The 2013 Montrose Christian Writers Conference has drawn to a close and I’ve been trying to process the whole event. Now that I’ve attended my first Writers Conference with absolutely no expectations (and totally clueless), I thought I’d do a bit of research on what I should have been expecting. So, like the good senior citizen techie that I am, I just typed into Google – What should I expect at a writers conference? Of course Ms. Google came up with lots of links for me, and as I checked them out I found a very similar theme.
Expect to —
- Be Overwhelmed
- Feel out of place
- Be Energized and Exhausted
- Be disappointed
- Be confused
- Make connections
- Have a good time
In all honesty, had I read these descriptions before I went to this conference, I might very well have stayed home. But since I went with an open (dare I say empty?) mind, let’s just see how I did with these expectation.
- Be Overwhelmed – Oh, yeah, baby. Overwhelmed pretty much just scratches the surface of those first couple of days. And if I check the thesaurus (I learned I should have one handy at all times), you could also say I was agape, aghast, amazed, astonished, bamboozled, beat, bewildered, blown away, bowled over, breathless, buffaloed, confounded, dismayed, dumb, flabbergasted, floored, knocked, licked, nonplused, overcome, overwhelmed, puzzled, shocked, speechless, staggered, startled, stuck, stumped, stunned, surprised, taken aback, thrown and thunderstruck. Very probably in that order.
- Feel out of place – Although I felt incredibly welcomed, I did feel quite out of place. After all, there were all those writers there. It took me a while to be able to say “I write, therefore I am a writer”.
- Be Energized and Exhausted – Yes and Yes. Every day. In every way.
- Learn – Oh, My, Goodness. So much to learn. So little time.
- Be disappointed – Except that there weren’t quite enough chocolate desserts, I can’t think of one thing that I was disappointed with.
- Be confused – Glassy-eyed (thank you, thesaurus) might be a better word. And I think that comes from the overwhelming-ness that was detailed in the first point.
- Make connections -It’s no surprise that networking is crucial in the publishing world (and in the business world in general). And yes, I think I did make some good “professional” connections. The blessing of this conference is that all the connections that I made were “personal” – whether I made those connections with the faculty or the fellow students . The faculty was knowledgeable, experienced, helpful, encouraging, and in most instances, hilarious. And there was a wonderful diversity of conferees – teenagers to octogenarians, seasoned attendees to first timers, published writers to pre-published writers.
- Have a good time -Judging by the laughter and giggles, tears and outstretched arms, hugs and sad good-byes at the conference’s end, everyone had a good time. But it wasn’t only a good time. It was a blessed time, and an anointed time. A good time? Hardly. It was an amazing time!
So now it’s over. We’re all back to real life. For me it’s back to catching up with my emails, wrapping up any SOWER business that needs my attention and getting back to work at Montrose. Not to mention that there might be a bit of laundry and vacuuming staring me in the face. But I’m afraid I’m in trouble. Because I think I’m going to have to get it done. The writing thing. The words within.
Yeah, I’m in trouble now.