How Not to Prepare for a Writers Conference

van load .free. jackmac34 pixabaySome of the most embarrassing moments of my life came as we followed our pastor through airports on our mission trip, carrying and dragging our bags of dumb, unnecessary stuff. Pastor Jon clipped along with his rolling carry-on containing an extra pair of shoes, a change of clothes, his Bible, a jacket, and his shaving kit.

He even had room to spare in that one small bag so he could take a gift home for his wife.

Our luggage consisted of the maximum number of pieces and poundage allowed on a plane, including a large container of hot cocoa powder mix, extra bedding, and far more clothing than I needed.

And our luggage had to be lugged. None of it had wheels. It was crazy!

I learned my lesson

I comforted myself with the promise to give a bunch of our things away before our return flight. Surely I could find someone in India with a hankering for Swiss Miss.

Getting ready for a conference

We packed too much for India because I trusted some questionable advice and didn’t do my homework. Now I plan for trips more carefully.

The most important things on my list for my next conference:

  • Stay on course. I committed myself once again to keeping my focus on following Jesus. Silly me, I’ve been worried about what I hoped to gain instead of doing his will! Instead, I’ll pursue knowing and trusting him, preparing thoughtfully, and working hard to learn all I can.
  • Give and receive. I bring home a treasure chest full of valuable relationships and insights when I follow the “love your neighbor as yourself” rule. I try to stretch the bounds of my comfort level every day by starting conversations with strangers and looking for ways to be helpful. It always pays off.
  • Don’t forget to love your closest neighbor as yourself. It’s not easy on the husband I leave behind. Sure, he may say he’s happy with chili dogs for dinner every night, but it keeps the sparks sparking if I find creative ways to love him during the time I’m gone. For me, this has to be set up before I leave – or it won’t get done!

For the Oregon Christian Writers summer conference this year, I’m taking the essentials and one quirky item, my little box fan. It helps me sleep, and getting good sleep helps me take better notes. It also gives me clearer thinking for the editor, agent, and mentor appointments I  plan to sign up for.

I’m certain I won’t need to take extra bedding.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

By Kathy Sheldon Davis

Kathy Sheldon Davis, contributing author of the books "Jesus Talked to Me Today" and "Seeking His Presence," and a finalist for the Oregon Christian Writers Cascade award, lives with her husband, Jerry, in Junction City, Oregon. Kathy enjoys mentoring and editing for other writers, making strangers into friends, and celebrating holidays with her extended family. She has also written for Warner Press since 2016 and posts devotions on her blog at .


  1. Did you know you can make editor, agent, and/or mentor appointments without having submitted anything? It’s true! It’ll be great to see you at the conference, morethanlegs!

  2. Great post. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone… I am in the process of deciding what I am supposed to be working on. Miss the deadline for the manuscript submission so I have any appointments this year.

  3. Great post. I travel heavy, too – a maximum baggage person. Because of food allergies, I bring my own cooler packed with organic goodies when I travel. I’m excited to see you at the upcoming OCW conference, Kathy. God’s blessings as you meet with your editor, agent, and mentor. Go go go!

  4. This is really great. Could have used this when I went to Israel…Life would have been much easier. Missing everyone this summer..

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