Ardis Nelson reflects on her 2012 NCWA Renewal Conference experience.
After spending two days at the Northwest Christian Writer’s Renewal Conference, I am riding high and a bit on overload. The conference was jam-packed with workshops and opportunities to meet pre-published writers, authors, agents and editors. And yes, I deliberately chose the word “pre-published”’ after hearing “Gym” Rubart use it instead of “unpublished”.
As a first time attender, I was paying attention to everything I heard. And it wasn’t just the variety of people that I was listening to at this conference. I was also listening for God’s voice and nudging for confirmation and discernment, and hopefully a neon flashing arrow that pointed in the direction of my next right step. I think it would’ve been hard to be at the conference and not hear Him calling you to continue on your writing journey. It was such an amazing place of encouragement to writers at all experience levels.
Like any other new endeavor we try in life, there is bound to be some trepidation and maybe outright fear. While I know attending this conference was my next right step of obedience, I also know that the harder work is still ahead. That was the biggest message that I left the conference with—it takes time to write a book, it takes time to hone your craft, it takes time to cultivate relationships, and it takes time to engage in social media. Even so, spending vast amounts of time on these tasks doesn’t guarantee a publishing contract.
What I think it does do is mold you more into the person God created you to be. For me, I think it will provide a bigger training ground for trusting God and waiting on His timing. In other words, to work on two key fruits of the spirit that I still seem to lack—patience and self-control.
Now it is time for the bigger challenge—to physically write the book that God has laid on my heart to write. I learned lots of valuable information to move forward on this project, the biggest one from attending Cindy Scinto’s class on outlining. Even with that new tool in hand, I still have to choose to step into this bigger arena.
As Andrea Mullins asked in my final workshop, “What things in your life are stopping you from embracing the world of publishing?” She followed that question with this piece of encouragement for the journey, “God gives us a message because He wants us to proclaim it.”
I firmly believe that about this new direction in my life. And even if my book never makes it to a bookstore shelf or an e-reader, I know God will use this season in my life to provide more spiritual growth. And along the way I will proclaim His message in whatever way He leads.
What about you? What has God taught you through the process of writing for Him?
Ardis (shock the Broca) Nelson has been a member of NCWA since September 2011. Ardis’ ministry passion has been leading women’s recovery and support groups and writing e-devotionals for her church. Her journey of healing with her mother/daughter relationship will be published summer 2012 in the compilation Journeys to Mother Love by Cladach Publishing. Ardis blogs at ardisanelson.com/makingmebold/.