Posted by Ben Erlichman on September 30, 2010
It’s been two weeks since my father and I left for the ACFW conference in Indianapolis. We’ve since returned to the grinding cogs of everyday life, yet now more excited about my writing career than ever before. That’s because some good things–some GREAT things happened at the conference.
Our flight to Indy got canceled an hour before take-off. The airline provided us with alternate transportation to Indy via a limousine bus service. We spent the next 6 hours riding to Indy–not exactly what I had in mind.
But we made it. In our hotel room, I checked my email. My inbox showed a message from my agent, Les Stobbe. He’d forwarded a reply from a publisher we’d contacted, one with whom I would have LOVED to work. The message was a rejection of my proposal for The Dreamer.
Fortunately, I knew the pub rep who sent the email would be at the conference. I intended to talk to this person about it when I had the chance.
At the conference, I managed to intersect with some key people, including the rep from the publisher who’d just rejected my work, who explained why my book didn’t fit what they were looking for. His concerns were not unreasonable (and neither was he). At the end of our conversation, he did offer to stay in touch and welcomed future submissions from me. That was nice.
Remember my last post, how I said I had three goals for the conference? Part of the reason I said the conference went GREAT was because I fulfilled all three of those goals and THEN some. Here they are again:
Goal #1: I want to convince at least one publisher to request a proposal for my first novel, a compelling action/adventure story.
Goal #2: I want to kindle a growing interest in my second novel, a historical action/adventure Western, among editors.
Goal #3: I want to kindle a growing interest in me as an up-and-coming author, specifically by reigniting connections from last year’s conference.
I accomplished all of those things, praise the Lord. The end results were as follows:
- I was asked to submit proposals to Guideposts, WaterBrook-Multnomah, Marcher Lord Press, and B&H Fiction for The Dreamer (which more than met Goal #1).
- I was asked to submit proposals to WaterBrook-Multnomah and B&H Fiction for Unlucky, my western novel (which more than met Goal #2).
- I reinforced relationships with published authors, literary agents, and editors who I met at last year’s conference in Denver, and I also made valuable new connections and friendships (which, in conjunction with meeting with the pub rep who rejected the work but still wants to stay in touch, meets Goal #3).
There’s a lot more to talk about, but I also learned that I should try to keep my blog posts to a certain word count, so for the time being, let me end with an encouragement to you.
You can do whatever you want with your life. If you have the drive, then you have the capacity. And if it just so happens that God also wants it for you, then you’re really set because He’ll handle all the God-sized work. I’m just a nobody from Mequon, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee, but now I’m at the start of an adventure I’d never imagined I would take until just two years ago.
I believe it’s because God has a plan and a purpose for my life. I believe I’m walking His path (or at least trying to), and as a result, doors are starting to open with my writing career. It’s truly a miracle. God can do the same thing for you. I’ll close with this, something I tell lots of people.
Figure out what you love to do, then find a way to use it for God’s Kingdom.
God will give the increase.
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