Thankfully, my husband supports me one hundred percent when it comes to pursuing a writing career, so I finally registered last night (despite all the headaches, schedule issues, and chaos that we've been through this week over the theft of Mike's truck).
I felt blessed almost immediately upon arrival. A fellow writer from my writers' group sat at my table with me, and I connected with her and her husband much more than I realized. Our books have similar themes, and our publishing experiences have been uncannily similar. Just sitting and talking with them all day gave me incredible guidance.
Mary DeMuth never ceases to inspire me, so the entire day refreshed my soul. Besides all the technicalities and information about self-publishing, funding, and marketing, I walked away knowing where to focus my attention, as an existing author and as a growing writer. I want to spend more time getting to know my audience so I can better reach them. It's not about what I want to give them--it's finding out just what it is they want to learn from me.
I wrote our first book with other families in mind who were grieving a failed adoption. Yet I see now that God has used it more as an inspiration of perseverance and faith through whatever life brings us. My second book probably fits more into the second category. (Looks like I need to figure out just who my target audience is before I can strategically find ways to get the book into their hands!) I also learned that figuring out where my true passion lies can truly help fuel my writing in the future. Is my passion to write about caring for the orphan or to write about living by faith? I'll have to ponder that one for awhile.
More than anything, I loved being in a room with a large group of Christian authors, all with one main purpose. Our writing is our ministry. It's how God wants to touch other people through us, through all of our unique stories, passions, and gifts. It's not about money. It's not about sales. It's about touching an audience, one reader at a time. I look forward to possibly attending two more conferences in the summer time.