Two weeks ago I found out I received an Alpha Xi Delta Foundation grant that will allow me to attend a writing retreat this summer. I’m also a scholarship winner for the American Christian Fiction Writers Association conference later this year. Basically 90% of my expenses will be covered so that I can attend these events. While I initially cheered and danced when I found out, a new feeling has settled over my desk – responsibility.
Two organizations reviewed my applications and decided that I am, in fact, in need of financial assistance, but they also decided that I am worth their investment. They believe their money will be well spent by helping me attend these functions. I don’t want to disappoint them.
In the past I saved my money and rejoiced in the ability to go to a conference. At that time, attending was the reward. Now, however, I don’t have to worry about getting one more editing gig to put gas in my car. I’m not looking for a cheaper hotel room or one more roommate to help bring down the cost. Time previously spent on cost-cutting techniques and bargain hunting is now available, but it’s not free. These organizations are investing in me, so I need to do the same.
I’m accomplishing more on my novel manuscript than I ever thought possible. Without worrying about if or how I can attend a conference, I’m able to put all of my efforts into what I bring to the conference. This time it’s not about simply getting there. It’s about bringing my best: crafting and presenting the greatest manuscript I’m capable of composing. That has always been my goal, but the constraints of life and finances haven’t always made it possible to achieve my goal prior to conference time. This year’s different, and I have the Alpha Xi Delta Foundation and ACFW to thank for that. I won’t let you down.