balance_scaleThe super-short countdown has begun. Or as my daughter says, two more sleeps until I get on a plane to St. Louis to join 700 other writers, agents, editors, and publishing professional-types at the American Christian Fiction Writer’s conference. I’ve been thinking about, praying, and preparing for this conference for so long that my expectations are running high.

Expectation is an eager anticipation or looking forward to a probable occurrence. While we tend to focus on the giddy emotions like a child waiting for Christmas morning or their first sight of Disneyland, expectation implies a degree of certainty in the outcome. If I expected a red-ribboned new car on the morning of my sixteenth birthday, but my mom and dad both drove beat-up clunkers and we ate a lot of pasta because it was cheap … Not likely to happen so I must adjust my expectations to something reasonable. Expectations can fill us with hope or set us up for disappointment and defeat depending on how realistic they are.

Why the talk about expectations? Because I know better than to believe that I will pitch an idea to an editor and have them whip out a publishing contract for me to sign along with a six-figure check. Reality says I may find someone who is interested enough to request that I send them a proposal with sample chapters later. (And experience has taught me that even if that request is followed by a request for the full manuscript, I could still get a rejection.) But even if I don’t get any requests at all, that does not mean my writing stinks, just that those particular stories did not resonate with that person. (After all, being a Double Genesis Finalist must say something!)

As I prepare for the ACFW conference, I’m keeping my expectations in balance with what is realistic. Therefore, I expect that while in St. Louis I will:

  • Meet lots of interesting people and have fun conversations.
  • Learn something new about the craft or business of writing that I can immediately apply.
  • Have opportunities to tell people (quickly) about what I’m writing and get their feedback or reactions.
  • Have opportunities to serve and encourage other writers with a smile, my words, and my actions.
  • Be tired. Between a hotel-bed, lots of teaching to absorb, nerves about pitches, and all those interesting people talk to, I’ll be short on sleep.
  • Be energized and inspired with fresh ideas and encouragement and motivation to come home and get to work on the next book.
  • Hear from God through the worship times, prayer room, keynote speaker, and other people. That’s one huge advantage to a Christian writers conference and I’m expecting God to provide direction for the next stage of this journey.
  • And there’s a 66% chance I will be giving a thank you speech on Saturday night if one of my books wins.

Wow! I really am expecting a lot from this conference and I can’t wait to share what happened after I have time to process it all. (And get caught up on sleep and laundry!) If you think of me this weekend, please pray for divine opportunities and appointments.

What about you? What are your expectations for this week wherever you are? Are they realistic, optimistic, or pessimistic? Why?

Expectations in the Balance
Tagged on: