I joined ACFW last August. I remember sitting at my computer desk and watching the live blog of the Gala awards ceremony last September. I told myself – I’ll be there next year. Not as someone receiving an award. In one short month being a part of ACFW, I had been sufficiently humbled enough to not presume that. It was my goal to be at the conference in 2011 as an attendee. The day I became serious about being a writer, one of my goals was coming to this year’s conference. And now my Jesus has been very faithful to make it happen.

                I’m a little nervous, but my overall feeling is one of excitement. From the start of my writing journey, I’ve wanted to learn as much as I could about the writing craft and build long-term relationships with other Christian writers. I believe that God is going to do both when I get off that plane in St. Louis.

                Can you imagine it? Hundreds of writer’s just like me getting together to worship Jesus, grow in our craft, and fellowship with one another through it all. How cool is that? Already the Lord has done so much work in the area of relationships. I’ll be rooming with two writers I’ve never met, but they seem like great guys. And a bunch of us sci-fi and fantasy writers are planning to get together for dinner.

                On the learning side of things, I can’t wait for Susan May Warren’s workshop on making my storyworld and characters come to life through powerful description. She’s also doing a workshop where she performs a live critique of a Synopsis and first chapter that I plan to attend. Since one of my goals is pitching my story once 2012 starts, I know the lessons learned here will be pivotal for my writing career.

                Then, to top it off, I will be meeting with an editor and an agent for fifteen minutes each. When I signed up for these meetings, I felt insane. I finished my first draft last November and am only about 30% into my first edit. How on earth am I going to talk to a real life industry professional about my work? The beautiful part is that this is all goes back to learning and relationships. I don’t just want an agent or a publisher. I want to build relationships with people for the rest of my life. What better way than to begin meeting with them? From the learning side of things, I’ve already grown so much as I prepare for these meetings.  A One-Sheet?  Is that when your bed only has one sheet and the spouse which is more aggressive doesn’t have to sleep in the cold? Writing credentials? I assume listing “I’m a complete newb” is not exactly impressive. A 30 second elevator pitch? I’m a preacher – We don’t say anything in 30 seconds!

                All-in-all, with my plane flight to St. Louis coming tomorrow morning, the Lord has already done an amazing work in my life just because I’m going. Please pray for me and my family while I’m away from them. I’m excited to be going, but not to be leaving.