3 Things I Learned Attending A Writer's Conference

I’m a writer and I love to write but I don’t necessarily consider myself an author. Even though I co-authored a book, I don’t spend my days writing books filled with advice nor do I have a vivid imagination where I conjure up incredible characters involved in fantastic stories.

What I do is motivate entrepreneurs to embrace their God-given talents, skills and interests to build a business and then educate them on how to market their business so it grows. Writers and authors are entrepreneurs (yes, they really are!) and I love encouraging them to see their writing through entrepreneurial eyes and to become the CMO (the Chief Marketing Officer) for their books.

In June, I had the privilege of being part of the speaker faculty for the 2018 Southern California Christian Writer’s Conference. I’m a conference hound from way back, having attended many events and probably staffed twice as many conference programs for clients over the years.

None of my conference experiences prepared me for all the awesome I enjoyed during SoCal 2018.

I met a terrific group of people –

Writers who are enthusiastically at the start of their publishing journey…

Authors who have published best-selling and award-winning books…

Editors who turn good words into great words…

Screenwriters whose movies are watched on big and small screens…

And book marketers and publicists and podcasters and speakers who do great things to help writers and authors get their work out into the world.

All of us gathered to learn, to teach and be encouraged. We were an eclectic group that blended together perfectly.

I go into every conference experience expecting to learn something. Doing that sets me up to expect good things to happen over the course of the event. Here are just 3 of the good things I learned at SoCal 2018:

Generosity Inspires Others To Be Generous. As a speaker, my responsibility is to be as generous as possible with the knowledge I’ve come to share. I pray I poured out everything I have every chance I got at SoCal 2018. What I learned though, is that generosity begets generosity. I received so much! People invited me into their friendships so I had fellowship over the weekend. They were genuinely curious about what I do and about a book I want to write. More than a few encouraged me strongly that I need to do it and gave me great counsel on what I should be doing until I have the time to write it. I connected with people that wanted to continue our conversations beyond the conference. I came back from the conference with a full and encouraged heart because of the generous people I met.

Sharing What You Know Is Affirming. Ever wonder if you’re doing the right thing with your business? Thoughts like this can cross my mind from time to time. At SoCal 2018, I was reminded that sharing the gifts, talents and knowledge that have been given to me is what I love to do. I love encouraging people to embrace their own “zone of genius” and see what they do as a business that deserves to be marketed well so they can serve the people that need what they do. I had lots of opportunities to do that during the conference and it was great. Whenever those moments of doubt pop up for me in the future, I’ll remember the affirming, energizing experience of this conference.

Being With Creative People Inspires Creativity. As an independent professional, I spend a lot of time working alone. I’m always energized when I get to be with other communication pros but being with the creative geniuses that attended SoCal 2018 was like eating at a great buffet. I soaked up their energy and found myself brainstorming new things I want to create for my audience. It reminded me that I need to engage more often with other people, especially those that are in a constant state of creating things, like writers and authors.

Conferences are great for learning new things, for connecting with others who can encourage you and for getting outside of your normal routine so you see what you do in a new, fresh way. If you don’t have attending conferences on your calendar and in your budget, find some events and set aside resources so you can make it happen. It will be great for you, great for your business and chances are really good that someone out there needs to meet you so you can pour what you have into them and into their dreams.

I expected to enjoy SoCal 2018 but this wonderful community of writers and authors gave me an unforgettable weekend. A special shout-out to Conference Founder and Director Kathy Ide and her entire team for orchestrating a terrific event.

See you all next year!