What do you write? Are you pitching? Want to practice your elevator speech? What morning track are you taking? Have you been published?
On April 1st, no one had asked me these questions before, much less 50 times each day. However, on April 8th, I could succinctly answer these questions like a pro, give an elevator speech, and pitch a project that I only started a month ago. I had just completed my first Mount Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference. (By the way, an elevator speech is when you have 30 seconds to pitch your project to someone in a few sentences; think of the short summary found on the back cover of a book).
People warned me this conference was intense. And I thought to myself, “I have been working in the corporate world for 12 years. I have seen intense: board meetings, strategic planning sessions, annual meetings.” Y’all, those experiences did not prepare me for this: a non-stop schedule every day from 8AM until 10PM, lunch and dinner with various editors, publishers, and/or agents, non-stop classes and workshops with homework, and a morning track called Writing Boot Camp. I learned that there is only one space after a period instead of two (when the heck did that change? in 2003, apparently). I learned that I still have a lot to learn. I learned that corporate conventions are like a vacation compared to this place.
But it was an amazing experience. I attended a worship service every night and loved it. Our keynote speaker was the hysterical Bill Butterworth I got to be a grammar nerd (like my friend Ally). I learned that the Christian publishing industry is full of really nice and encouraging people. I made new friends. I discovered that writing will most likely be my part-time ministry and not my full-time occupation. I remembered that God answers prayers in specific and tangible ways. Oh, and the scenery wasn’t bad either:
I came away from the conference with a renewed energy for writing, not necessarily as a profession but as a ministry. I left Mount Hermon understanding that I received just as much as I put into it, which is a new concept for me. I now realize that most of the energy that I invested in the corporate world did not energize me in return. Sure, I gained tons of experience, wisdom and paychecks. However, that work is not my passion. Some people work in corporations and it energizes them, and it’s exactly where they need to be. For me, writing is my passion. I am exactly where I need to be. I am energized.