It's late, it's been a really long day, and it's gonna be another really long day tomorrow, followed by a really long Sunday (because I'll have had no time to do my homework until then), but I'm going to write this blog post anyway.
Two reasons: 1) I missed Wednesday's post and I feel bad. 2) I love Christian writer's conferences.
I really do. I always think I won't - it's a weird situation where Christians of all sorts (aka not like me) who are writers of all sorts (aka not like me) congregate all in one place to discuss God and Writing.
The potential for Uncomfortable Things to occur is pretty high. Of course, occasionally an Uncomfortable Thing does, in fact, occur. Like when the speaker has you all hold out your hands, curl them into fists as you visualize the things that get in the way of your writing, then open them to let those things go.
If you're a kinesthetic learner, or a Feeler in the personality tests, perhaps this is a useful exercise. If you're an audio/visual INTJ-er, it's just strange.*
Anyway! The potential is there. By all rights, it should be manifesting itself all over the place. But it doesn't. Instead: Christian unity.
I don't know what it is about a Christian writer's conference that's just so darn satisfying.** It probably has to do with the fact that we have two things binding us together: our faith and our identity as writers. But it's late and it's been a long day, so I won't speculate.
Suffice it to say, it's not just the fact that these things usually have a time of corporate worship in the form of singing. It's not just the fact that everyone is a bit more interested in poetry than your normal crowd. It's not just the fact that there's praying. It's not just the fact that two or three are gathered in His name to support each other as artists. It's not just the fact that they have high-quality, helpful workshops.
The Christian writer's conference is more than the sum of its parts.
So where have I experienced this? June 2014 at the Glen Workshop (which is an artist's retreat). October 2014 and March 2015 at the Oregon Christian Writers Conferences. And today (and tomorrow) at the Faith and Culture Writer's Conference.
This is good stuff, people. Good stuff.
*The visualization exercise is not a make-or-break kind of thing, so no big deal - just illustrating a point.
**Aside from the unity aspect.