It’s been a while since I’ve been to a writers’ conference, and this is one of the best in the country. I’m going as a student with a missionary friend from Chile. We can’t wait to dump our stuff in a room and head for class. The instructors are all terrific, several friends I’ve known over the years, and most have written more books than I have ever dreamed of writing in my lifetime. I plan to have notebook and pen poised to glean the jewels they will be giving to us. Frankly, I can be by myself in my office for so long, there’s a risk of becoming myopic. I can become so focused on what I want to do with a story that I might be putting God in the back seat when He belongs in the driver’s seat.
At Mount Hermon there will be lots of soul searching. There will be evening sessions taught by someone I highly respect (Robin Jones Gunn) who will undoubtedly challenge me to go deeper and trust in the Lord more, with tips on how.
There are teaching tracts, but I’ll probably be going to various classes rather than sticking with one course. There is a whole list I’d like to attend, but will have to buy CDs because I can’t be in two places at one time. Whichever class I’m in, I’ll sit in the back. I always sit in the back. I pay close attention to the instructor, but I also like to see the entire class (or congregation), and the subtle interactions going on.
Meal times will be fun. First of all, I won’t have to cook! Yippee!! Another bonus is each table with have an instructor as host, which gives everyone sitting at the table a chance to get to know them and ask questions. We’ll all be polite and give them enough time to eat as well. It will be wonderful to sit down family style and talk writing, the writer’s life, writer’s angst, writer block, write, write on.
Being around other writers energizes me. A couple hundred men and women with the same calling at the same conference, learning, mingling, talking and (some) working. I have trouble doing that. Just as I’m not able to be in two places at once, my mind doesn’t manage work and retreat very well. It is one or the other. For me, retreat means focused time with the Lord, time with old and new friends, time to evaluate what I’m doing and why, time to enjoy the beauty of the grounds.
Does anyone wonder why I started packing last week?