“Career Speed Dating”

imagesI’d seen it on TV. Stressful and almost silly as people jumped from potential date to date, wondering if someone would choose them and find a match. And as I watched it, I was so glad that I’m happily married and would never have to do that!

But then, there I was at ACFW, and it felt like speed dating. Butterflies. Nerves on edge. Sweaty palms. Wondering if I’d find a match. It just didn’t make sense.

I had been in the editor’s seat, taking author appointments, for years. Dozens of them. As an editor, I had worked so hard to put each potential author at ease with a smile and a dish of candies. I’d chatted with them and encouraged them in their writing journey. I’d given gentle and kind guidance (never crit!) and tried to help them along the way. I was kind, sweet, friendly, courteous. And it was exhausting to take appointment after appointment and talk, discern, counsel, and gently say ‘no’ to some.

But now I was that author waiting with a dozen others to “pitch” my story to an editor, and I was nervous as a little kitten. Would they laugh? Would they reject me…I mean, my story?

I went to my first appointment and found a welcoming and smiling face. The editor quickly put me at ease with a laugh and a chat before my “pitch”. She was affirming, interested, and encouraging, and I walked away pumped.

My second appointment found a wilted and weary soul who did her best to explain her publishing house and why my project was not a fit. And I was fine with that. I left the meeting and prayed for her—for strength and for wisdom. I knew how she felt.

At my third appointment, I felt like I had found a kindred spirit. Charlene was jovial, generous, and gracious. She was excited about my project, even counseling me to “hurry up and finish it!” Yes, Ma’am! I’m right on it.

So my “career speed dating” wasn’t as difficult as I had thought it would be. In fact, it was fun!

When have you found yourself unnecessarily nervous and why? I’d love to know!



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