Today we welcome Paula Mowery as she shares her insights into writing conferences in general, and specifically the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference.
From May 22nd through the 26th, I attended the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. This conference is held at Ridgecrest, a Lifeway Conference Center, nestled in the mountains at Black Mountain. The beautiful scenery alone is enough to inspire praise to the Creator.
This year was my third invitation to be on the faculty. As I told many who asked me about the conference, I would go just for the worship times and keynote speakers. The fellowship with other Christian brothers and sisters who are writers and being able to teach and meet with writers is just icing for me.
Living in a small town, I haven’t located many Christian writers near me. When the conference rolls around, I have the opportunity to be with other people who “get” me. Also these people understand the urge I have to share a message through my stories and devotionals. They understand that this call I have to write isn’t just to produce an entertaining story but to communicate and glorify God.
I was honored to be seated next to a sweet sister in Christ while we met with various conference attendees. In between appointments the two of us got acquainted. During one of those breaks this dear lady spoke some godly wisdom to me. She prefaced saying she felt led to tell me something.
She began to challenge me in that maybe God would have me reach higher and further with my writing. At first I sat with my mouth agape as her message penetrated my heart.
She was right. I had become too comfortable with my writing. As far as those looking at me, I had put out three books since last September. I appeared to be doing my “thing.” But in all honesty, God wanted to challenge me to go deeper with Him and then for that to translate into my writing. He was urging me to not settle on a safe lower limb but to climb higher, no matter the risk.
So why attend a writing conference? In that atmosphere I was poised to receive this lesson and prodding. I was away from the responsibility of the other roles I fill in my life. I could focus my lens on my writing life, and not have other things distract me.
While other attendees came away from the conference with a new understanding of how to craft a story, using point of view correctly, or how to write a proposal, I came away with a renewed calling, involving moving out of my comfort zone. God doesn’t want to settle with my good enough efforts. He wants my best. He deserves it!
Paula is a pastor’s wife, mom to a college student, author, acquiring editor, and speaker. No matter the hat she wears, she strives to honor God’s plan even if it means going out on a limb and leaving comfort zones. Reviewers have characterized her writing as “thundering with emotion.” Her book, Be The Blessing, won the 2014 Selah Award in the novella category. Paula enjoys reading and reviewing Christian fiction, writing Christian romance and devotionals, and helping other authors realize their dream of publication.
You can follow Paula at www.facebook.com/pages/Paula-Mowery/175869562589187. Learn more about Paula at her blog at www.paulamowery.blogspot.com