Writerly Wednesdays

Fuel the Writer: Confidence from a Conference

I know someone who finished a manuscript and shared the premise with me. “Isn’t that the best book you’ve ever heard about?”

I read the Optimist’s first chapter and, well…not so much.

I know someone who finished a manuscript and shared the premise with me. “I know it’s not very good, but I wrote it and decided it would be a shame if no one read it, so could you maybe take a peek at the first chapter? You will probably loathe it, though. Detest it. Abhor it.”

I read the walking Thesaurus’s entire manuscript and couldn’t put it down.

Both kinds of people were looking for feedback, and both looked for it in a place that offered a one-stop shop for writers—yes, a writer’s conference.

The feedback at a conference makes or breaks the writer. We rub shoulders with mentors, colleagues, and devotees at the conference, where we meet people equally obsessed with words, plots, and characters.

Just as cars run smoothly until they need fuel and maintenance, and animals and teens can go for extended periods without food, writers can also write for a while before they need to refuel. To keep their creative engine running, the wordsmith must nourish their soul, connect with other writers, and engage in market discussions.

Writers can write for a time before they need fuel and maintenance. The wordsmith must feed their soul, connect with other writers, and discuss the market.

Where? The writer’s conference is to a writer what a car garage is to a vehicle, what the fridge is to a teen, and what a well-run business meeting is to an employee. In your selfless life, the writing conference is where you do something for yourself, your soul, and your future. It’s an investment in you, a preparation to give a reason for the hope you have inside you.

Not all views expressed are those of every member of ICW.


  • Peter Leavell

    Peter Leavell, a graduate of Boise State University with a degree in history and a MA in English Literature, was the 2011 winner of the Christian Writers Guild’s Operation First Novel contest and 2013 Christian Retailing’s Best award for First-Time Author, along with multiple other awards. An author, blogger, teacher, ghostwriter, jogger, biker, husband, and father, Peter and his family live in Boise, Idaho. Learn more about Peter’s books, research, and family adventures at www.peterleavell.com

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