Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Confidence to Take That Step by Angela Arndt

It's time! Time to begin preparations for the writers' conferences you'll attend this year. What? You mean you're not planning to go to any this year?  Why not?
Isaiah 26:3

Have you ever read an award-winning book and wished the author could tell you his or her secrets? Well, that's exactly what writers conferences are all about: improving your craft. (I've even heard one author say that she was training her competition.) Most workshops and continuing courses feature best-selling authors and top-notch instruction. 
And it doesn't stop on the last day. Some even offer the lectures on CDs or thumb drives for purchase, so you hear the ones you missed or listen again to your favorites. If you're a serious writer, it's best to attend a conference every year.

Most conferences have editors from all the publishing houses along with literary agents who can help you navigate through the high seas of publication. Christian conferences usually have organizational committees that pray over every part, from choosing a top-notch hotel to making appointment assignments. And then there are God-appointments -- those "coincidental" meetings where you "just happen" to meet the agent or editor who is the perfect fit for you. Whatever happens, I'm always blessed when I come home, whether I've gotten a request for a full (writer-speak for an agent or editor who has requested that you send in your full manuscript -- the writing equivalent of striking gold) or a handful of business cards with the contact details of all my new friends. It's so more than just a conference.

But perhaps, money isn't the real issue. With me, there was another, bigger one in play: I didn't have the confidence to go.

How's a little ol' unpublished country girl who lives out in the sticks supposed to act in a teaming mass of 2,000+ published writers? Most attendees are multi-pubbed and my favorite authors are sure to be there too, well, you can see why I needed a cram course in confidence. (And the strength not to go all fan-girl on them.) 

Before my last conference, my marvelous mentor, Beth Vogt, suggested I should do a Bible study to see what God says about confidence, even learn how should I think and carry myself among all those authors. Want to hear a secret? I still need to re-read those posts as I prepare for other conferences and contests, too.

One of my favorite verses in that study was Isaiah 26:3. It's so great because it reminds me to keep my mind on Him, not on myself. No scurrying about, trying to get everything together, making lists in my head of everything I still have to do, snapping at my poor hubby because I'm so stressed. The turbulence that caused my hands to shake and my stomach to rumble finally went away when I focused (my One Word for 2017) on Him, instead of myself. Meditating on that verse filled me with His perfect peace.

Now that's confidence.

How do you calm yourself when you're preparing to stretch out of your comfort zone? How do you keep your mind on God? Share in the comments section, I need all the help I can get!

About the Author
Angela Arndt
Angela Arndt writes women’s fiction with a thread of romance. She loves to tell stories of strong, independent women in difficult situations, set in small Southern towns. Her biggest hope is that she will encourage others to overcome their “back roads” and find their own joy in the Lord.

She and her husband, Charles, live on a bee farm in the middle of a big wood with their three furbabies: Beau, Harley, and Buddy the Wonder Dog.

Read more thoughts from Angie at her blog, Joy on the Back Roads
Connect with Angela at her website, on Twitter, and Facebook.


  1. Angie: Do you know I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to quotes about confidence? That "confidence" was my One Word for an entire year? And that Isaiah 26:3 is one of my anchor verses? Loved this blog post! Love you much, too!

    1. That is so cool! Love your Pinterest board of Confidence quotes. (Love ALL your Pinterest boards!)

      Thank you so much for encouraging me to do a study on this word. I really think that's what made most of the difference in my career. Love you much, back! :)

  2. By the way, here's Beth's Confidence board, if you'd like to be inspired, too!

  3. Whenever I am stretching out of my comfort zone, I try to remember to pray and ask God to calm me. I ask Him to give me the peace only He can provide. This past week, I had a situation where anxiety/stress came over me and I paused and asked God for help. My prayer was answered and His peace gave me courage. :-)

    1. That's awesome, Melissa! Sometimes the simplest thing - like stopping for a moment to breathe and pray - can make all the difference.

  4. Oh I love that, Melissa! Yes, His peace and courage will give you confidence like nothing else can. Thank you so much for sharing that with us! :)

  5. Angie, I love this post. I need to look at the confidence board. I feel overwhelmed in the conference crowd. Kind of like I don't fit in here!

    Will you be at ACFW?

    1. Oh, sweetie, you fit it here! And believe me, I know what you mean! I ... am planning to try. (That's pretty ambiguous, right?) Finances are a huge issue, so that why I have to start planning now.

      Just like everyone else.

      But if I can make it, we'll get together, right?

    2. I'll be there and hoping you will too!


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