This is my third (and last) installment of my ETBU conference experience. If you missed them and you’re interested, read ETBU, Part I and ETBU, Part II to catch up.
Posting my experience has been good practice for getting me back into blogging mode. I started blogging in 2007 and posted almost every day. It was a habit, and I can say with certainty that bllogging helped my writing as well as my confidence. If you don’t blog–try it, even if you do it secretly.
Now about the conference: The ETBU Christian conference definitely wasn’t the norm when it comes to conferences—at least not like any I’ve attended. I wouldn’t say it was really a “How-To” experience. Hubby called it a “conceptual” conference. I guess it was a combination of the two, but without a doubt, motivational. I came away with my creativity fully charged. That had as much to do with the speakers, their friendliness and encouragement, than what they actually said. No one–absolutely no one in any of the sessions I attended offered a negative word. Believe me when I say that’s unusual.
After my one-on-one with Cecil Murphey, I hurried to Kristen Clark’s session on How to Write & Publish the Inspirational Short Story. As you know, I hate entering a session late or walking out early, so here’s a funny story of my own; maybe it’s an inspirational one. After all, God works in mysterious ways.
Because I missed the first thirty minutes of Kristen’s talk when I met with Cec, I missed her reading a couple of short stories. Hubby was sooooooo glad I wasn’t there. You see, I have the weakest stomach around and Kristen read, in graphic detail, a story about an eating disorder. Yeah, right, you get the picture.
Oh, thank you, Lord, that I missed that reading. If I had met with Cec at ten o’clock on Saturday morning as I was supposed to and been sitting in my front row seat right in front of Kristen … well, use your imagination.
I’m reading Kristen’s book now and enjoying the step by step instruction on writing and submitting. If you have an interest in writing short—especially for Chicken Soup for the Soul—or pulling together compilation books, head on over to Amazon and grab How To Write & Publish The Inspirational Short Story. It’s a good, informative read. Also, visit Kristen’s website.
My fifth session was called Failure: A Necessary Step Toward Success by Cecil Murphey. Okay, who in their right mind wants to attend a session on Failure. We can do that without any instruction, right? Wrong! We need to learn how to fail—pay our dues—and make it work for us. This was one of the most inspirational and creative sessions I’ve EVER attended. Every step we take toward publication is a learning experience, and that including failing. There are actually people (writers) out there who fear failure so much that they never submit anything. Looking back on my writing career, I can see where I’ve sabotaged myself just because I think I might fail. Cec made me realize I need to view failure as another stepping stone to publication–not a nail in my writing coffin.
My last hour of the conference was with James Pence, author of Blindsight, Unseen and Mercy Killer, and the NF book Terror by Night. James’ topic was called 21st Century Publishing: A Word of Exciting (and Confusing) Opportunities. In a nutshell, James advised all of us to take a hard look at where we are in our writing careers, make note of all options then determine the BEST option for us.
Books James recommends: A.P.E. (Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur – by Guy Kawasaki
The Fine Print of Self-Publishing by Mark Levine
The Rise of the Machines by Kristen Lamb
If you’ve never been to writers’ conference, you’re missing out. Doesn’t matter if you attend a big one or a small one, just do it. You’ll come home refreshed, challenged and ready to write.