At times, I still have to pinch myself and ask, “Did it really happen?” How did a guy from the middle of nowhere with a simple book about grace win a writing contest? No one was more surprised than me.
Above and beyond winning, and besides a nice fat check from Tyndale, everything about Re:Write 2012 amazed me. Being a bit of a conference junkie, I went expecting the same thing I usually get at conferences, one or two inspiring sessions and some free stuff. What I got was so much more.
I sat every moment on the edge of my seat taking copious notes and fascinated by both the variety and the content of this conference. How did they get such an incredible line up of speakers? Batterson. Young. Barna. DeMuth (and the list goes on). Their insights, their practical wisdom and their hearts blew me away.
Here are just a handful of the gems I took away from the speakers:
- Write because you are called by God to write.
- Writing is hard, but one changed life makes it all worth it!
- It’s never too late to be who you might have been. (That one was worth the price of admission. Thank you, Mark.)
- Stop writing with a performance orientation. (That one hit home, big time! Thank you, Paul.)
- Every brilliant story leads to God.
Trust me, I could go on and on. Never have I been so encouraged and challenged in one single conference. I can hardly wait to return.
For those of you still just thinking about attending the Re:Write conference and questioning whether you should enter the writing contest or not, here are a few things to consider.
- You have nothing to lose by putting together a book proposal. I knew that even if what I prepared for Re:Write never got past someone’s first glance, I would still need to write a proposal if I ever wanted to get published anywhere. If I did something, something might happen. If I did nothing, I was guaranteed nothing would. Seriously, what do you have to lose? The hardest step is often the first step. I know. But carve out some time and just do it. I promise you, win or lose, you won’t regret the investment.
- I wrote Epic Grace because it was burning in my heart to do so. Writing is the best way for some of us to share our passion. For me, it’s almost therapeutic. If you’ve poured your heart into a manuscript, it’s time to let others see that heart. The potential for impact is awesome when we bless people with our God-given words.
- On a more personal note, I made some new friends at Re:Write that continue to speak into my life with their gifts. We serve an awesome God who delights in surprising us with His goodness.
Without a doubt, the moment my name was announced as the winner of the writing contest was a defining moment in my life. The past six months or so have been an amazing journey for me, and it has really just begun.
I don’t know what God has in store for you, but I do know this conference may change your life, and I pray it will.
Hope to see ya at Re:Write 2013. I’ll be the guy sitting in the back typing his brains out!