There’s something special about family reunions. You see people you haven’t seen in years. You connect on a level of shared genetics, lines in a family tree, shared memories and traditions.
Attending the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference is much like a family reunion for me. I have been actively involved in the Christian fiction publishing world for 6.5 years. In that time period, I’ve made so many amazing and wonderful friends who are my brothers and sisters in Christ — they’re part of my family.
Every year, I go to the conference and reconnect. I hug necks, I kiss cheeks, I sit and share coffees and meals, I teach, I learn, I encourage, I am encouraged. I find corners and talk for hours with authors I haven’t seen in three or four years.
It is a homecoming, a family reunion, with shared mission statements, disappointments, memories. These are my people – people who understand how my brain works, who get the struggles of juggling the roles of wife and mother with a full-time writing career, and people who know what it’s like to get that letter from a reader that affirms that words that you wrote affected someone’s spiritual walk in a positive way.
Most of the time, conferences exhaust me, and the idea of going exhausts me. I’m an introvert through and through. I don’t want to “people”. I want to stay in my little, contained world and control my outside interaction through the computer. But when it comes to ACFW, I get exhausted from interaction, sure, but I also get energized with the experience of being around so many people just like me, who like me and respect me and the business I’ve built.
It’s like a dichotomy: my husband was explaining it to someone
ACFW people are my family and I’m absolutely beyond blessed to call them that.