Read the extended article based on this video here.
(Links mentioned are included at the end of this post)
Joy @ The Cafe Scholar [00:00:04] Hey guys this is Joy from The Cafe Scholar and I’m jumping on here live again because the video I did earlier, the audio was really awful. So that’s what the delete button is for. And I got my other mic. So hopefully this will come across a little bit easier to understand.
[00:00:22] So about a month ago I attended the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference in Orange County. This was my first writers’ conference ever. And it was an awesome event. It was life-changing. And so I want to share a little bit about that experience with you guys. You know I’m about cutting through all the overwhelm so that we can just get writing, and this event really helped me to do that in a couple different ways.
[00:00:47] So what happens when you attend the SoCal Christian Writers Conference? I want to talk about some of the people that you’ll meet there. You might meet some of your favorite authors, and you might find some new favorites. I was really excited to get to hang out with Chautona Havig because we’ve been friends online for a while now, and this was the first time we actually met face to face. I also got to do a few workshops with Robin Patchen, and I’ve reviewed a few of her books. So that was a lot of fun. And you may find some new favorite authors too. You’ll find them there. You’ll find them leading workshops. You’ll find their books in the bookstore. But you may find them in the seat next to you in class too. So that was really a blast. You’ll also meet some people that will be some great resources for whatever stage you’re in as a writer. You’ll meet editors. You’ll meet agents. You’ll meet publishers. You’ll meet book reviewers (like me!). And, if you’re an indie like me you might meet someone who does book production services for indies like my friend Marji. And I’ll put her link in the comments here. You might meet someone who does publicity. Because not everybody who’s an indie wants to actually DIY everything. I might because that’s kind of me.
[00:02:15] But my favorite group of people that you’re going to meet at the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference are going to be new friends, even, hopefully, ones that live close to you, local to you. Now obviously this conference is in SoCal and there are a lot of SoCal people at this conference. I’m one of them. But I saw some Texas people making friends too and getting to know each other. So not everybody here is from SoCal. So even if you’re not from this area you will still find hopefully some friends that are local to you. Personally, part of why I went there was to make new friends. And so I went and looked. People’s city names were on their name tags, and I went and looked for San Diego name tags and Vista and Carlsbad and Oceanside tags and I found a few of us. And so we’ve actually created a Facebook group for North San Diego Christian Writers. And the link is in the comments here if you’d like to join us. We’re gonna be doing some things locally because we need friends who are going on this journey with us who can learn and grow with us and just hang out. Because people who aren’t writers, they don’t always get us, right?
[00:03:25] So those are some of the people you’re going to meet: authors, some of your favorite authors. You’re going to meet people who are resources for you and you’re going to meet new friends.
[00:03:36] You’re also going to learn a lot. I took about 60 pages of notes in this notebook and I haven’t even listened to the recordings yet. I haven’t even really processed most of the notes. I’ve kind of worked on one section right now because I was advised to pick one thing and to focus on it.
[00:03:59] So what are you going to learn at the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference? That’s really up to you. What you learn is going to depend on where you’re at in your writing career. And it’s going to depend on which workshops and classes that you chose to sign up for. And it’s also going to depend on your own approach and your own engagement, the questions you ask. So you go to lunch with people and you choose to sit in the crowd of somebody that you want to learn from. You’re going to learn different things.
[00:04:29] Here’s just a few of the things I learned, and what you learn will be different, like I said, depending on which workshops you take. But I learned Seven Best Ways to Come up with a Killer Concept (for your nonfiction book) from Bob Hostetler’s continuing session. I learned about writing fiction faster with Greta Boris and I learned about how to write great back cover copy. One class that was a lot of fun was Aurora and Chautona‘s Effective Non-Smarmy Book Marketing Workshop. (I think that might just have the best title for a class!) And Building Your Story Scene by Scene with Robin Patchen. Those are just a few of the workshops that I took.
[00:05:10] But here’s the thing. Everything I learned at this conference was super actionable. I walked away not just having the knowledge of what I needed to do or even how to do it, but in some cases having already done it while I was sitting there. I felt like I moved forward in those three days, from one step to the next. And so that was pretty special. So those are some of the things that you could learn if you go to the SoCal Christian Writer’s Conference, and how are you going to feel.
[00:05:46] I think that even though I learned an incredible amount (and I still have so much to learn from all those notes!), and I met some awesome people, how attending a conference changes how you think and how you feel about your work about yourself? That’s pretty important too. So you’re gonna feel encouraged if you go to this conference.
[00:06:06] You’re going to feel prayed for. In fact. One of our attendees said that the prayer was just like the best thing. I’m going to get it right. She said, “the most powerful and personal event for her was getting prayed for.” She really felt like at that point like she heard from God because somebody took the time to pray with her. But the prayer team there also prayed for us as we signed up and prayed for us even before we showed up. I was really blessed to find out that some of my friends had been praying for the door to open for me to be able to go to this conference. That was really special. So you’re going to feel prayed for and you’re going to feel God moving in your life in that way and you’re going to feel inspired and motivated to take next steps. And that’s what I’ve heard from so many people who have come out there, all fired up like “let’s get this done now!” Because they know what to do, and they’ve got that energy.
And the word that stood out to me the most about how I feel about this conference and how I feel about me after this conference is the word validated. Some people in my regular life, they know I’m a blogger. Some of them don’t. Not a lot of people think of me as a writer. I’ve had professors tell me to be a writer and I knew this was something that I wanted to do. But there was a point, within the first few hours, where I stopped talking about wanting to write and started talking about what I was actually already doing. I felt validated. Like these dreams and this calling that God has placed on my life, it’s the real deal. And I know that that sentiment was shared by so many other people there.
[00:08:00] The organizers of this conference have really intentionally prayed over and selected every event and every speaker to create a culture that is so encouraging and inspiring and motivating. And you don’t feel like an outsider even if you’re brand new. Even if it’s your first time, if you’ve published many things or you’ve published nothing. If you are ready to call yourself a writer, you belong here. You belong at SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference and I hope I’ll see you there next year! I’m already excited about it and I’ve got eleven months to go, so I’ll see you then. Happy Saturday guys!
Book Production Services:
Celebrate Lit Publicity Group:
ACFW Orange County:
North San Diego Christian Writers: