|Some special writers at the conference (Photo by Christina L.)|
Meeting people makes me sick. It's not that I hate people; I love friends! But meeting new people, even just thinking about becoming acquainted with strangers, gives me butterflies in the stomach. I mumble and tumble through sentences, ask strangely-worded questions, and try to keep my heart from racing.
So what was I thinking when I decided to go to a writer's conference?
Thanks be to God, He has taught me at least one thing in my lifetime; trying to impress people is just another way of being prideful. The nervousness abates more quickly when I focus on the other person. I made a conscious decision to become an extrovert (even if an awkward one) for the few days of the conference.
I did not have to try hard to make friends. Within the first few hours, I was quickly absorbed into a cult called "Teen Track." Ok, just kidding, it wasn't a cult. It was a series of classes led by author Bryan Davis.
Ahem. I said, I got to learn about writing from Bryan Davis. Hello! His Dragons In Our Midst series ranks in my top ten most influencial books for my writing (and my life, which -- for me -- goes hand-in-hand with writing). It was an insanely special privilage for me to be under Mr. Davis's teaching.
|The Teen Track (photo by Deliegha S.)|
Apparently, Mr. Davis has been leading the Teen Track at this particular conference for quite a few years (somewhere in the double digits, I heard). Many teens and young adults have returned to his classes year after year. It was encouraging to see how God is using Mr. Davis to mold a new generation of top-notch writers who are after a standard of excellence and holiness. I certainly learned a lot!
The citizens of the kingdom of Teen Track are all amazing young people. Spending time with them felt like how I imagine the Inklings felt; having fun, safe in an enviroment of writers with the same goals. It was, simply, a group of friends who freely accepted others -- balm to an introvert's soul.
Outside of the Teen Track, I found an equally interesting assortment of writers; some not much older than I, one in her eighties! The group was not very large, but each person I met had a unique story. It was so much fun to sit beside, eat with, worship with, and yes, even meet so many people with similar interests.
But crawling out of my comfort cocoon and temporarily transforming into a social butterfly was
not the reason I went to the writer's conference. I went as part of my game plan (see the post from September 1st). I am happy to report that this step of the plan was a success. I made important connections, learned valuable lessons, and gathered helpful tools. On top of that, it was a blast! If you are a writer and you ever have the opportunity to go to a conference, do it. It's worth all the nervous butterflies in your stomach.
|Everybody together (photo by Christina L.)|
Post Tenebras Lux!