I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Friday, August 12, 2011

Do you have your crayons? Making a List for the ACFW Conference

Every morning before I walk out the door my husband asks me, “Do you have your crayons? Your paste? Your lunch money?” It’s his comical way to prompt me to mentally go through my checklist before going to work. (The man knows me too well.)

I’m a list maker. I need lists because otherwise, I forget. I also love the satisfaction it gives me to make a scratch through a completed item. It also gives me self-assurance that I have everything I need. This is especially true when packing for a trip. (Although my hubby will be the first to admit when he picks up my suitcase that my list is a bit too long!)

I have my To Do list, my Shopping list, my Honey-Do list (that one I keep to myself and from time to time make subtle suggestions from it-LOL). I also have my travel list. I list out my clothes, my computer stuff, writing supplies, or anything else I think I may need to take with me.

So now with the ACFW Conference within sight . . . you’ve got it – I have an ACFW list. It’s in the preliminary stages, so I’m going to ask you for help!

  • Conference, Flight, and Hotel reservations (Done! Yeah! I can cross that off my list!)
  • MBT Pizza Party reservations (Yep! That’s off my list – how about yours?)
  • Dancing Shoes (A must for the Pizza Party!)

Okay, I’m being silly, but here are a few more things:

  • Your pitch – write it and practice it.
  • Business cards – take a bunch. They’re great for passing out your information so you can connect with others after the conference. You can pay to have them done, or you can make your own. I put my pitch on the back – that way it’s always with me.
  • One sheet – even if you aren’t seeing an editor or agent, these are a great way to share your story. They can be simple or elaborate, it’s up to you.
  • A list of editors and agents you’d like to target outside your appointments. You can find many opportunities outside the usual meetings, but please be discrete. They need some down time too.
  • Authors? Do you have a favorite one? Ones? (Outside of our all-time favorites of Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck!) Believe me conferences are a great way to network. In fact, that is probably the greatest advantage about going there. I know I can’t wait to see my Ponderer friends again!

I could go on, the list is endless. You know . . . comfortable shoes, a sweater for air-conditioned rooms, etc. Now you see why my husband groans when he hoists my suitcase into the truck of the car!

So now it’s your turn, what other things do you recommend? Who knows, I just may add it to my ACFW list! But then again, I may want to save room for the books I buy!

Jennie Atkins


  1. Jennie, I love your story of lists. I, too, am a list-maker. And my husband also gets a work out when we travel together. :)

    Although I don't get to come to ACFW this year, I'm thrilled for you! One thing I would add to my list is a teachable heart and spirit. I can only imagine all the wonderful things you are going to learn and experience! I hope it's greater than you expect it to be. :)

  2. Jennie, I love that Darrel asks you about your crayons. You two are so sweet.

    A couple things I add to my list are thank you cards to dash a note to someone who has encouraged me during the conference. That way, it's one less thing I need to remember to do when I get back home.

    To go along with Jeanne's suggestion of a teachable spirit, I suggest a bucket of grace. Feelings get wounded at conferences, but grace seems to be the balm to those wounds.

  3. Thanks, Jennie for a reminder that I've got to start preparing for ACFW! I'm a list maker, too and I love making those little check marks that mean I've taken care of something!

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  5. Sorry, I deleted my last comment, Jennie, because I'm on my work computer and realized I was signed in as someone else...:) So, awesome post! I'll be referring back to your list as I prepare for ACFW. Can't wait!!

  6. Jeanne,
    You are so right! And wow! It doesn't weigh anything and doesn't take up any extra space! (My husband would love that!)

  7. Lisa,
    I never thought of taking thank you cards - and I should! It never fails that when I get back home and things settle down, I don't remember everything I wanted to do. Gee, maybe that's an idea for another list!

  8. Pat,
    I get such satisfaction out of marking something off my list. I must be crazy!

  9. Melissa,
    I can't wait to see you at ACFW!

  10. You mean we have to (gulp) pack? Oh my. And here I was concentrating on my words. I hate to pack almost as much as I hate to shop. I'm in BIGGGG trouble!

  11. Fun but also helpful, Jennie. Appreciate this window into your world & have to confess I am beginning to think about what to throw (er, place) in the suitcase.
    Thanks & blessings!