In less than a week, I'm headed to Elizabethtown, Kentucky for the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference. I look forward to seeing you there. I've been preparing to my keynote messages and my workshop. I've been sorting through my 20+ years in publishing to give the perfect focus to these messages.
I love writers' conferences. I've found it to be a grand idea haven where we can talk shop and learn from other writers. If you want to succeed in the writing business, I've got four keys to Jumpstart Your Conference experience:
1. Take daily time to pray about the various people you will meet and the ideas you will discuss. Ask the Lord to guide you through each detail of the conference such as who you will sit with at the opening meeting or where you will sit at each meal and what will be discussed. Ask for God to give you divine appointments. These encounters will be far beyond anything that you could have orchestrated or planned. Be aware and watching for the Lord's handiwork throughout the conference.
2. The second way to Jumpstart Your Conference Experience is to come prepared to meet others and start new relationships. Prepare some business cards and be prepared to give them out to everyone you meet—but don't make it a one way exchange. When you give a business card, make sure you receive a business card. Writing is a solitary occupation and we need each other. You will form new and lasting friendships at the conference if you come prepared for it.
3. The third way to Jumpstart Your Conference Experience is to study the background for the various faculty members and get familiar with their different roles. Publishing is constantly changing. I'm in a different role as a publisher than six months ago when I was a literary agent or when I've been as an acquisitions editor. Your familiarity with the different faculty will help you form deeper relationships during the conference. I believe your time in preparation will be rewarded.
4. The final way to Jumpstart Your Conference Experience is to come with the right heart attitude. Many writers come to their first conference expecting to sell their book manuscript or magazine article. Yes, there will be some of those exchanges at the conference. A much more central part of every writer's conference is where individuals learn new aspects of publishing and take great strides of personal growth. Come with expectations and a willingness to learn and grow. With the right heart attitude, I'm convinced that you will not be disappointed but your expectations will actually be exceeded.
How can I say that expectations will be exceeded? Because I know each member of the faculty is a Christian and a person who is filled with the Spirit of the Living God. I love the verse in Ephesians 3:20 which says, "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us."
Today God is preparing for you the people and lives that will be touched during the time we are together at the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference. I will be coming with high expectations and anticipations. I've never been disappointed in the past.
See you soon at the Northside Baptist Church!