Decompressing After A Writer’s Conference: Connection [Part 3]

16 04 2009

Part 1 (Blogging to Writing) | Part 2 (Story) | Part 3 (Connection)

What I pay for at a writer’s conference: Good food (5 days without doing dishes), Amazing speakers (the time to sit still and listen), and knowledge I could never get elsewhere.

What I don’t pay for at a writer’s conference (but still got anyway): connection, community and unbelievable friendships.

Nowhere else would I be able to find people with the same passion, the same belief foundation and the ability to make me feel as included and loved as I did. This year at Mount Hermon I both renewed relationships that I begun last year and made new ones.

Writers need writer friends. We can be lonely souls so knowing others who love the same craft is invaluable. Writers also need communities for both encouragement and critique. We simply need each other.

And nowhere else than a writer’s conference would I be drinking coffee with literary agents, eating meals with editors of major publishing houses and laughing at 11:30 at night with other writers from all over the country.

What sets something like this apart from something else is that we share passion. It isn’t like we are all in town because of a shared hobby. Golfing, knitting and fishing aside, writing for us is who we are. It is what we do. It helps define us.

And being in community with other people like this is worth every penny.

Sarah Markley blogs at sarahmarkley.com. She is the wife of Chad and the mother to two little girls and is convinced that she is living in the BEST DAYS of her life thus far. She runs, she writes and she works for her husband’s business, usually for free.





Decompressing After a Writer’s Conference: Story [Part 2]

13 04 2009

Part 1 (Blogging to Writing) | Part 2 (Story) | Part 3 (Connection)

My genre is memoir. So at Mount Hermon this year, I decided to take the non-fiction morning workshop track.

I ended up getting stuck in room full of writers working on eschatology books, how-to’s teaching high school from a Christian worldview, and guides to working through the aftermath of divorce.  Not what I had in mind.

I just barely fit into the category of non-fiction because even though memoir is technically non-fiction, it should be written more with fiction elements in mind.  Story arc, climax, resolution, character development – all of these are almost as important as anything else.

Story.  On the first day of class, our instructor, Kay Marshall Strom, author of over 20 books, told us that my story is not the story.  My story is only an illustration of a universal truth.

Whatever story I am going to tell is not only a part of the monumental story of humanity, but it is just a vehicle for truths that God wants to tell through me.

Among other things, Kay writes about international issues in the Sudan, India and Indonesia.  She inspired me.  She makes me want to be a part of the community who is saying something.

My truths?  Hope.  Redemption.  Restoration.  My story?  You’ll have to wait for the book.

Sarah Markley blogs at sarahmarkley.com. She is the wife of Chad and the mother to two little girls and is convinced that she is living in the BEST DAYS of her life thus far. She runs, she writes and she works for her husband’s business, usually for free.





Pen to Paper…

19 02 2009

or, fingers to keys.

for those of you who are writers, you know how laborious writing can be. depending on the content too, it can be especially draining.

wednesdays have become my writing day. and i realized today, i need to bathe it in A LOT more prayer. i wasn’t ready spiritually, physically or mentally for this endeavor. i grew more and more frustrated. i became frazzled for lack of direction and my mind locked up.

it didn’t discourage me though, it propelled me. it caused me to want to work that much harder to get past those hurdles. you’ve heard it before…”plan your work and work your plan”. i came in unprepared wednesday. it wasn’t methodical on my part at all. of course…it will be now, now that i know what not to do 😉

so i just want to encourage all of you..don’t. give. up! if you have an unproductive effort…that’s ok! you still gave it effort. if you don’t feel like putting in any effort at all – don’t beat yourself up over it. just pop back in over here and let us, your cheerleaders, rally around you.

we all have so much to offer. there are so many dreams, gifts, talents and strengths represented here in this community. BIG things will be the result. lets stick together and push on….

tam