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Georgiana Daniels’s Secret to Conquering Conference Nerves

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

With only a handful of days left until conference, the wigglies are already buzzing in my tummy as I anticipate the good times to come at the ACFW conference. You see, last year was my first conference experience and despite all the talk on the loop and with friends, I had no idea what to really expect. Would everyone but me know the secret handshake? Would I have a flashing sign on my forehead to alert everyone I was a newbie? Would I grace every hosted meal with all the vivaciousness of a table decoration? There was only one thing that could make this self-confessed introvert overcome her fears and face the conference—okay, maybe two: the possibility of making that “magic” connection with an industry professional, and meeting my online friends in real life.

I’m happy to report that I came away from Dallas with much more to the conference experience than I could ever have expected, which makes this year’s reasons for attending even more profound. If you ask writers why they carve the time out of their lives and the money out of their budget to go to conference, the responses are as varied as the writers themselves. Some say to network and get the scoop on market news, while for others the number one reason is to be with like-minded people who hear voices in their heads. Of course the worship time is sweet, and the chance to learn from the best in the business is invaluable to everyone serious about pursuing their dream. For me it boils down to this:

Total immersion.

Every piece of every day at conference immersed me into the wonderful—and sometimes warped—world of the writer, even if it was kicking back in the lounge sipping Diet Coke and soaking in the atmosphere. In my daily life I fight for writing time, and some days are more successful than others. Between laundry and cooking (or trying, in my case), playing chauffeur and running to baby gymnastics, focusing solely on my passion isn’t a possibility. And let’s face it, we can all relate! But at conference I don’t have to stop in the middle of a market update to change a diaper; I have the full pleasure of focus.

Last year I came home with a folder full of ideas and the inspiration to implement them. While not every new method or suggestion worked for me, some did, and I learned about my own writing process through the experience and advice of those who’ve already been at my point in the journey. Because writing can be solitary, the encouragement I received from others gave me the kind of boost I’d be hard-pressed to find any other way.

This year I intend squeeze each experience for the maximum benefit and enjoyment. I want to make smart adjustments to my writing and be more secure in what I feel called to do. Most of all, I want to feed off the energy of hundreds of writers gathered together for this common purpose: to glorify God through the written word.

Georgiana Daniels is the wife of a super-generous husband, and the mother of a teen and two tots. After graduating with a degree in public relations, she spent several years in the business world, but now has the privilege of staying home and working on the stories she loves. Table for One is her first book. When not writing, she spends her time burning up miles on the treadmill, blogging, and participating in ACFW and RWA.

  1. Wednesday, August 13, 2008 12:56 am

    Jeez, Georgiana, even I know the secret handshake.

    What exactly is this “baby gymnastics”? I’m kind of hoping that either “baby” means “4 or 5 year old” or that “gymnastics” means “naptime.”


  2. Wednesday, August 13, 2008 8:35 am

    If only gymnastics meant naptime! Baby means a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old, and gymnastics means…well, gymnastics 🙂 Thankfully my youngest is graduating to the pre-school class, which means that from now on I’ll be watching instead of participating.

    Kaye, thank you for having me on today:)


  3. Wednesday, August 13, 2008 10:09 am

    Oh, this series is hard to read knowing I have to miss the conference. Our sweet dog died in July, but not before his care and comfort cost us $2000. The companionship he gave us for thirteen years was well worth it, though. *s* I hope you all have a wonderfully blessed time together next month. I’ll be with you in spirit (and biting my nails waiting to hear about the Genesis contest results!).


  4. Wednesday, August 13, 2008 1:18 pm

    G- great article! I agree with you about the restorative, regenerative, and otherwise revitalizing aspects of total immersion into a world of writing and writers. I sure wasn’t ready to come up for air at the end of last year’s conference.

    I can’t believe it is just over a month away. I’d better get busy!


  5. Wednesday, August 13, 2008 3:55 pm

    You’re so right about coming up for air. It was like being in a giant writers bubble.

    Sorry you won’t be with us this year Lori!


  6. Wednesday, August 13, 2008 6:24 pm

    Total Immersion. I like that. That is my main focus of conference too. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward just of 4 days to focus on my writing!


  7. Thursday, August 14, 2008 12:46 am

    Hey, you forgot to mention one of the best things about conference was meeting me! 🙂 I can’t believe last year I was counting down the days and this year, I almost forgot to book my airline ticket! :0


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