Inspiration for Writers

Sticking to the Plan

Jeanette Hanscome
Jeanette Hanscome

Happy Monday from Jeanette. I’m finally getting caught up after the Mount Hermon Writers Conference. This year I didn’t come home nearly as exhausted as I have in the past. Knowing that I could not afford to return to my family completely wiped out, I made up my mind to pace myself. And this time I actually did it.

Instead of making appointments with every editor that came to mind, I waited for my pre-submitted book proposals to come back and met with the one who said, “I like this. Let’s talk.”

Instead of trying to flag down every magazine editor to get updates on their current needs, I attended a panel discussion with ALL the magazine editors and took good notes.

And when my friends mentioned all the appointments they had scheduled, instead of giving into the mean voices in my head, demanding that I needed to do the same if I expected to get anywhere in the publishing business, I reminded myself of the things I’d determined to focus on:
1) Learning
2) Serving (through the First Timers’ Buddy System)
3) Getting refreshed
4) Staying open to what God’s plan

As a result, I had time to:
• Have new author photos taken (thanks Mary!)
• Take a walk with a friend then sit for an hour catching up
• Be more available to first-timers
• Attend prayer and praise times
• Hear some new things from God
• Unwind after a stressful few weeks leading up to the conference

On top of that:
• I went into my one appointment confident that God had orchestrated it—that it wasn’t a door that I tried to force open.
• I had less “low points” during the conference. Okay, I did cry once, but that had to do with life stuff, not conference-related discouragement or disappointment.
• I was more relaxed, enjoying each conversation, opportunity to learn, and surprise from God.
• The post-conference let down was much less intense.
• I went home eager to dive into new ideas and opportunities and actually had the energy to get started.

This reminded me how beneficial it is to make a plan and stick to it, especially at writers’ conferences. What have you learned from similar experiences?