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A few quick reflections on my experience at the Faith and Culture Writer’s Conference

1. I am going to keep writing. In all honesty, I started a blog because of my coaching business and I wanted a way to connect with people online. But, whoa, I like it way more than that. I’m probably the worst “coach” blogger ever. Sorry folks, I am lacking in the inspirational quotes and “how to be less busy” posts. I’ll try to get around to that, maybe.

2. I really like writers.  I like coaching writers, yes, but I really just like writers. I just went to learn from writers I admire and meet some of my twitter peeps in Portland (I love saying that #hipsterfeel).

3. Sarah Bessey is doing some serious kingdom work. From the first day I read Sarah’s blog I felt connection. I was thankful for her Canadian voice in a sea of American bloggers. More than anything, I resonated with her experiences in a “like-minded” way. But this weekend, I saw more of the impact she is having on people. I’m not surprised, I loved Jesus Feminist too, but I talked to so many people who came to the conference specifically because of how much Sarah’s work had helped them, freed them up and encouraged them. You take that Canadian accent and you go girl.

4. I can dispel the idea that writers are often poor public speakers. Remember those college profs who were brilliant in their subject matter but horrible public speakers? Yeah, well, that was not the case this weekend.  WOW! I found there to be a bit too many “key note speakers” but do not ask me to pick which one should go. They…were..amazing. Speaking of great speakers, I’m so thankful that Emily is Speaking Up.

5. Live tweeting is kind of hard. Maybe I’m too old. I’m thankful for Dan & Stephen’s multi-tasking ability.  Here is my #latertweet:

“I could have constructed middle earth if I had a housekeeper” – @sarahbessey

6. Micah J. Murray’s session was so helpful in practical and ‘preach-it-Micah’ ways. Although I have to disagree with his premise of “I don’t know what I’m doing.”  He may not be an expert on everything he talked about but you don’t get half a million hits for one post, your first year of blogging and have no idea what you are doing. Brother, give yourself a little credit! You are great at what you do, even if you are new at it. And then he said this,

“I don’t want to be a Christian writer if it means speaking from the heart and then hitting backspace until it feels safe again.”  That my friends, was worth the price of admission.

7. This great tweet I saw in Aaron Smith’s aka @culturalsavage feed: “This is like one big awkward blind date”  @TamaraRice on meeting ppl at #FaithCultureNW.

Side note: twitter is the best.

8.  My reunion with Ben Emerson was such a joy. As strangers, we went on a trip to Japan with four others in 1999. He was a high school rock star and I was a twenty something random roadie for a band that only existed for a month. We hadn’t seen each other since the trip. Let a Christian writers conference bring us together?? Ok. I’ll take it.

9. Although I didn’t get to spend much time with the Story Session women, I was glad to meet them in person and look forward to getting to know them more this year. Also, I will read all the books they publish. There will be many books and they will be awesome. I’m looking at you Natalie Trust & Esther Emery.

10. Weekends away are good for my soul. And my traveling-to-random-Christian-events-buddy Dena Nicolai, lived up to her reputation for being awesome!

Did you go? What was your favourite part? 

  • So glad for your #latertweet. I missed that quote from SB! Favorite part? Great people, hands down!

  • Jane-

    It was so good to see you! I seriously can’t believe that was almost 15 years ago. I feel like it was in another life.

    Some of my highlights included: Discovering that I’m not JUST a writer. I’m a communicator. I need to talk just as much, if not more, than I write.

    Micah’s session was great. I appreciated his charge for us to be courageous and honest.

    Let’s not wait another 15 years. I’d love to visit BC someday.

  • stephen carter

    Jane,
    Though we didn’t connect face-to-face, I can’t help but feel like we might still be friends! Was great reading your insight, & finding your blog.

    This was the conference of connections for Ben. He and I worked together for about 6 months, and I hadn’t seen him since 2006!

    And this was my first time live-tweeting anything. I definitely enjoyed it:)

    Be well!

  • Jane Halton

    Thanks friends. It was great to be with you all. Can’t wait until next year!

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