Blogger: Michelle Ule
Filling in for Rachel, Janet and Wendy over the next three days as they attend, and I write about, the Mount Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference.
Why Should You Attend a Writer’s Conference?
Writing can be a lonely profession, vocation or passion.
Attending a writer’s conference has five advantages for a writer:
It can broken down into small pieces: grammar for the writer; how to make your sentences sing; research tips, and so forth
At Mount Hermon I twice took the fiction critique group track where I met with Gayle Roper and half-a-dozen other writers.
Over four days we closely examined each other’s material and learned how to improve it, questions needing answers, suggestions about plot and to develop the necessary thick skin.
I’ve learned how to improve my website, rules for periodicals, what belongs in a children’s book, how agents look at proposals, how to write a proposal, and so forth.
This year’s Mount Hermon includes classes in the following: “Turn Your Written Words into Platform Presentation,” “The Day in the Life of an Agent,” “No Missed Deadlines,” and how to put together a podcast.
Conferences often include workshops on independent publishing, marketing ebooks, how to take care of your physical body and once a discussion of how to make your memoir more saleable.
(Attending a writer’s conference can be a business deduction on your income tax for some writers, as well).
Every keynote speaker has been terrific, reminding me of why I write.
Most made me laugh. Several made me cry.
Robin Jones Gunn changed my writing life.
The speakers I heard were writers and artists who told stories out of their experiences.
They enabled me to recognize my “art” could reach outside of myself into a broader world, where it could help others.
I loved them all.
The solitary writer’s life can be lonely.
Writer’s conferences brought out a panoply of emotions every time I attended one.
I went to dinner one night completely broken, convinced I had no purpose in attending a conference.
I sat at the empty table thinking, “I need help, Lord, to process this.”
When I looked around, I realized I was at a conference filled with Christian writers.
All I needed to do was ask someone for help.
The woman who sat next to me, Ingrid, took my hand and prayed with me.
I left dinner encouraged and with my head up–looking for someone else I could bless the same way.
So often we write alone. We have our stories, our plots, we think we are unique.
We are in some ways, but not in others.
Honest writers will tell us if our stories are unique or not.
They can spark new ideas, new markets, new possibilities if we let them in.
A writer’s conference can open our mind to things we never thought about before–both personally, but also in our writing.
If you allow a writer’s conference to take you wherever you end up, attending with no expectations but open to anything, you can gain all the points above.
And you can always have fun, no matter what happens.
Because the unexpected always surprises you.
Why attend a writer’s conference?
You tell me!
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