Sunday, September 23, 2012

For Those of Us (Writers) Left Behind... Indiana, I mean.

For whatever reason, I'm sure many of you reading this are like me and could not make it to the ACFW National conference this year. Finances, your "day" job, or family matters might have prevented you from attending or changed your plans to attend. But, fear not! Next year the conference is back in Indy!

So, what can you do for next year to increase your chances of attending:
  1. Start planning now.
  2. Pray that God will open the opportunity or adjust your circumstances so that you will be able to attend.
  3. Start saving now. Pinch every penny so that you can take advantage of all the opportunities.
  4. Start networking to find a buddy to stay with during the conference.
  5. Make a commitment to yourself to have your manuscript ready.
  6. Read our Hoosier Ink newsletters, the ACFW Journals (the national magazine), the local and national Yahoo groups, and visit to read about the experiences of others.
  7. Network with those that did attend so that you can be more informed about what decisions you need to make regarding courses, editors, etc.
  8. If possible, purchase the 2012 conference recordings. If you were not there in person, you can still "attend" this way.
I was one who was all set to attend this year, but work prevented me from attending; therefore, I decided to focus my efforts on making next year a reality. The ACFW National conference can be one of the most important experiences in your writing life. Having only attended one so far, it made a huge difference in my writing life.

See you next year!

Darren Kehrer


  1. YEP, I'm one of the "left behind"! And while I'm enjoying the FB photos of some of the more fortunate ones attending, I do wish they'd post a few "what I learned today" comments also. Great blog, Darren! The year will speed by quickly. . . :-)

  2. I am hoping to get some experiences to put in the newsetter....Earth calling Rick, Earth calling Rick. Come in Rick :)

  3. Darren, you make good points. I'll say more later, but for now let me underscore preparing for next year by repeating good advice that Chip MacGregor recently suggested: Set a personal goal of adding 1,000 words per day to your manuscript. Depending on your font, this is only about 4-5 double-spaced pages per day. Not 10 pages. Not 20 pages, just 1000 words. The gauntlet has been thrown down. I'm picking it up.

    Sure, many days you won't be in the mood (aka, "inspired"), and your 1,000 words may sound like trash even to you. But trash can be revised and polished later. A blank file can't be.

  4. First, let me respond to Rick's challenge. WOW! I had set a goal of doing half that. Should I step it up?

    Next, to Darren's column, and especially the idea of finding a buddy to stay with. One thing about next year's conference: my buddy can be my wife, and I can leave the porch light on at my house to give the impression I'm staying at Motel 6!


  5. I think the point is to set a goal and stay with it. If 500 is consistently doable, but 1000 is high enough to cause you to miss more than do, than 500 is better, then bump it up a bit at a time.

    Good points, Darren. I'm working toward the goal.

  6. Mary,

    Thanks for your encouragement, and yes, 500 is more doable for me than 1,000. Thanks.