On Saturday I was blessed with the opportunity to attend the 2018 LIT Masterclass conference. The day was complete with several general sessions, breakout sessions for fiction and nonfiction writers, two small group sessions with a writing coach. Lunch was provided and short breaks served as a wonderful opportunity to mingle with fellow writers, authors, and staff. It was an incredible day filled with community and knowledge that left me overflowing. God's love was evident among us all and I left feeling inspired.
However, it wasn't easy for me. I must confess that in the months leading up to the event I was extremely nervous, and dare I say terrified. I had only attended one other writers conference, which had been a year ago and with my loving dad accompanying me for support. That in itself was a huge accomplishment. Now here I was, going all by myself, driving roads I had never driven, and feeling completely unprepared. I was actually prepared, thoroughly so, but my brain likes to work overtime and stress me out to think I am not. The nights leading up to the conference were restless. My brain made its classic "think of everything that could possibly go wrong" list. To relax, I prayed for hours until I finally fell asleep. The Lord is so good and filled me with His peace. The morning of the conference, I woke refreshed and ready for the day. My parents, my sister, and my friends were encouraging as I left, promising to pray for me during the day. The drive to the conference was amazing. I listened to my favorite tunes, sang along, and not once had a fearful thought of the new adventure I had embarked on.
Then the hard part came as I eased the car into its parking spot. I had to get out of the car and go inside. My body wouldn't budge. I sat in the drivers seat for a few minutes, texted a few people, tried to think of excuses to stay in the car a while longer. Eventually I did get out of the car. Everyone was incredibly friendly. For sure I was uncomfortable, but I kept a smile on my face, forced myself to engage in conversations, and let God lead me though the rest. And He did. He gave me several ladies to hang out with during the day, enjoy lunch with, and bond over writing experiences. To my delight some of them were planning on going to the next conference I was to attend in March. I was also given the chance to catch up with a couple mentors I had met at the previous conference.
Attending the LIT Masterclass was a huge personal achievement and helped boost my confidence in my anticipation for the Mt. Hermon writers conference in March. I am fully relying on God to fill me with His spirit and to guide me in my next adventure. I strongly encourage fellow writers to seek out opportunities to attend Christian writing conferences around them. It is important for us as writers to surround ourselves with people who have similar passions, to build each other up as human beings, and encourage one another along our writing journeys. Writing is a never ending learning process we must cultivate through the knowledge and friendships of others and the presence of God.