Monday, August 22, 2011

Recap of the FaithWriters Conference

Preparing for one of the main sessions
The weekend of August 12 & 13 was exhilarating, fun, uplifting, motivating, and exhausting. Only one event could cause such a myriad of emotions: A Writer's Conference.

One of the highlights of my year is the FaithWriters conference, held in Livonia, Michigan. There's nothing quite like connecting with 60+ others who share the same passion - and faith - as I do. There were several writers within driving distance of Detroit, but also lots who hopped a plane from the other side of the country (Oregon, Texas, California), and even another part of the world (Australia)! Once you get to know the FaithWriters crowd, not even money (or a lack of it) will stand in your way of  spending the weekend with this fabulous group with a heart for God and a desire to hone their writing talent so they can use their abilities for God's glory.

With best buddy & roomie, Diane
I drove to Detroit with my great friend Diane Loew. We arrived early so we decided to relax for a couple hours at the movies. We saw The Help (amazing movie - highly recommended!) and then headed back to the hotel for the conference.

The funny Timmy Boyle

The evening started off with a bang. Hilarious comedian Timmy Boyle had us in stitches with his comedy act. From Toronto, Canada, Tim is the founder of Upstanding Comedy, who proves that clean comedy is not only possible, it's seriously funny! Tim and his wife Heidi stayed with Diane for a couple days before the conference and I had the pleasure of spending a bit of time with them this weekend. Tim is currently participating in a reality television show and is also trying to acquire more business in the U.S. YOU can help by getting Tim into your church or other venue. Visit HIS WEBSITE for more information and video clips of his routine.

Me with Hartline agent Linda Glaz
When our stomachs stopped hurting from laughing, we slowed things down with Hanne moon's inspiring session on how to handle those SPLAT moments when we think we're down for the count. Through Hanne's incredible testimony, she encouraged us to push through and look for how God uses our difficult moments (or months) to make us stronger.

That ended Friday night's sessions. Many hung out in the lobby, playing board games or catching up with friends. Diane, Tim, Heidi, Kim Russell, Hanne, and I headed to Red Robin for a late dinner. Then we went straight back to our hotel room for a good night's sleep, to gear up for a full Saturday.

And full it was!

Three of the youngest attendees

We had a bit of a glitch when, right before breakfast, the power went out. Yikes! Diane and I were glad we rose early and got our hair curled before the outlets were toast. Though the generator kicked on some of the lights, the elevators didn't work, the bathroom lights were completely out (have YOU ever tried "going" in the dark? An interesting experience, for sure!) and there was no air conditioning, making it rather uncomfortable during the sessions, especially for the presenters. A couple of the the workshop leaders were not able to use their Power Point presentations they'd worked so hard on.

BUT...everyone made the best of it and this glitch did nothing to lessen the impact of the fabulous teaching. In the sessions I personally attended, Deb Porter taught me what it takes to create great devotionals, Linda Glaz reminded me how to keep my pride in check, Patty Wysong told me how to let my light shine, and Timmy Boyle gave me great tips on how to keep my lunch down in this crazy world of writing! (Very important stuff!)

I also taught a workshop on the various jobs within the job of writing. Did you know that writers do more than write? Yes, it's true! We also act as psychiatrists, surgeons, trash collectors, teachers, and sales people. I used props for each "job," gave tips for each, and did a few giveaways. I was a little nervous, but I made it through without passing out. Probably due to the fact that the electricity (most thankfully, AIR CONDITIONING) came back on just before my session at 4:00. Yes, that's 8 HOURS that the power was out. I really enjoyed teaching this class and hope those attending walked away with something they can use in their own writing journey.

After dinner (Applebees for a few of us...) we rounded out the conference with two awesome sessions. Cori Smelker taught on time management before Deb Porter finished with an encouraging, motivating, and straight-forward teaching on the publishing industry today - how it's changing and what we can do to get the best books possible out there.

See what I mean about crazy group?
What a whirlwind of a weekend! If you are a Christian writer, I strongly encourage you to join You won't meet a more genuine, fun, CRAZY group of people who love Jesus, have a heart for others, and a passion for writing material that honors God and inspires readers.

Oh - and for those of you who may be wondering what caused the power outage? No, it wasn't bad weather or a horrible car accident. A squirrel chewed through the line. That's right, a squirrel caused all of that trouble. That's what I call really NUTS! (Groan...)

For those of you who attended the FaithWriters conference, what was the highlight for you?


Eileen Astels Watson said...

Sounds like a wonderful time! I'm looking forward to attending the ACFW one in Sept.

Lynda Lee Schab said...

I'm looking forward to St. Louis, too! Hope to meet you there, Eileen!

Di Smith said...

The fellowship always leaves the biggest impression with me, but meeting with Linda Glaz (agent) and Deb Porter (editor and publisher) was truly a golden opportunity. Your session was EXCELLENT, Lynda, and helped me get a better handle on what it means to have a writing career.

Jessica R. Patch said...

Glitches and all, it sounds like a great time! I love conferences. :) Hope you get some rest. I know, I know, what's that? lol

Lynda Lee Schab said...

Aw...thanks, Diana. My main goal was to have a bit of fun with it. :-)

Yes, Jessica. It's amazing how much conferences take out of you. Like I mentioned in the beginning of my post, they are exhilarating, overwhelming, and exhausting! I've been hearing from many of the attendees that since returning home, they can't get enough sleep (and not just because of jet lag). Finally starting to feel caught up again myself. The ACFW conference will be even worse because it's longer and more intense. But I can't wait! :-)

Joanne Sher said...

For me, the best part was the one-on-one time I had with several FWers I didn't really know as well as I would have liked - that's all changed now! ;)

Your class was super, Lynda - and just being around WRITERS was a wonderful thing! (wish I could do ACFW! Maybe next year)

Diane said...

Sounds like you guys had so much fun and learned a lot too. I can't wait to hit my first big conference! :O)

Kimberly Russell said... favorite thing? I think it would be the fact that God had different plans for the weekend than I did. My "R&R, enjoy, fun, etc." turned into "Time to get off you backside and get to work" info. Wish we could have had more time to chat, too.

Pastor Perry said...

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Venice said...

Great post, Lynda! Someday maybe I can join you all. I love your blog!