If you write fiction and have never gone to an ACFW conference, you’ve missed a treat. It feels like spending the weekend with 400 of your closest friends. It feels like a fun family reunion.

I’ve been to Christian writing conferences before, but never to anything like this. The emphasis on your relationship with the Lord is paramount. Opportunities for worship and prayer abound. Editors and published writers alike were accessible and encouraging, their humility worn like a pair of old pajamas.

I came home mulling over many things. My writing schedule. My writing goals. My pursuit of craft. My pursuit of the Lord.

I also came home with new friends—real people attached to names I’ve seen on email loops or blogs as well as some that were new altogether.

I didn’t place in the Genesis contest. And you know what? It didn’t ruin my weekend. Although I was disappointed, I wasn’t devastated. It let me know I still have some work to do, still have a goal to shoot for.

I had good appointments and disappointing ones with editors and agents, but those didn’t color my weekend, either. God has really been doing something over the past year and half, because this weekend a rejection of my writing did not feel like a rejection of ME. Nor did an encouraging word send me soaring to unrealistic heights. And that is major improvement. I no longer need success to validate me.

My validation is in Jesus—and it never changes.

6 comments on “Validation

  1. “My validation is in Jesus”

    I love that. Want to say it and mean it myself! I’m getting there. The conference (my first) was awesome and I really appreciated the spiritual side of it. Mary DeMuth’s class and Liz’s talks were so encouraging and good reminders of what it’s really all about. Congrats on making the finals. I’m a suspense writer and hope to enter the Genesis this year. God bless!

  2. Reminds me of the Liz Curtis Higgs talk at Mt Hermon two years ago… where she took out the fly swatter and swatted both sides of the podium…

    neither the good nor the ugly feedback would define her, she’d decided… I think this is a difficult stance to take, but if we don’t then our writing experience becomes a roller coaster ride (and sometimes I’ve definitely been in the front car! 🙂

  3. It was great meeting you! And I’m glad we got some time to chat. I too realized I still have a lot to learn, and that’s okay! I also heard God say I’m right where God wants me and I finally was able to accept it and feel the peace of God all around me.

    Blessings and keep in touch!

  4. Thanks for this encouragement. I wasn’t expecting this weekend to be emotionally draining. But there I was Sunday afternoon and Monday recovering.
    It was lovely meeting you. Thanks for finding me to chat. Little things like that make me feel special. They’re big things to me.

  5. D’Ann,
    Great to have a chance to visit with you briefly at the conference. Your nomination and advancement to this point in the Genesis contest should make you feel good. And I hope that next year you’re not a finalist–because you’re under contract!
    You’re right about validation. It comes from Him, not from anything that anyone else says or does–not the judges, or your crit group, or even editors. The writing is important. As we both know, it produces changes in your own life. If it touches others, that’s just a bonus–and that’s not up to us.
    Stay in touch. See you at Mt Hermon.

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