Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Best Writing Investment I Ever Made

In 2005 I attended my first writers conference.

It was a small LDStorymakers conference, held in a little, brown theater in Springville, Utah. In fact, it was held in the Little Brown Theater. Less than a hundred people attended, which was good because if there were any more, I don't think we'd all fit.

At that time, I didn't have aspirations of becoming a writer or an author, but that changed.

I learned about the craft of writing, the business of writing, and the joys (and pains) of writing. That was interesting and all, but mostly I met people--kindred spirits. I formed relationships at that conference that changed my life for the better.

Now's the part where I drop a bunch of names. Just remember, back then many of these people were just starting their careers. And even today, there are still a few undiscovered gems. BJ Rowley (who is releasing an awesome ebook later this week)Darvell HuntHeather JustesenJosi S. KilpackJulie WrightJames Dashner (he wasn't a NYT Bestseller back then), J. Scott Savagethe award-winning Marta SmithAnita StansfieldRachel Ann NunesCandace SalimaRebecca Shelleyand Tristi Pinkston. (I'm sure I forgot someone. I'm sorry.)

I'm not just name dropping. Each of these people have personally impacted my life. They aren't just names or acquaintances, they're friends and cohorts in storytelling.

The people I met and the things I learned at that small, one day conference nudged the course of my life ever so slightly. Because of that shift back in 2005, I'm a writer today, and I have some of the best, quirkiest, awesomest friends in the world.

I tell you this because on September 15th, LDStorymakers Midwest conference is happening in Kansas City. There will be less than 100 people, so it will be more intimate than the main conference in Utah. It's just one Saturday, so no huge time commitment. It's not as expensive as the multi-day, main conference. And some of my friends are teaching and speaking.

There are still slots open, so tell all your friends and family. Especially pass the word to people who aren't writers. You never know what might happen. I'm excited to read someone else's story in 7 years.

Here's the link to the registration page.

* Isn't this a great picture of two friends? And I really want to see what they're looking at off camera. RAM shared this photo on Flickr. He has more beautiful shots from Lebanon you should check out.


Danyelle Ferguson said...

I remember dragging you with me to be a note taker in the classes I couldn't get to. You were such an awesome, supportive hubby - kicking my writing career into gear. I love that during the journey, the Storymakers conferences have helped us to grow together, set goals together, and expand our mutual group of friends. I can't wait to see YOUR books in print! Love you!

Danyelle Ferguson said...

I remember Marta Smith won James Dashner's contest! Aha! What did she get? A $50 bill? I wonder if she had it framed? =)

Donna K. Weaver said...

How fun that you got to attend it when it was so small, John. It does beg the question, however, of why you went to a writing conference if you weren't considering being a writer. I'm glad you did. =D

kbrebes said...

Wonderful post! Love it that you went to support Danyelle!

John Waverly said...

Danyelle - It's cool that our shared love of writing and reading has made the journey through life that much more fun.

Donna - I went, because Danyelle needed to be in two places at once. :) There were so many great classes, that she convinced me to go and take notes for classes she couldn't attend.

Kathleen - Thanks.

The Damsel in Dis Dress said...

It's so cool hearing about how the conference used to be, and how much it's grown! I didn't start going until 3 years ago, but I'll never miss it now.

Cathy said...

I was there and I remember Marta winning. It was a tiny beginning to a marvelous writing conference.

Renae Weight Mackley said...

Great memories that led to good things. Yeah! Don't we all wish we could have a note-taker in each of the classes?

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

If circumstances allowed I would SO be at the midwest conference. You guys have a great time and maybe I can make it next year :)

Randall said...

Great article. I attended my first conference in 2009, coming all the way from England. It was a great experience. It's wonderful to see how the conference has grown and how many lives it has impacted! Thanks for sharing.

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