On August 2nd over one hundred fifty authors, aspiring (pre-published) authors, editors, agents and other industry professionals converged at beautiful Taylor University in Upland, Indiana for a two-day blast of instruction, fellowship and fun.
Linda Taylor, conference director, and her staff did a phenomenal job of booking inspirational speakers, talented and knowledgeable presenters and agents looking to discover the next big name in publishing, or at least a story that would sell. Angela Hunt and Bill Myers keynoted the event with messages designed to encourage not only professional growth, but also personal development and a closer connection to the One whose words we aspire to convey.
This was my third conference overall, and the second time I’d attended this particular one. It felt so different to walk into the registration area with an idea of what I’d find rather than the fear and trepidation I’d carried last year. I met many friends and colleagues including fellow members of the Indiana chapter of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). To find out more about the Indiana group, email questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org And my friend Allison, who I met at Taylor last year.
So, you might be asking, what did I learn. I learned tons about the nuts and bolts of writing. Things like: how to add tension in a story, how to make dialog dynamic and move the story along, how to get deeper into a character’s point-of-view (POV). I also learned about promotion and ways to connect with an audience and potential readers. A friend and I challenged ourselves to create a newsletter, so all you faithful blog followers and readers can look for more info to be coming out on that front soon.
Probably the most important thing I learned while at the conference is that for my message to be rooted in Christ, I must first be rooted and abiding in Him. If I want the message He gives me to get out, I must first hear his message. That means I must be still and listen. I must be quiet and wait. I must be a consumer of the Word. It must be written on my heart. My love for Christ must exceed my love for my writing and the words. And, I must communicate with Him through prayer.
Once I am enlarged by the Holy Spirit living inside me, nurtured and rooted in Jesus and his love and sacrifice, I must be willing to say, “Yes!” to God. That doesn’t mean “yes” when it suits me. Or “yes” when he sends me in the direction I wanted to go. But “yes” regardless of the plan. “Yes” no matter the direction. That is a hard lesson. I want what I want. But if I am truly a daughter of the King, then I will learn to want what He wants for me. His presence in my life will be enough and my surrender will result in more than I could have ever dreamed.
I believe that God is taking me on a journey into the world of publishing, but if that turns out not to be the case, He is enough. I will abide in Him and be fulfilled.
Thank you for joining me on this journey. Hold on, because it’s gonna be a WILD RIDE!