My first year not having to pitch to an agent and editor.

And honestly, the last two years have been brutal. This Mommy needed time away.

Conference without the pressure of pitching was, in one word, AMAZING.

And it wasn't just about not pitching.

Look! We are stair-steps! :-)
It was seriously about Jesus. About being around a group of people who love Jesus and want to write for Him. It was about seeign people stop and pray for each other in the middle of a room without any concern over what others thought. It was about listening to workshops on not being so scheduled that you schedule Jesus into a box. It was remembering that while publishing IS a business, taking Jesus out of your writing equation is counter-productive.

God wants to use our fiction. But He won't if we take Him out of the picture and let all business override our brains.

That's what I learned at ACFW this year.
Casey the... reindeer?
In a way, I rededicated my writing to the Lord who gave me the talent in the first place.

I've rediscovered the JOY in writing/editor/selling books for Jesus. Without Him and without that purpose, it falls pretty flat.

Another thing I learned at ACFW:

Alleycats ROCK.

Seriously. I cannot begin to tell you how amazing it was to spend time with these incredible women that I've been privileged to become a part of. It's odd to walk into a room of strangers and instantly feel this thick-corded connection. To be able to be yourself, drop all pretense, and just relax in your differences.

Oh yeah... and we were crazy a few times too.... we MIGHT have done an extreme amount of laughing.

Discussion: Have you ever rededicated your writing to Jesus? What part does God play in your writing equation?


Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Krista, I LOVED this post. So often we get caught up in the whole publishing "extreme" and forget the ONE who instilled the dream within us. Thank you for the reminder.

AND THE ALLEY CATS ARE TOTALLY AWESOME! I felt the same as walking into a room full of sisters! Sigh...what a blessing.

p.s. I'm so bummed I missed that cheesecake!!!!!

Pepper said...

Ditto what Sherrinda said.

Even now I get a little teary-eyed thinking about the amazing group of women I had opportunity to share my weekend with.

God is truly amazing in bringing us together and developing a 'cord' of love that spans the uniqueness of our lives, the vastness of miles apart, and the craziness of our individual personalities.

I am so VERY thankful!

Krista - you are amazing (and you snore too, btw. Just a little. So we're alike in even more ways...LOL)

Pepper said...

Oh...and that cheesecake was REMARKABLE!!! WHOA!

Beth K. Vogt said...

You know I love the Alley Cats, right?
Love 'em, one and all!
You are a special group of writing women who love God and love one another. It's a beautiful thing to see.
And, yes, the spirit of the ACFW conference was so refreshing to my soul.

Krista Phillips said...


Not NEARLY as much as you though... HA HA HA!!!! (hubby says I only snore when I'm sleeping deeply... and I haven't done that in a LONG TIME, so WOOHOO for sleeping deeply enough to snore! Amazing what no children to wake you up does!)

Krista Phillips said...

Beth... you know that they alley cats love YOU right????? SO SO SO SO SO great to meet you!!!!

Pepper said...

Well, I DO like to win :-)

Unknown said...

Krista, this is a beautiful post! I love reading about what you learned, but even more, I loved meeting you and the other Alley Cats! You all are so encouraging. (Happy sighing here.)

I committed my writing to Jesus when I began, because I know I can't write a story that will glorify Him in my own strength. I'm just not that good. :)

I'm so glad you got to go to ACFW this year, and that your books sold out.Woo-hoo!!

Mary Vee Writer said...

God blessed us way more than we realized, I think. Committing our work to Him only brings Him closer to our lives. How awesome He brought so many of us together to laugh and snort and cheer...and eat cheesecake.

Lindsay Harrel said...

I think ACFW is such a unique conference. I didn't feel an overall competitive edge, even though we're all *technically* competing for spots. And that's because we all know that God has his timing, that we are all in this together, that we are ultimately after the same prize: to see God glorified. It's why we can honestly rejoice when we see others receive contracts and have good appointments, even if ours went poorly.

Being at ACFW was amazing. Kind of life-changing, in a way. It just reminded me that I'm on the right path, with the right people.

Angie Dicken said...

I miss seeing you ALL! ALL of you...Alley Cats, Beth, Lindsay, Jeanne too!!! Lindsay, love what you said...that we don't have that competitive edge because we know it's all in God's timing!! Such a brilliant truth that I constantly have to remind myself of!!
Love you all!

Sarah Forgrave said...

You summed up the conference so well, Krista. It felt more like a spiritual retreat than a writing workshop. I definitely needed it!

Unknown said...

Lindsay, I love what you shared above! All of it!

Ralene said...

I, too, went this year without pitching. It was amazing! God really used this conference to refuel my passion, and I definitely used it to rededicate my writing to Jesus.

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Lovely post, Krista! And I'm so glad you got to go to ACFW this year :)

Melanie Dickerson said...

I'm so glad you were able to be there, Krista! It was another wonderful conference.

Keli Gwyn said...

I'm so happy you were able to attend the conference, Krista, and that it was such an uplifting time for you. After all you've been through the past few years, you were overdue for a break.

I loved the atmosphere at the conference: love in action!

Krista Phillips said...

Keli, Melanie, Ralene, Jeanne T, Sarah, Lindsay, Angie, Mary and all the rest of you...

IT WAS SO SO SO SO nice to see you all, too!!!!!! Love hearing how conference went for you all!