The Pray A to Z series will continue on Thursday. Are you caught up? If not, click here for all the posts.
I look forward to two events all year long – my birthday and the Breathe Christian Writers Conference.
When my friend Susie Finkbeiner and I first attended the Breathe Conference four years ago, we had no idea it would become such a big piece of our lives and careers. In fact, I wouldn’t have even said the words “writing” and “career” in the same sentence at that time. But the workshop presenters poured into me, and the whisper of “You ARE a writer” became a powerful voice. I had to listen.
The planning committee asked Susie and me to join them not long after the conference. Now, we spend all year praying and pouring over the details of this conference. I love every minute. The presenters and attendees and my fellow committee members have become some of my dearest friends. In fact, while saying goodbyes on Saturday evening, I had the same ache in my stomach that I’d get leaving summer camp as a kid and saying goodbye to all my dear friends that I knew I wouldn’t see again for a year.
Julie Cantrell, New York Times Bestselling author of Into the Free and When Mountains Move, was our keynote presenter. She has such a humble and wise heart. You should absolutely check out her books. Susie and I gave her a tour of Grand Rapids and Art Prize on Thursday.
One of the most exciting parts of the conference for me was meeting Amy Sullivan and Lisa Van Engen in person, finally! I met Amy and Lisa on Twitter sometime over the past year. We’ve collaborated on a couple projects, and you’ll be hearing from both these lovely ladies during the Pray A to Z series. But the Breathe Conference was the first time I’d actually met them in person. I also had the chance to re-connect with old friends, like Kristine McGuire and congratulate her on the release of her new book!
I presented a lunch forum discussion on social media. We munched chips and apples and chicken salad while browsing the internet and helping each other out with tips and tricks and reminders that social media isn’t all about numbers, but making real connections with real people.
Speaking of real people. I met Jocelyn Green two years ago at this conference. She has an incredible series of Civil War books. I devoured them in days. Then she goes and buys my book and asks little ole me to sign a book for her, while holding a cup of coffee so we can have a “coffee break” together. So much fun.
I’m already looking forward to next year. If you are a writer, or think you might be a writer, mark your calendar to join us October 9-10, 2105 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Award-winning mystery and thriller novelist Steven James will be our keynote speaker. I know it’s going to be another fantastic year!