A few weeks ago I was excited to attend The Realm Makers writer’s conference in PA. But I have to admit. Even though this was my second year attending, there was a point around December where I was on the fence about it. I was doubting my writing. Hurting. Irritated. And at one point ready to give up.
Most of it was just pitiful “poor me attitude.” In the end, after some prayer and encouragement from my wife, I decided this was something I needed to do. I had no desire to pitch. I wanted to network, hang out with old friends, meet new friends, and just have a great time. I’m not a huge introvert so working the room has never been a problem for me. But I was struck by what God was trying to show me over those few days.
I had a list of people I wanted to meet and talk to while there. Other authors, I had been following and interacting with online. I thought it would be nice to finally meet face to face and make a connection. But there was one author I met that I didn’t expect to be there.
On Thursday evening I took part in a cup stack challenge. I must admit and brag – I stack red solo cups like a BOSS!!! My prize for this ridiculous fun challenge – I got all of Lori Stanley Roeleveld collection- Including an Advance Reader’s Copy of her new book “Jesus and the Beanstalk.”
I have followed Lori’s blog for a few years now. And I really enjoyed meeting her. Our interactions over the course of the weekend were brief. But the few chats we had made me enjoy meeting a blogger who has inspired me.
Once home I dove into her new book, and it quickly hit me like I had slammed into a brick wall. I won’t release any spoilers at this time, but I will say this book is incredible. The first chapter made me realize a few things about me as an author, and what God has been trying to show me for some time.
Conference’s are fun- Crazy- Energetic. And at Realm Makers you average 4 hours of sleep at night and chug coffee by the gallons the next day. I had a great time.
So- For those heading to ACFW or any other writers conference. Understand that having an agenda is amazing and smart- But sometimes God hits you upside the head with a new friend or word when you least expect it. I met so many new friends- Reconnected with old ones. And I have learned like so many others that Realm Makers isn’t just a conference with weird story ideas and crazy costumes. It’s a conference where God is working.
So no matter where you go as an author. ACFW, RWA, RealmMakers- never be blinded by the static and white noise- Sometimes God is speaking in the stillness of a quiet whisper.
J.J. Johnson is a Geeky Father who
Reads, Writes, and Loves God. When he isn’t writing he can often be found
trying to brew the perfect cup of coffee or invent a means of Time Travel. He
blogs at www.jjjohnsonwrites.com
and can also be found posting crazy fun pics on Instgram under @jjjohnsonWriter