Thursday, August 25, 2016

ACFW or Bust? Busted! by Terri Weldon


I’m not at the 2016 ACFW Conference. Oh, I made the decision early in the year not to attend. Still as my friends were preparing for the conference I found myself wishing I was attending. So I decided to remind myself why I didn’t go this year.

Limited vacation days. My employer is generous with vacation days. Still there is a limit and I made a conscious decision to spend those days traveling with family this year. We’ve gone on three trips so far and I’ve loved every minute. Definitely the right choice. 

Nothing to pitch. Appointments are a big part of the allure of ACFW for me. Frankly this year I didn’t feel like I had a manuscript ready to pitch. I could have made an agent appointment but I didn’t feel up to pitching myself. Besides, even if I had, with nothing viable to send the agent I didn’t see the point. Wow! That sounds dreary. Don’t worry, I’m not sitting around in the doldrums. I have plans to edit two manuscripts. And yes, I could have pitched them. I didn’t want to. I promised myself I wouldn’t pitch anything that needed revisions. I wanted to be able to come home and hit send if I had a request to see my work. Truth be told, I want to be in the position of sending it from the conference itself. That’s my goal for next year. 

I’ve been to Nashville before and conference is there again in just two years. Totally selfish reasoning, but conference is expensive and if I’m going to be honest I’ll admit that played a part.

Did I make a wise choice? Yes and no. Of the three reasons I listed, spending vacation with my family is the only one I’d hang my hat on again. Even without appointments ACFW is exciting. There are some great workshops where I could have learned a ton. Two friends of mine have been nominated for the Carol. One of them for the first time and I won’t be there with her. That makes me sad. One of my Seriously Write sisters is at ACFW and I’m missing the chance to spend face to face time with her. Countless friends who I rarely get to see are attending and I’m missing the opportunity to be with them. To check out which cute shoes they brought. To find out if one of them bought those pink pumps she wanted or not. 

As far as seeing Nashville again – well I can’t even explain why I thought that was a good reason. Nashville’s a fun city and there is more than enough to see to warrant multiple trips. I will let you in on a secret, in 2018 there is a wonderful mall VERY close to the hotel. I can’t wait to visit it again. 

Bottom line, I’m planning on attending next year. What about you? Are you making plans to attend ACFW or another conference next year? I hope you’ll let me know and let me know what you’re looking forward to the most.

Terri Weldon is a lead analyst by day and an author by night. She enjoys gardening, reading, and shopping for shoes. One of her favorite pastimes is volunteering as the librarian at her church. It allows her to shop for books and spend someone else’s money! Plus, she has the great joy of introducing people to Christian fiction. She lives with her family in Oklahoma. Terri has two adorable Westies – Crosby and Nolly Grace. Terri is a member of ACFW and OCFW, a local chapter of ACFW. Her dream of becoming a published novelist came true in November 2013 when Mistletoe Magic, released from White Rose Publishing.
Readers can connect with Terri:Website: www.TerriWeldon.com or Blog: Seriously Write

14 comments:

  1. Hi Terri,

    I had intented to go this year - mainly because I've always wanted to see Nashville, but also because it's this week which is before school starts. ACFW almost never happens during my summer break.

    Alas, we had a series of expensive surgeries and treatments for our dog this past year and that ate my discretionary funds.

    Do I mind missing it? At the moment, absolutely. Come Sunday when everyone is heading to the airport, I'll hug my dog and know it was worth the sacrifice.

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    1. Cate - you made the right choice! Your furry family is important and so dependent on their human mom to take care of them.

      Please give your dog a hug from me and my two Westies.

      I much prefer this timeframe and wish ACFW would consider keeping it.

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  2. Wonderful post Terri! Placing your family first is never a mistake but be sure you take time for your own goals next year. Conference sounds like a fun, rewarding experience. Blessings!

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    1. Thanks! I'm hoping to be able to do both next year, but family comes first.

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  3. I'm not there either, Terri! It's downright painful. LOL But our grandson is due any second and we are in Phoenix waiting for our daughter to go into labor. But wow, do I miss everyone!

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    1. Colleen - it is painful! I have to fight to keep from texting my friends nonstop. LOL.But your daughter needs you right now and I know you can't wait to hold that baby. Hopefully next year we will both be there.

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  4. I'm not there, either, for some of the same reasons, and I have to keep giving myself pep talks to keep from being a big sad baby about it, so this was a good read today. Lol. I hate missing it, and I'll definitely be there next year! Let's go together. :-)

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    1. Susan - I'm the same way! We can be sad together. Texas is definitely closer for us, so let's make plans to go.

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  5. I understand,Terri! I've been to ACFW conferences over the years, and even though I would have loved to see friends face-to-face, I stayed home this year too. Three trips back to the Midwest for family-related visits - very important - and money put into getting two books released didn't make it possible this year. But I'm glad I've made the choices I've made ... and maybe I'll make the journey to a conference in the future.

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    1. Dawn, I would love it if all five of us Seriously Write gals could attend the same year. We would have such fun!

      You made wise choices. Family and two books, which have gorgeous covers!

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  6. Hullo, Terri, we'll have to look for each other next year! I've not been to ACFW conference yet and am anxious to be able to attend. This year was not that year for me. I have my third release next month and am swamped with getting final edits and details wrapped up. Oh, and I do a month-long blog blitz that I need to get to!!
    Here's to next year!!

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  7. Robin - definitely let's make plans to meet up. Sounds fun! You've got a whirlwind going on. Congratulations on your third release!

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  8. I didn't make it this year either. �� Seeing kids off to school, and expensive basement issues prevented me. Praying I can attend next year. ��

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    1. Colleen, hope those basement issue are a thing of the past? Looking forward to seeing you next year.

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