When I interviewed Susy Flory, the WCCW conference director, she announced a special registration price available until the end of January. We’ll be spending two full days enjoying general sessions led by two dynamic keynote speakers, over 30 training workshops, personal meetings with editors and agents, free professional critiques, panel discussions, a writing contest, an onsite bookstore, and worship. The high quality faculty and workshops are great reasons to invest in this conference, but I’d like to share five reasons why your attendance benefits others.
There are certain phrases only writers can translate. When we say we’re on deadline or waiting to hear from an agent or an editor, writers know we need prayer and encouragement. When we’re brainstorming ideas for killing a character or growing our platform, writers don’t furrow their brows in confusion or concern. Seasoned writers don’t need to consult a dictionary when we discuss the pros and cons of using multiple POVs or the excitement of constructing great plot twists. (Beginning writers, don’t worry, seasoned writers will teach you our secret language.)
- We can bond with people who encourage us, because they’ve been there.
People who serve in any other non-writing ministry cannot help us with writerly-problems. How can they possibly offer suggestions for creating plot structures or combatting negative voices before submitting projects? By the time we explain the complexity of either process, our frustration will drown out those negative voices. So, I guess I was wrong. They could be helpful. Still, only a writer can minister to us from a place of knowing, of having experienced the emotions, because they’ve been there or are right there with us.
If you’re like me, your writerly quirks surfaced before you or your friends and family realized your personality and creative thinking process would benefit your writing endeavors. When we gather with our writing tribe, we can begin to appreciate how God’s intentional design prepares writers to offer their gifts for His greater plan. We’ll connect with people who understand and can pray with us and for us as we write, even as we battle insecurities, fears, or frustrations.
- We can honor God by being good stewards of the gifts He’s entrusted to us.
All writers will experience times when we’ll doubt our skills, struggle with projects, and even want to quit. But Christian comradery empowers us to be diligent in learning and fearless in sharing our work with other writers and with readers.
As we encourage one another to hone our craft and persevere in faith, we’ll help one another get through the tough moments in our writing journey. We’ll rejoice with one another, as we praise God for using our words to minister to readers. We’ll celebrate the diverse voices of our fellow scribes, honoring God as we create offerings for His Kingdom purpose.
- Though there are many reasons to attend the 2017 WCCW conference, the most important reason is because you are you.
Your God-given voice is valuable in the writing community. Your love-offerings to the Lord make a difference. God has planned to minister to specific readers through the words He gives you to write. We’ve got a lot of work to do, if we’re going to reach the ends of the earth by sharing God’s love and truth through writing in a variety of genres. And the adventure is much more fun when we remember we’re in this together.
Photos taken by Xochitl E. Dixon at the first WCCW conference.