Sunday, August 22, 2010

What I learned of myself at the 2010 Faith Writers Conference

Earlier this month, I posted this on my Face Book Page:

“Whatever gave me the idea that I am qualified to be a decent writer?
I don't even have the passion or the desire to be published. After the conference next week, I am thinking to give it up. It is a chore to me."

What I did not emphasize was that the lack of passion referred to the writing; not on becoming published. Some of the responses I received referred to the passion to be published.

“I don't see being published as the mark of a "decent writer"……”

“Who says you have to have passion and desire to be published?”

Good points, but not what I meant to communicate, which seems to prove my case. As it is, I have trouble verbalizing my feelings; I know what I want to say, but frequently cannot get the words out. This becomes very frustrating to me.

At the conference, I heard over and over the key phrase: "PASSION for what we do." For me, writing is not a passion. The photo above exhibits my internal ideation of where I belong and that is in serving others rather than focusing on writing.

However, writing is a hobby on the side, and I know that I have so much to learn about it. For example, I enjoy taking pictures and want to learn how to do it better, but it is not a passion and I am not a photographer in the sense of being well-learned and accomplished.

I really appreciated these other responses to my lament:

“Sometimes I find writing a chore, but something keeps tugging at my heart to keep writing!”

“If God calls you to write even one story or article and it touches just one person, your obedience has done the work He gave you to do.”

“Don't give up! It there is even a hint of doing so and God keeps calling you then girl you are a writer! “

So, after the conference, I was all set to pull back, and just occasionally enter the challenge, but then I received a 3rd place win in my article this week. Maybe there is a talent in there? Maybe I can continue to write, but not feel coerced into doing it just to meet the challenge each week? I struggle with trying to get ideas that are fresh. I do think of many things I could write about, but they seem cliché to me. On the boards the other day, I asked this question:

“Is it better to write and submit an article that is IN THE BOX rather than to not write and submit at all due to not finding the way out of the box?”

Responses were heart opening for me:

“No question about it. It's always better to submit than not to submit. Every time you write, you learn something, and every time you submit, you take a step on a journey”

“The exercise of the Challenge is still valuable. And who knows? Maybe you aren't as in the box as you think you are”

I responded to a FaceBook post that I was still “up” from the conference (I had enjoyed the camaraderie)
A response came from a person who led one of the conference workshops and that I did not even take the opportunity to meet said:

“And don't let anything get you down. Stay way up there where ideas percolate and bubble. Get writing!!!

Yes Ma’am!