Monday, November 03, 2014

What to Tell Real Life after a Writers Conference

This past weekend I attended the two-day, 2014 Indiana Faith and Writing Conference.* Now it’s Monday and Real Life has raised its hand. 

I’ve learned my new doctor is on indefinite medical leave. I still need a flu shot, tomorrow is Election Day, and I have an Operation Christmas Child shoebox to fill on time. Oh yes, I also have client work to do and some slight upcoming birthday blues on the near horizon to address, a subset of Real Life when you are not a fan of the number of candles on the cake.  

In other words, Real Life steps in and says, “Writing? For yourself? Yeah, sure. You don’t even have time to process what you learned at that conference. You have too many other things to think about and deal with and . . . well, get real.” 

Sounds like the line in the sand has been drawn. But I don’t want to fight. I just want to make a few things clear.

Dear Real Life:

You are indeed important, and you are indeed allowed to raise your hand and insist on attention. You will not be ignored! Still, here is what you need to understand: Writing is important enough to carve out time for it. So back off a little, will you? 

Your friend, 

Writer Person

Okay, it’s not that easy. And you don’t need “3 Ways to Carve Out Time for Writing” from me because you can Google “time to write” and come up with ideas galore. And you are either inspired to write or you are not. My intent here is simply to encourage you. Because most important of everything I got out of that writers conference was encouragement. And I don’t want Real Life to take that away from anyone who wants to writea place, by the way, where faith, too, can be lived.

Writers, when you attended a conference, what was your most important take-away?

*The workshops were good (especially about writing dialogue, led by Linda Glaz); the plenary speakers were great (oh my word, Philip Gulley!); and I feel inspired to return to writing fiction (thanks, Katie Ganshert). Blogger Nate Pyle is someone you should watch in the publishing world, someone for whom authenticity is not merely a word to throw around. (One more time: #IFWC2014.)

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