Monday, August 16, 2010
Anxiety and the ACFW Conference
Anxiety is building. I’m going to the ACFW Conference next month. Carl’s going with me to hold my hand, so that will help. Lots to stress over. For one, we’ll be flying and I have to figure out how to pack. I haven’t flown in a long time and I know lots of things have changed. Also I have an eighty-seven-year-old mother I help take care of, so I do have a concern about the plane crashing.
And there’s lots of scary things lurking at the conference—things called editors and agents. Even published writers scare me. Even unpublished writers. And there’s lots of things I have to remember—one sheets, business cards, elevator pitches, how to speak a coherent sentence.
And while working on my one-sheet, I discovered I wasn’t finished with my book. Now I have even more pressure because I wanted to be completely finished with the book before I went to the conference.
And I’m an “older” first-time attendee. Surely, most first-timers will be much younger than me.
Stressed-out? Kind of. But someone said something and it made me stop and think. She said, “Use this as an opportunity to bless others.” I’ve been making this all about me, me, me and it needs to be all about God.
What is the motivation for my writing? I truly think, because God is a creative God and he created us in his image, that drive to create is inherent in all of us. I know some say they’re not creative. Not true. Almost everyone creates every single day. If you dress your child in certain clothes, you are creating! If you change up a recipe because you love cayenne pepper, you’re creating! If you wear makeup, you’re creating! If you style your hair, you’re creating! If you were not creative, you would wear the clothes someone else chose for you, you would cook and eat the same food every day, etc., etc. Some people choose not to use their creativity (hiding their “talents” in the ground!), but that does not mean they’re not creative.
Okay, so let’s see. God gave me this drive to create. Therefore, I should do his will and create. It’s not about me—it’s to please him. He will give me the strength to use my creativity in the way he wants me to. I have to do the footwork. (Or should I say the gluteus maximus work—behind in chair and write!) If I do, he will bless me. And God put us here to serve others. I should approach my writing by bowing to his will. This means to use my writing in such a way that it will help others.
In the case of going to the conference, I can be friendly and supportive to others—even to the scary agents and editors. I can prepare myself to the best of my ability. But if I fall on my face, if I drip food all over my clothes, if my slippery, Teflon-coated sieve of a brain spews out the wrong words—that will be okay. Perhaps that will mean my work is not quite ready. Nothing to stress over because God will be in control.
As he always is!