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Ten Things to Do If You are Missing the Conference

by Chandra Lynn Smith

I love musicals. I also love thrillers and mysteries. I even love sappy romances and intense drama. If you saw my arms loaded down when I left the library or looked at the array of books on my Kindle it would be obvious my reading choices are similar to the movies I like.

This past summer I had the joy of seeing a stage performance of Grease in an outdoor theatre in West Virginia. If you’ve ever seen the original Broadway version of the musical you know there are some song differences. Sandy never went to the prom in the Broadway version. She stayed and home and sang a mopey, rather entertaining song titled “It’s Raining on Prom Night.”

As you read this blog I am at the ACFW Conference. And, sadly, I know many of you are not there. I know the years I miss I could perform my own version of the song and title it something like ‘It’s Raining During the Conference.’  It is difficult to read all of the posts leading up to the conference, miss the event, and then read all of the posts afterwards.

There are many suggestions on how to survive the conference. Bear with me as I suggest how to survive staying home.

Top Ten Things to Do If You Cannot Attend the Conference

  1. Read. Give yourself permission to get lost in the story world this weekend.
  2. Keep track of posts and stories from the conference. They keep you connected to the community.
  3. Write something new and different. Turn the internal editor off and go back to the joy of writing a story. Have fun.
  4. Connect with other writers who are at home through the ACFW Loop and have discussions about your writing journeys.
  5. Pray for the conference, the staff, the attenders, the appointments, the workshops, and the travel needs of everyone attending. It’s pretty much impossible to resent people you are praying for.
  6. Write. Write about how you feel and what you think about being at home. Write about what you dream and hope for future years. Write about anything and everything. Just be sure you write.
  7. Use this time to celebrate your writing. No matter the reason you could not attend this year, you are still a member of the most incredible writing community in the world because our Leader is the most incredible Story Teller of all. Celebrate His invitation to you to write WITH Him.
  8. Go to the ACFW Course archives and catch up on some of the courses you missed. You will receive valuable teaching.
  9. Did I say write?

And the number one thing to do while you are home this week is to become more like Mary for a few days. Sit at the feet of the Savior letting His love envelope you and His stories touch your heart and change you from the inside out.

Enjoy your time with Him this week, I know from past experience that is the single most important thing each of us can do.

The Light Holding Her in Coming Home a Tiny House Collection is Chandra Lynn Smith’s debut novel. Chandra, a 2015 Genesis winner, writes contemporary fiction filled with inspiration, intrigue, romance, and dogs. Chandra’s career as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer provides her with a variety of canine characters and challenging situations. Chandra and her husband are the proud parents of four sons and joyous grandparents to the most beautiful granddaughter in the world. They live on a small farm in South Central Pennsylvania with their youngest son and two dogs. Their house is often filled with all four sons, wives, fiancés, friends, and anywhere from four to eight “grand dogs.” You can find her at www.ChandraLynnSmith.blogspot.com and www.ChandraLynnSmith.com.

 

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2 Responses to Ten Things to Do If You are Missing the Conference

  1. Joey Rudder says:

    Thank you, Chandra. A wonderful and much appreciated post. God bless you and enjoy the conference. 🙂

  2. Barbara Fox says:

    Chandra- What an appropriate post. Conference is definitely on my mind as I pray for my friends to be uber blessed. I love your ideas. I have one to add to your list. Attend the 2017 At-Home Conference with Karin Beery.I learned about it through the ACFW loop. Assembled are a great group of writers teaching on a variety of topics. And they have a Facebook page for interaction.I was just downloading the lessons and realized she has someone touching all of my projects for this week. How sweet is that?
    I also plan to follow the awards on Youtube.
    ACFW is such a wonderful organization. They make it possible to be part of things even when you can’t attend conference.
    Blessings and blessings to everyone at conference and at home.