Post Conference Overview
Two weeks out from the conference and adrenaline is still pumping from the many new ideas and suggestions packed into one short weekend! A phenomenal key note address by Tosca Lee, five rounds of excellent workshops, and several very informative one to one sessions with conference presenters have all sewn encouraging seeds.
After a few late nights for the necessary post-conference transition (devouring new book purchases), a regular schedule has returned and a specific, prioritized game plan is shaping up nicely.
Three Big Takeaways
Many useful ideas came to light during the conference. Some comments affirmed a current direction and others challenged any comfortable, but outdated, patterns of thinking. In reviewing notes and handouts these three stood out as ways to make a difference right now:
Perfect love casts out fear – sometimes something you already know, heard in a new voice, makes a difference. After sharing several fears that might stop a writer before getting started, Tosca Lee’s advice was to pray before writing – every time. She also said “Get clay on the wheel” – a perfect metaphor to encourage writers to “finish the book”. There is nothing to sell with an unfinished manuscript or unedited reams of poetry.
Don’t be a Christian Spammer – authentic witness matters; walk with, don’t lecture at your reader. Christ is in all we do, let that truth come through naturally. That tidbit was from Alex Marestaing’s session on Writing Beyond the Walls of the Church. He also affirmed to writers that “You are enough.” Know who and Whose you are, and write with a strong voice.
Pick one thing and master it before moving on to the next. This was a consistent message received in all three one to one sessions. Although each industry expert covered a different specialty, somehow the parting words from all of them boiled down to some variation on the same theme: maintain focus.
How the Gift Keeps Giving
Each attendee likely came away with a different top-three list. That’s not surprising considering that each arrived from a different place on his or her writer’s journey. Whether they attended with fear & trepidation or fun anticipation, the experience was a worthy one which planted seeds for a future novel or perhaps entire garden of verse. Maybe something like this?
Conferences are heady times, which toll a knowledge bell
They tuck new writers under wing, their fearfulness to quell
The needs of each attending there are different; each decides
On sessions to illuminate or steady onward guide
Rejuvenating, motivating, making friendships new
For networking, consulting, special mem’ries by the slew
WordSowers-hosted conferences are special in the pack
I’m glad they’re planning next year’s ‘cause I know I’m COMING BACK!
Have you ever been to a conference for your profession? What was the most memorable part of the experience for you? Take a moment right now to leave a comment. Include high points, low points, and all in between. Did you have a favorite take-away? How has it improved your skills? Is it blossoming in you? Tell us all about it – perhaps we’ll learn something new too!