Since it’s Labor Day, I’m going to take a break from my normal devotional message to share with you about a conference that got me writing devotionals like I do. I don’t get a kickback or anything from this conference for telling you about it. I was simply blown away by attending and want to share with you the difference it made in me.
I can’t believe it has been several months since I attended the inaugural Re:Write Conference. I had never been to a writer’s conference so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The truth is, I paid the money for the conference just so I could have a chance to meet Mark Batterson. I had heard of a couple of the other speakers, but wasn’t familiar with many of them. I had only one goal in mind by attending: meet Mark. That being said, I was totally unprepared for what would happen at the conference and in turn, I was blown away.
What was supposed to be a trip to meet one person and pick up a few skills to better my writing turned out to be a spiritual journey beyond my imagination as well. The speakers who attended the conference didn’t get up and give us formulas for success. They poured out their hearts into our lives instead. They shared their heartbeat of why they write, their insights into having a relationship with God and how to be satisfied with how God uses you wherever you are. Where I expected clinics, I got wisdom. Where I expected reclusive authors, I got to sit by them and have personal conversations.
What conference can you go to that has people like Paul Young author of The Shack (20,000,000 copies sold), George Barna the authority on church statistics, Ken Blanchard who wrote the book on business leadership, Peter Strople who is the most connected man in the world and so many more authors who won’t go hide in a green room, but will sit at a table with you while you learn? These authors were the opposite of reclusive. They sat at our tables during the conference and at breakfast. When I was at the airport leaving, I ran into Jim Henson. He initiated a conversation. Later I walked past Paul Young. He called out to me, came over, gave me a hug and said goodbye.
This conference instilled in me the importance of relationships in the writing community. None of us have all the answers or the market cornered. It is through relationships that we build our platforms. We are not competitors against each other fighting for readers. We are co-workers in the Kingdom trying to spread His message, not ours. I got to meet other bloggers, published authors, speakers and other incredible people from all walks of life and levels in writing at this conference who still keep in touch and offer practical advice.
The relationships, the information and the spiritual growth that I came away with from that conference are invaluable. This year, the conference is going to be in Austin, Texas on October 18-20. The list of authors headlining this event is second to none. We’re talking Mark Batterson, Ted Dekker, Lisa TerKuerst, George Barna, Crystal Paine, Carlos Whittaker, David Kinnaman, Mary DeMuth, Peter Strople, Chad Allen, Emily Freeman and Jim Henderson. If you are looking to grow spiritually and improve your writing ability, this is the conference for you. I encourage you to check out their website here for information. You can also follow them on Twitter here for info, highlights and even discounts. It’s a small investment compared to the eternal changes you will experience. I hope to see you there!