Preparing for a writer’s conference is stressful in and of itself, but with less than two weeks left to prepare before last year’s ACFW Conference, a virus on my computer nearly sent my stress level off the charts! Instead of the quiet afternoon I’d planned for polishing up my fiction proposal, I spent much of the day on the phone with a technician trying to clean up my compromised computer.

In moments like this, it’s easy to give into frustration and feel out of control. But there are ways to combat these uninvited delays that can restore one’s sense of peace. When preparing for that long-awaited-for writer’s conference, or any important event, try the following suggestions to downsize stress and get the most out of the experience.

Remember God is in Control. We often fool ourselves into thinking we have it all together, but it doesn’t take long (computer problems, finances, health issues) to realize our lives are dependent on the Lord. When we rely on His strength to see us through, we’ll have peace in knowing we’re in His perfect plan and timing.

Prepare Early. Though my computer glitch spoiled my plans for the day, it didn’t throw me off course. Thankfully, I had given myself extra time to account for such delays. Preparing far in advance provides a bit of leeway for the unexpected. Give yourself plenty of time to organize and prepare. Then you’ll feel much more cool and confident when you slip into the chair opposite your chosen agent or editor.

Pray. Prayer is vital to preparing ourselves spiritually in face of the unnerving task of baring our souls through our writing. When we humble ourselves before God, asking Him to bless our journey, He is certain to respond. And though His plans may differ from our own, if we allow Him, He’ll lead us down the path that is best.

Get plenty of rest. This may sound counter-productive when there is much to be done, but an overworked mind and body lend to stress and distraction. When we take time to relax and get the rest our body craves, we’ll be more alert and ready when the big day arrives.

How about you? Do you have a particular way you take the bite out of the stressful moments in your life? I’d love to hear about it.

Read more of Cynthia’s writing at: Putting on the New Blog. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter


Read how God works in the lives of Cynthia’s characters in her debut novel, UNDER THIS SAME SKY, available in both e-book and print at and Barnes & Noble.