Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Conference Crush

For me, it’s that time of year again when life turns crazy and the pace becomes frantic and despite all my best efforts, my progress is going in reverse.

No, it’s not back-to-school time for me. It’s the pre-conference crush.

Near the end of September, I will be attending the American Christian Fiction Writers conference, and I’m into full swing of preparation panic. Proposals to perfect. Documents to back-up. Pitches to practice. One-sheets to prepare. Schedules to plan. People to contact. E-mails to print. Outfits to pick out. Papers, folders, notebooks, pens, pencils, clothing, shoes, accessories, tickets, chocolate (yes, chocolate) to pack.

It raises my heart rate just thinking about it. How am I going to remember everything, much less get it done? I have to sleep sometime!

Having been here before, though, I’ve learned there is only one cure for this conference crush, and it goes completely against grain: I must shut down. Turn off the computer. File the papers. Shelve the books. Take a deep breath. Walk away from everything, physically and mentally.

And remember.

Remember that I have been here before. Remember that it isn’t my job to impress. Remember that God has provided for me in the past and He will do so again in the future.

Ultimately, it all comes down to Him. As a writer, I have been given every advantage to learn this craft of mine, from time to money to education. I even have some talent, I am told. But still the doors of publication remain closed to me. I can’t force them open. Period. Only God can do that.

So why then am I all in a tizzy? My job is to do the best I can with the time given.

What if that’s not good enough yet? Then that’s where I’m at. Why should that bother me? There’s no shame in being an apprentice, and all the striving in the world will not make me one iota better. God alone can make me grow, whether physically or occupationally. My job is to learn what He places before me to the best of my ability—and to learn it again if need be.

So if I don’t have control anyway, why am I wasting all this energy on panic? I am who I am because of the grace of God. I am where I’m at because of the grace of God.

And if that’s not good enough for you, take it up with God: He’s in charge.

Feet on the ground, head in the clouds,
Chawna Schroeder

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