This month hundreds of writers are gearing up for the ACFW national conference; polishing pitches, one-sheets, and manuscripts. Anxiously awaiting appointments with agents and editors. For many authors, preparing for the conference has been an all-year event, finishing those manuscripts, hoping this is the year they will sign with an agent or if already agented, sign a contract with a publishing house.
However, this post is not for those who have paid their tuition fees, reserved a hotel room, and booked a flight. This post is for those who, for one reason or another, cannot attend. For those whose dreams have been dashed, perhaps not for the first time. For those who might be wondering if God really did call them to write fiction.
Family crises, both last year and at present, have nixed my plans to attend the conference. Yet I believe God still has my writing career in the palm of His hand and that ultimately, no attack of the Enemy shall prevail.
While the conference door is temporarily closed, God has led me to online writing courses that have significantly improved my fiction-craft skills. This, too, might be an option for you.
We rejoice with those who are able to attend the conference, and pray that industry doors will open for you. To those who are discouraged because they can’t go, stand firm in your faith. God will not let you down. Continue to work on your manuscript as though you will be attending the conference. God can bless cold queries and grant you favor with agents and editors you’ve never met. After all, our God “is able to do superabundantly, far over and above all we dare ask or think, infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams. To Him be the glory.” (Eph. 3:20, The Amplified Bible: Zondervan Bible Publishers)
The apostle Paul was called to Rome and shipwrecked en route; a serious attempt by the Enemy to derail God’s plans for Paul. God is faithful. When He calls us to a task, He will provide a way to get the job done. Part of the lesson learned through delayed fulfillment is perseverance. Just how hard are we willing to work at mastery of craft, even when a sold manuscript seems impossible? Do we view the delay as a chance to hone the weak areas in our writing so our manuscripts will shine? So that we’ll enter the industry as more polished writers, more able to cope with the time constraints of a multiple-book contract, able to make our next novel better than the last one?
I hope you are a writer who picks her/himself up from the ground, dusts off, and climbs back into the ring to fight the good fight: faithfulness to whatever calling our Lord Jesus Christ has placed on your life.
May this verse the Lord gave me encourage you, too. “I will cry to God Most High, who performs on my behalf and rewards me—who brings to pass His purposes for me and surely completes them.” (Psalm 57:2, The Amplified Bible: Zondervan Bible Publishers)
How has God been teaching you to deal with delayed dreams? I'd love to hear from you.