Today, the WordServe Water Cooler is pleased to host guest blogger Kim Zweygardt. Kim recently attended the Re:Write Conference and is here to give us some insight into what she found so valuable about this conference.
“I am a writer.”
Writing is more than something I enjoy or can do well. (All those “A’s” in English Comp surely count for something.)
Writing is my calling.
Even so, after a blistering critique in 2014, I spent more time not writing than writing. Doubt crept in, undermining my call.
“I think I can write.”
“At least I think I’m a writer.”
I floundered, not sure how to regain the confidence to write. What would it take to jump start the flow of words onto the page?
In February, I found my answer in Austin, Texas when I attended a different kind of writer’s conference. Re:Write—The Ragged Edge “aims to tackle issues that writers face every day, offering guidance, insight, and a hefty dose of hope along the way.”
The Ragged Edge conference was filled with power hitters. Some I knew and had heard before: Ted Dekker, George Barna, Jim Rubart, Susan May Warren, Mary Demuth, Sandi Krakowski, Mark Batterson.
Others were new to me: Rusty Shelton, Claire Diaz-Ortiz, Chad Allen, the delightful “tour guide” to the weekend–Julie Carr, Rachelle Dekker, Kevin Kaiser, Ruth Soukup, Derek Webb and the lovely Esther Fedorkevich who founded The Fedd Agency and hosted the conference along with author Ted Dekker.
As I listened, I had my mind bent over and over again.
You see, it wasn’t so much about the how of writing but much more about the why. It wasn’t so much about rules for success but in how we see success. It wasn’t so much about the bad news of the economy and publishing and more e-books and less “real” books and Author Chicken Little crying that the sky is falling and much more about the Good News of Who we write for in the first place!
It made such a difference to me that if I hit the lottery or better yet, had a wildly successful book that made me a bazzilionaire, I would call all my writer friends who are struggling and feel alone with their dream or feel they have been put on the shelf by the times or the particular, maybe-not-mainstream story they have been given to tell, the one that burns in their heart to get out onto the page and reserve their place for the 2016 Re:Write Conference.
Registration? On me! Travel expenses? On me! Need a little cash for BBQ at the airport? On me!
Oh, to dream!
But, just in case I don’t hit the lottery or the NY Times bestseller list, you could start saving now and I’ll see you there.
To whet your appetite, here’s a mash-up of what the speakers said in all their different ways.
Don’t be afraid!
Step out of the shadows and take the plunge!
You are not alone!
You are the Light of the World and no one can tell your story but you!
Don’t listen to the nay-sayers!
Write well! Write compellingly! Go deep! Lean on Jesus!
Write as an act of worship and as a spiritual discipline because He has called you to it. And if you are called and you don’t write, you are disobeying the One who has called you.
So now I write. Because I am a writer.
Kim Zweygardt always knew she wanted to be someone special. Her heart’s desire when she was 7 was to be a famous ballerina but when she read their toes bled from dancing on them, it became a less desirable career choice. Then Kim decided to be a famous lawyer solving mysteries and capturing the bad guys just like Perry Mason, but as she got older she discovered sometimes it was hard to tell just who the bad guys were.
Instead Kim chose a career in medicine practicing the art and science of anesthesia as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist in rural Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska.
Kim is married to Kary, the man of her dreams, who has done a fabulous job of making all her dreams come true. They have three children but an empty nest and enjoy conversation with friends over good coffee and great food. They enjoy travel, the arts and taking a nap.