Last month I headed off to the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. I’ve lost track of how many different writers conferences I have attended over the years, but I will never forget the first one.
Arriving at the conference as a newbie, I felt overwhelmed by all those attending. There were over 300 writers there, all hoping to meet with editors and find publishers for their stories, poetry and devotionals. They all seemed far more experienced than I. In my hand was a draft of my first book, but as I looked around, I trembled. With all these other people writing, I feared there was no room for yet another writer, me.
Over the next days, the staff helped me to gain a new perspective. They pointed out that if God gave each conferee a message to communicate, then He would also see that there was a suitable audience for each person’s work. He was not calling us into competition with each other. This new attitude meant that I could learn skills to hone my craft and not fear that others would crowd me out. In fact, I could enjoy and encourage my fellow writers!
I also learned that even if no one else ever read my manuscript other than God Himself, then I could still feel I had succeeded. After all, if the Sovereign Lord of the entire universe was willing to pause and read my manuscript, that’s a mighty good audience!
Since that first conference, I have seen six of my books in print, not to mention scores of different articles. And now? You’ll find me on staff teaching at the writers conferences. You will see me encouraging budding writers to develop their gifts in order to communicate God’s messages effectively.
Are you a closet writer? Why not consider attending a conference and see where God leads you? I’ll warn you, the fever is catching. It might even go viral!