Sunday, September 30, 2012

2012 ACFW Conference: Reflections

ACFW Conference: Reflections

The truth of the matter, I hadn't experienced many positive aspects in the publishing industry since becoming a self-pub author over a year ago. It almost felt like I encountered more negative aspects of publishing, than positive ones. Mentally overcoming the negatives became as routine as waking up in the morning. That's partially the reason I started my blog; to try to spread a more positive spin on the publishing process that can sometimes be difficult to find on the Internet. 
Although the self-pub world is growing at a rapid rate, it still has that stigma that screams, you're not one of them! "Them" meaning you're not an "author" in the true, traditional, and historic sense of the word. At the other end of the spectrum, I was convinced there were too many negative aspects with traditional publishing (or so I was told and made to believe by many in the self-pub world). My mind had already been influenced to believe that traditional publishers were nothing more than a closed-knit community filled with greedy, out-of-touch, and non-caring people. However, this is not at all what I experienced or witnessed at the ACFW conference. I was completely overwhelmed and amazed by the nurturing, kind-hearted, Spirit filled people that I met. I saw an industry that DID care about their authors, AND the industry as a whole (even the self-pub segment of the industry). Yes, I'm sure there are bad apples out there, as is true in any profession. But the ACFW conference really changed my mindset about Traditional Publishing.
I had the misconception that a traditional publisher was comparable to the likes of Darth Vadar in the Star Wars movies.  Originally I felt all alone in this industry. I had already somewhat distanced myself from the self-pub community as the negative tone of many authors was too much for me to handle. And I was influenced to believe that traditional publishing was not the best option. But after attending the ACFW conference, I definitely had a change of heart! And thank God for it! I know that it was only the Lord that lead me to the ACFW conference. The conference has forever changed my mindset on traditional publishing and its affiliates. I admit I had anxiety about attending and debated whether I should go. I believed they wouldn't accept me into their world. I was wrong! They not only embraced me, they "adopted" me and made me feel like I was one of them. And not just at the conference, but made me feel like I had been one of "them" all along!!  I left the conference with such a renewed spirit. Full of hope and possibilities about my future in the publishing industry. I continued to thank the Lord for allowing me to see and witness another side that I had neither known, been told, or experienced.
Yes, when the enemy comes, the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). I am convinced the enemy never wanted me to know about the positive side of traditional publishing. The enemy tried to keep me in the dark. But I thank my Heavenly Father I serve a Master that has conquered the enemy, and all the darkness that comes with him!  
I look forward to returning to the ACFW Conference again and again!! I look forward to returning to a conference, and a community of people, where I felt a sense of belonging, a sense of purpose, who were on fire for God, and had hope and expectation for endless possibilities!
God Bless,
T Denise Clary