Monday, August 22, 2011

5 Character Traits to Take to a Conference. Wait! Take These through Life...

When I attended the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference last weekend, God surprised me with some lessons on life. Whether you're a writer or not, you may find these 5 tidbits helpful.

1. Loving people is more important than making myself known.

God gave me several opportunities to choose between pushing myself forward and putting others first. I hope I passed the tests. He didn’t need to see what was in my heart, but I needed to grow in trusting Him to open doors for me, not forcing them open by my own schemes.

2. Everyone has a different take. We need to listen to the Lord for His direction, not be overly awed by other’s opinions.

One editor said, “This is so good, it needs to be in a big publishing house. We are small and not taking new non-fiction this year. I’m going to pray a large house picks it up.” Another editor said, “You need to find a small house, or self-publish your first book, and then when the sales on that are good, look for a larger house to publish the subsequent books.”

3. People do stupid, rude things to get noticed.

Shove in line ahead of another author in order to talk to an agent; interrupt a presenter to tout your book; wear gaudy clothes to draw attention to yourself. You can do all these things, but it won’t impress anyone. You’re only fooling yourself if you think this is the stuff that breeds success.

4. Truly great people, no matter how famous, are approachable and humble.

Cecil Murphy and Kathi Macias are two examples of legends in the Christian writing world. Yet both of them were gracious and kind, taking time to help and advise those of us not as far along on the journey as they. Reminded me of Jesus.

Words on a page are powerful, whether they’re in a book or on a conference schedule. 5.

When you print “Coffee and fellowship” in the 2:30-2:50 time slot and the coffee is missing, I feel betrayed. Mad, in fact! At least explain why the coffee is missing…

I know others give advice on attending writers conferences on everything from how to pitch your book to how not to dress. I thought I’d share some musings from my heart regarding character. Not just for a conference, but for life.
With Love,


  1. So true! From "love people" to the "coffee" thing...

  2. Great advice and you are so right about Cec Murphey! One of the most "like Jesus" people I have ever been with. Sounds like a good conference. Will try to get together soon. Blessings Clella

  3. These are great musings, Jeanette. I know what you mean about rude attendees, though. It always amazes me what a wide range of personalities choose to write and the lengths some will go to to get noticed.

    And, yes, I agree, if coffee is posted, it better be there, or a huge apology in the least!

  4. I love your points! I was waiting for my agent appt. last year and a lady came out of her appt. with another agent so excited. I was trying hard to focus and was worried I'd get thrown, but then I let that go and realized it was way more fun to encourage her and celebrate w/ her than to roll around in my nervousness.

    I feel like we are constantly tested to look outside ourselves.
    ~ Wendy

  5. #1 Grabbed me right off the bat! I'm hoping to attend some conferences next year, so these are good to know. I didn't realize writers had a certain dress code, but I should've known. I have a lot to learn, and not a lot of time to learn it.

  6. I loved this list, Jeanette! Especially #1&2. I sometimes long for the approval of man too much. This is such a good reminder for me.

    And that cat picture is too funny.


  7. Good stuff, Jeanette! I'm so interested in these glimpses into the greater writing world. How hard is THAT, to go from one extreme to the other?? It breeds constant dependence on the Lord to stay even keel and not to let the ups and downs throw you in either direction.

    I'm watching you, you know, to see how it's done. :)


  8. These are great lessons. A conference must be a difficult place to wait for the Lord to promote you.

    The item about big and small publishers: In October Sky, the movie about Homer Hickam who became an astronaut, the boys subnmitted their project locally and got little reaction. They were able to go bigger and the big science people recognized their talent and they won. I guess I'd say you could try to go big. It couldn't hurt.

  9. Number one is my favorite. So true to all of them. How are you? Any updates to share??? :O)

  10. Rhonda: Oh dear, there are savvier people to watch than moi!

    Diane: I sent two of the updated proposals to my agent last week; the other two should go out this week... no news yet. Thanks for asking!


  11. Jeanette:
    Thanks for the reminders. We all should be happy for the success of others, whether we write or not.

  12. It sounds like you met some interesting characters.
    Great post, Jeanette.


  13. Great points! I'd like to think that for every opportunity we put others first His favor on us opens not only A door but doors.

    Ney,I'd be ticked at the 'no coffee show' too!

  14. Hi Jen -

    I connected immediately with Kathi Macias. What a sweetie!

    I'm glad I was able to share the conference experience with you.

    Susan :)

  15. Great tidbits, and yes, for life too! Thanks for sharing this. It reminds me that God is in control of all of our writing.

  16. God would have been testing my patience when expecting coffee and there was none! I love how God puts us in positions to learn how not to push ourselves ahead, but to wait on Him. Enjoyed this post very much, J.

  17. Great list, Jeanette! I'll be arming myself with these truths when I go to ACFW next month. :)


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