I think I may be addicted to writer’s conferences. Yep…pretty sure I am. I am just now returning home from another conference. And I am exhausted. My brain is full…it is certainly akin to drinking from a firehose.
But I had an amazing time! Even if I have to do all kinds of things I struggle with…networking, promoting my book, just imagine! All I wanted to do was soak up all of the information and go off in a corner and write as I felt inspired. But no….I learned early on that these conferences are just as much about the networking as anything else. And I did meet some great people there!
I also learned quite a bit. I attended sessions on Mind Mapping, Researching Your Novel, The Hero’s Journey, and more. And then there was the Keynote speaker…
I’ll let you all in on a secret, I don’t like Keynotes. I never really have. I just have a hard time figuring out what they are saying that is relevant to me. In my experience, they talk an awful lot about themselves. But, as I listened to this speaker, he said some really interesting things that did relate to me as an author, and as a person. He said that we each had a unique story. Now, there’s two ways to look at that in my opinion. So, let’s explore both:
The Story You Have Been Given In Life. We all have a story to tell. Writer or not. Because we all have a past. Some of those events are painful, some are not. But all of those things woven together have created the person we are today, just like weaving a tapestry together. You know, from the back, a tapestry isn’t very pretty. I think that life from our perspective can be like that. From the front side, however, the reason for the mess becomes clear. It was to make a beautiful pattern of colors, complimenting and contrasting in a way that is aesthetically appealing. I believe that this is what our life will look like as we look back on it. Even now, when I look back on my hardships, I can see the beauty in them. The places where I have grown spiritually and grown as a person. This is my story. And it is unique to me.
The Story You Have Been Given To Write. As writers, we have been given, have been inspired, to write a story (or stories). Though the source of inspiration may not be unique to us or the subject matter may have many books written about it, NO ONE can tell the story the same way you can. The words you choose will be unique. Your ideas will be unique. The characters you give life to will be one-0f-a-kind. You are the only person who can tell that story in that way.
So, what is the purpose of the story we’ve been given…either in our lives or to write? As for me, I believe it is to communicate a message of love, of hope, and of faith. To point to something beyond ourselves. One of the speakers at one of the conferences I went to this month said that “writers write first to connect to another’s heart”. Why? To touch their life. To communicate something to them. And it is my belief that this message is ingrained in each of us – that there is something beyond ourselves. That we desire to connect to this message and to communicate this message. Why do so many people seek true love in romances? They seek something beyond themselves. Beyond the limits of their skin. Why do people read sci-fi/fantasy? Hope for a brighter tomorrow. You get me? We long for that connection to something bigger, grander…more. Do you feel you have a story? A message to share?