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Preparing For A Conference


I’m getting ready to go to the Florida Christian Writers Conference at the end of the month.

I feel a little like I’m standing on the edge of the high dive, about to jump in from too high off the ground.

The funny part is, I’ve been to the conference before and it’s been fantastic. The classes, the editors, the authors, and everyone in attendance make the whole experience an exciting opportunity for learning and encouragement. This conference is the one I went to in 2004 when I had a fledgling idea for a book of scriptures and photos for babies. This is the same conference where I met my amazing editor in 2006 and she said, “Yes!” to my first four books.

So, why all the nerves this time around? I don’t think it matters how many time I’ve been to the conference, it’s sharing my projects and dreams with a bigger audience for the first time that does it. Those little projects equal big dreams. On those big dreams are even bigger expectations, adding to that standing-on-the-edge feeling.

Have you ever felt that way before?

Thankfully there is an amazing amount of encouragement and plain ol’ good, down-to-earth advice out there on getting ready for a conference. Like Mary Kole’s blog post, Getting the Most Out of a Conference and W. Terry Whalin’s great advice on the FCWC Faculty Blog, Four Keys to Your Conference Preparation

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. -W. Terry Whalin

I love both of these posts and how they offered me a new perspective on my expectations for the conference, “Jump in! Have fun! Enjoy the experience!”  Why not?

I’ve done my part preparing; polished proposals, studied the publishers, editors, and agents who will be a part of the conference, and highlighted the courses I’d like to attend. I’ve set aside the expectations I’ve placed upon myself and taken Terry’s advice on praying for the experience. I’ve placed my dreams in God’s hands and I trust him.

Now I can take a breath and jump in! I’m ready for the adventure of it all!

How do you prepare for a conference? What resources have you found helpful in getting ready?

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