by Beth K. Vogt
A writing friend of mine is attending the ACFW conference for the first time this year.
She is excited… and nervous. Right now, “nervous” rules the roller coaster ride of her emotions.
The biggest virtual hill she’s facing? The 15-minute appointments with editors and agents.
Writers alternately covet these appointments – the whole “Please, oh please, let me get an appointment with Editor A or Agent B” prayer. Or we dread the thought of those 900 seconds – the whole “I know I won’t remember a single word of my elevator pitch!” angst.
If you’ve ever attended the ACFW conference, you’ve ridden the same writer’s roller coaster as my friend because at one time, you were a conference-newbie too.
We’ve got a few more weeks until we descend on Dallas and I don’t want my friend worn out emotionally by a bunch of “what ifs” before she walks off the plane and into the waiting humidity. So I tossed her a lifeline.
Here’s what I told my friend: She’s already succeeded.
How can this be true when she’s barely practiced her pitch? When she’s still editing her one sheet? When she’s not even started packing for the conference?
My friend has succeeded because she is attending the convention for the first time.
Yep. That’s success if you define success – i.e achievement, accomplishment – as any sort of forward motion in your writing goals.
Last year, my friend wanted to go to ACFW, but she couldn’t. This year, it’s happening. Success.
And that’s not her only step forward.
Last year, her manuscript wasn’t complete.
This year? Finished. Oh, sure, she’ll need to polish it some more. We always do!
Last year, she had no opportunity to pitch her manuscript.
This year? She’ll have appointments – she just doesn’t know with whom yet. And even if she decides to decline those opportunities? There will be other people ready to fill those 15-minute slots, so they won’t go to waste.
Appointments or not, my friend will attend workshops, learning more about her craft.
Forward motion? Absolutely. And forward motion equals success.
During all of this, she’ll meet other writers, building relationships with people who “get” her, which is some of the best kind of forward motion (aka success) a writer can ever have.
What other successes happen at the ACFW conference outside of the 15-minute appointments?
Beth K. Vogt’s contemporary romance novel, Wish You Were Here (Howard Books), debuted this past May. Here next novel, Catch at Falling Star releases May 2013. She’s the Skills Coach for the My Book Therapy writing community and an established nonfiction author and editor. Join the conversation over at Beth’s blog, In Others’ Words, at bethvogt.com.