Friday, April 12, 2019

Twenty Discoveries from a Writers’ Conference, Part One




By Marilyn Nutter


I was puzzled. On the drive home from a writers’ conference, I tried to revisit each appointment, conversation, class, and keynote. I asked God to intentionally direct me during the conference, but one class didn’t deliver according to its title. Another went in a direction where the material didn’t apply to me. I had invested time and money. I didn’t want those two experiences to taint my takeaways, but what happened?  

My word for 2019 is “intentional”, so over the next few days, I went through my notes, highlighting key points from classes and keynotes. I sorted through business cards and recalled conversations.
Had I overlooked notes hidden in my scrawl? Was there a repeated thought? A key word? A gem of advice? A Bible verse or theme?

And what about my part? Did I encourage anyone?

So I listed my takeaways, some from conversations, others from classes and keynotes. As we get ready for conferences, perhaps these will be helpful to you.
1.      You will find support and feedback to make your work better when you are in a writers’ group. You will learn from others’ writing, even if it isn’t your genre or style.
2.      Take advantage of online resources: online conferences, courses, and even new ways to research.
3.      Find a writing partner. You may partner in a project, pray together, or exchange writing for critique.
4.      Don’t succumb to the fear of missing out. Attend conferences or workshops that are right for you. This may mean affordability, location, classes, or teachers. Like a buffet, choose what will nourish you. You can’t do everything
5.      Partner with God to find your voice, themes, words, and topics. He called us to write and has a message He wants to send only we can write. He will communicate to me when I ask
6.      Watch your personal schedule and time. Give God your calendar, clock, and phone. Intentionally remove distractions from your schedule. The good can be the enemy of the better or best.

7.      Pray about your appointments at conferences. Who has God appointed for you to speak to? Don’t be disappointed if time slots are filled and you can’t meet with someone. God has an appointment set somewhere for you in the conference or later.
8.      Find a person who understands your frustrations and what it means to be a writer-the delays, discouragement, work, and rejections. And… a person who will appreciate your investment of work and time and celebrate with you.
9.      Read in your genre, but branch out for information, style, encouragement, and enjoyment.
10.  Guard your quiet time with God. It may be early morning, but. perhaps mid-morning or evening is right for you.  I need to position myself to listen so I can hear Him speak.

Marilyn will give you items her final 10 tips in Part Two on Monday’s blog post.
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Marilyn Nutter is a contributor to magazines, on-line sites, and compilations. She is a Bible teacher, speaker for women’s groups, and serves on the women’s ministry team at her church. She lives in Greer, SC. Visit www.marilynnutter.com to find her blog and extraordinary treasures in ordinary and challenging days. Social Media Links: Website: www.marilynnutter.com LinkedIn: Marilyn Nutter Pinterest: Marilyn Marotta Nutter Facebook: Marilyn Marotta Nutter

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