There is nothing quite like a room full of young writers. That’s what I encountered yesterday at a seminar on The Beautiful Intersection of Faith and Writing at Urbana18. It was so much fun, for me, the fretting presenter at the front of the room. Fretting because what if the thingy I had to buy to connect my mac to the other thing that was just laying there on the podium didn’t actually work? But a guy in the second row said he solves computer problems for his mother all the time and so I felt better. I was in good tech hands and we could learn from each other.
Faith Today and LIM magazines were stacked at the back of the room ready to give away. My handouts were distributed, containing my long list of suggested writing books sourced from my Facebook writing community. And so I launched into my presentation on what it means to be a Christian writer, and how to do that even better. I offered some writing tips…
We dug briefly into each one, dwelling for a few minutes especially on the topic of platform — the audience you both bring and build for your writing. It is your online presence and social media reach, yes, but that’s not all it is. It is your whole sphere of influence and it is who knows your name and pays attention to what you say; and publishers want to know these things about who and what you bring to that table when they are considering your book proposal. There were lots of questions about technique and how to find your way to shore when you are swimming in an ocean of ideas.
Maybe every craft is like this, but writers really like to talk about writing. We learn from each other. We can save each other big gobs of time by sharing what we know, even as what we know evolves. Gathering together gets us excited about writing and the beautiful art we get to practice and it was wonderful to meet some of the young voices who will write to, from and of the Church in the years to come.