Where I Never Expected to Be
I am catching up after teaching at the West Coast Christian Writers Conference. On Friday morning, I taught “Getting the Most out of Your First Writers Conference”; on Saturday, I presented “Secrets to a Successful Writing Career.” Both included stories from my 22+-year writing journey. How is it possible that I have been writing for over 22 years when I’m only 27?
The truth is I was a few weeks away from my 28th birthday when I attended my first writers conference in 1995. I was the mother of a four-year-old who taught preschool and knew deep down that I stunk at it. I’d read that the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference was the premiere conference for authors but had no idea what that meant other than it must be good. I didn’t know anyone; I’d never been to Mount Hermon, and other than having one story accepted by a magazine and what I’d read in Writer’s Digest, I knew nothing about the publishing industry. It took two decades for it to sink in what a gutsy move that was for a woman who couldn’t read signs or name tags. As I told my students on Friday, I basically leapt head first into the deep end without knowing how to swim. And I survived, just like those kids whose parents defined “swimming lessons” as “just throw her into the pool and wait for the will to live to kick in.”
At that first conference, all I really hoped for was that I’d have someone to eat lunch with, I wouldn’t say anything stupid, and that the Critique Team member who read my story would like it. I never expected to one day be on faculty, or to be asked to teach specific workshops because “You’ve been doing this for so long”!I basically leapt head first into the deep end without knowing how to swim. Click To Tweet
This picture from the faculty dinner, and the memory of standing on stage to introduce my Saturday workshop with New York Times Bestselling authors and respected members of the Christian publishing world still stirred indescribable gratitude. I’ve served on faculty at conferences before, but something about this one felt special.
Now it’s time to plan for my next conference workshop—a full Major Morning Track at Mount Hermon, where I am also leading the First-Timers Orientation.
All of this reminds me that when we are willing to step out in bravery and faith, God has the opportunity to do all kinds of cool and unexpected things! It is especially exciting when our expectations start out small and He surpasses them almost immediately. (The Critique Team member mentioned above not only liked my story she encouraged me to show it to an editor.) Retracing His goodness can inspire us to keep diving into the deep end, maybe even off the high dive next time!
I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”