This past weekend, I was blessed to be able to attend a Christian writers workshop at a local church. Getting out my door that early on a Saturday morning dignified the day right from the outset. I was nervous (new places always do that to me) but extremely excited. This was to be the biggest gathering of writers I’d ever joined in person. Something sparks when you get face-to-face fellowship with like-minded people. That’s why church and camp and other such places are so important, and can make you feel vibrantly refreshed. It’s infinitely more impacting than hearing a recording or reading words on a screen.
Even though I’d basically heard what Tricia Patterson, an incredible speaker and blogger, had to say before (from other people who put it differently, of course), it sunk in so much deeper to hear it spoken in person by her—infectiously energetic and passionate for the Lord. She emphasized the reason we write, which is to glorify God. Her perspective was encouraging. I’d been drifting away from the simple, pure reason I write, and her words tugged me back, slicing upstream through my narrow, dogged focus on just getting stuff written. It’s not about writing because I’m a writer, and writers write. It’s so much bigger than that—people who can say things on a page have a gift from God that He wants offered back to Him. It’s an exciting calling, full of purpose and influence, even if we only reach one person with any one thing we say. Since every person is precious in God’s eyes, reaching him or her is worth every effort. That reminder also destroyed a fear I’d been struggling with—that perhaps my writing wasn’t worth much. But this assured me that indeed, it is worthwhile, because it’s meant to serve my King and the people I can reach. (Let me take this opportunity to thank every one of you who read my words and get something out of them. You are a blessing!) My confidence isn’t so much in myself as it is in God.
I was so energized by Tricia Patterson’s talk that I couldn’t wait to get home and write. But there was still half the workshop left, which was definitely a good thing! During intermission, I met a few other local authors. I hope I get to know them better, perhaps through the weekly classes the church will be having for the next two months. The second speaker for the workshop was Kurt Kaiser, an extremely gifted songwriter, who shared his experiences of writing lyrics with us. As an extra blessing, he played his beautiful music on the piano.
If you ever have the opportunity to fellowship with other Christian writers, please take advantage of it. You can encourage and inspire each other far beyond any contact online. And if you are ever discouraged about your writing or any talent God’s given you, take heart—He gave it to you for a reason, and He wants you to use it, for His glory. And that infuses life with excitement, purpose, and discovery!