Re:Write Conference Retrospective

bekah Writing 2 Comments

Can I just say, Wow! I mean, W-O-W!

Attending Re:Write was the most incredible conference experience!

I really hadn’t known what to expect. Walking into an ocean of 150+ new faces – writers {young and old}, publishers, agents, every person with their own unique story- it was all so overwhelming and deer-in-the-headlights-ish. Solid, yet simple reminders of how to persevere in the uphill mental battle of writing.

Absolutely there were authors wisdom, publishing tips, social media stats, and how the ever-changing “American Dream” is impacting readers. Encouragement to build our platform, know our audience, bless our readers- it was drinking from a dozen fire hoses at every turn.

To Austin I’d traveled to be a sponge, still and soaky. But what I took away was inward focus and valuable perspective.

I didn’t go to become something, but I returned confident I am someone, and that my voice matters.

Thank you for praying, for believing and cheering me forward. I need that. We all need that. Comfort blanketed as I stepped into the scared knowing there was a team of people waving a banner and ushering me into a dream. Thank you to amazing parents who helped us financially and savored time with our boys because they believe in being a part of this journey. Humble gulps – I swallowed them every minute of the weekend. Gratitude praise is what flows out now.

Sitting down to put words to processed thoughts, these perspectives followed me home from Austin…

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I am a writer. It’s what God has called me to do. I knew three years ago, after one specific night of writing, when the adrenaline kicked and something alive came out.  It’s my act of worship. It’s my art of obedience. And surrounded by 150+ other writers in Austin, the doubts stilled and I discovered my joy! Whether I blog for eternity or write 23 books, as Mark Batterson said, “Let’s live for the applause of nail-scarred hands.” This truth applies to any calling, any job. Whatever you do, do it for Jesus, because He is the one that placed the desire in you. He is the one that ultimately receives glory when you are thriving in your giftings. I knew this before flying mid-country, but now I know it. It’s the truth I’ll return to whenever I doubt, or roll my eyes at this dream, or compare my talent to successful authors.

Fear gets the best of us, doesn’t it? We wonder if we’ll ever arrive, if we’ll ever become something. Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks this.

“We are all just people. I am just like you. We are kids playing in the sandbox.” You know who said this? New York Times bestselling author, Ted Dekker. “The journey is the destination itself. There is no when I get there.” If anyone has gotten there, I would think it’s an author who’s written over 35 books, who’s sold millions and millions. Yet, his vulnerable side shined as he admitted every time he sits down to write, it’s the first time he’s written that book. Fear can be a good thing when driven by humility, dangerous when we think we can do this because we have before.

Do you ever look at people whom you believe have arrived and feel behind? Is it a parent who is further down the path, their kids now in school, and they have time for themselves? Is it someone advanced in a career you long to pursue? Maybe it’s so-and-so’s party-planning skills, or a list of friends you desire.

Well let me assure you of this truth, even as I say it over and over inside- You are exactly where you should be. You are not behind. You are not ahead. It can be hard to accept, but it’s true. I have my journey, and you have yours. Perhaps I needed to get out of Huntington Beach, fly to Texas, talk candidly with others about their writing adventures, to fully grasp that it’s not a matter of arriving or becoming because I’m already that person. It’s savoring the journey!

Emily Freeman, author of Grace for the Good Girl and her newest, A Million Little Ways {which you should buy like right this very second} offered beautifully sincere words. Her wisdom? Create a safe circle of people who encourage and cheer you on, the ones who point you to Truth when discouraging voices scream lies and thicken reality. Emily gave the analogy of throwing a dinner party; there are those who RSVP yes and those who RSVP no. What if the night of the party arrives, and you fling open the door for your friends that came to celebrate. But then, you ask them to wait in the other room, while you go in the kitchen and call every person who RSVP’d no and ask them whey they can’t make it, and then spend the next twenty minutes worrying about why they aren’t there! Can you imagine?  

Truth spoken.

Truth heard.

Pursuing dreams and obeying God’s lead takes tremendous courage- don’t let the no peeps steal your joy! May I encourage you to find your safe circle who say yes? Call on them in times of discouragement. Appreciate them for laughing with you. Ask them to pray and put life into perspective when your ground feels shaky and quick-sandish. Community that stands through thick and thin is more precious than riches, I’m convinced!

My people were swarming this weekend- new friends that are experiencing grace in suffering, finding strength in sharing their story, discovering what their story is. I see their faces as I write. Hannah. Jackie. Carrie. Ruth. They are brave and noble and  are capturing the art that comes alive inside when they write. They have different audiences and across-the-board platforms. But we share one commonality- we all start at the same place, at the beginning, on our individual journey.

Where are you in your journey? Emily encouraged me to build one brick at a time. And so I’ll tell you the same. Take one picture, paint one picture, utter one prayer for patience one day at a time. You won’t ever arrive. But you’ll find freedom in the journey.

And mine just happens to be writing.

Comments 2

  1. I love what you said…”Fear can be a good thing when driven by humility.”

    And you asked, “Do you ever look at people whom you believe have arrived and feel behind? Is it a parent who is further down the path?”
    I have to tell you that right before I read this post I was reading another blog post on another blog about mothering. And that familiar feeling of inadequacy because I’m not a mom yet started to creep its way in. It’s a battle I’ve been fighting for 4 years. But knowing that my story and experiences have just as much value is the reminder to squash that thought. And knowing God has me where I am for a reason. That is comfort I know in my spirit.

    Thanks for writing this. I’m so blessed to have met you!! 🙂

    1. Post
      Author

      Hannah, your story and experiences are shaping you into exactly who God wants you to be now, and in the future. We can remind one another of that truth when we get sidetracked by the lies that we’re behind. I know you are breathing God’s glory daily, right where you are. 🙂

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