I just returned from a four-day writing conference, and as usual I came away from it feeling energized and motivated. Perhaps slightly overwhelmed and a bit confused, but definitely inspired. Not to mention exhausted.
At the conference I learned how to write a non-fiction book proposal with Dave Fessenden http://fromconcepttocontract.com/?page_id=2, how to write flash fiction with Ben Wolf of Splickety Publishing Group http://splicketypubgroup.com/, and how to format a book for publication through CreateSpace with Bart Palamaro, founder of http://indieauthorsupport.com/.
But what made this conference stand out was its inspiring message. What set it apart was the fact that it was a Christian writing conference, http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com/. That alone put a totally different spin on the word "inspiration."
We tend to look to different sources for inspiration. For many, the beauty of the natural world captures the imagination:
|The Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania|
For some, it might be a word of encouragement or support from a respected mentor or friend. Witnessing someone else's success can propel us forward. On the other hand, we might be inspired to take action because of someone else's loss. There are as many paths to inspiration as there are people along the way.
Among Christian writers, though, there is one fundamental source of inspiration, and that, in a word, is God--the font of all creativity, the arbiter of all experience, and the giver of all gifts. The writing life for people who identify themselves as Christian writers is centered on faith. It manifests itself in joy, optimism, and surrender.
Make no mistake about it: a Christian writing conference feels different from a secular conference. Instead of meeting up in the bar for drinks at the end of a long day, you gather in the chapel.You feel like a loner unless you join in prayer, raise your voice in song, and lift your gaze to the heavens like everyone else...
...which, personally, took me out of my contemplative, somewhat agnostic comfort zone. Nonetheless, two agents are looking at my book proposal...while I pray to God one of them accepts this project! Seriously.
What inspires you?
How do you inspire others?
Have a great week, even though summer is already slipping away...