I was excited to see how many expert women were featured speakers at the Re:Write Conference. These women have amazing life stories along with valuable information to share. I’m combining this post with the #WomensLives initiative to share a little of what I learned from some of these wonderful women.
Mary has written dozens of fiction and nonfiction books and she speaks around the world, sharing how to live a life full of freedom.
She talked about not letting the past limit you, even if your past is *good.* This was an interesting one to me. I always figured it was easier for people with lots of success to look back on. But she said it can be easy to fall back on the nostalgia of those glory days and revel in them rather than moving forward. From a faith perspective, those glory days can actually cause you to *limit* God if you expect Him to only act in those same ways. Forget everything about your past, both good and bad. Instead, live in expectancy of adventure.Forget your past. Live in expectancy of adventure. - @MaryDeMuth #rewriteconf Click To Tweet
If you have hurts in your past, be prepared to face them, she emphasized. God may call you to be healed by facing the things that hurt you. Interestingly, her Twitter currently sports a similar adage:
Jesus shines through the cracks of our authenticity.
— Mary DeMuth (@MaryDeMuth) March 12, 2015
Mary emphasized that it’s an American perspective that if God is in something, it will naturally and easily prosper. She really stressed this one. Sometimes you may be called to be faithful when unnoticed, when there’s no fanfare. “Nothing significant happens in the Kingdom of God without death or breaking,” Mary said. And that, although hard to hear, is true. Nothing significant happens in the Kingdom of God without death or breaking. @MaryDeMuth… Click To Tweet
Sandi is a social media powerhouse. Honestly, I could write pages and pages about her expertise and success! A big part of her talk was emphasizing that our past is IMPORTANT. No matter what you’ve faced or dealt with, it is vital and important. Because of your past, you can influence a lot of people. @sandikrakowski #rewriteconf Click To Tweet You can use your experiences, your past, to build culture in social media. Some authors just throw ads for their books up on Twitter and only post salesy stuff. Instead, you should be transparent on whatever social media account you’re choosing to use. Talk to the people who are following you and find out what they care about. Even if it’s terrifying, be transparent. Are you having a bad day? Talk about it! Is someone else on your feed having a bad day? Take time to talk to them! Don’t just focus on your product. In fact, for 10 minutes every day, twice a day, spend time talking back to people. Here’s an example of Sandi being transparent:
Life gets hard for me too. From C1 to S1 my spine is a mess & in pain but I BELIEVE in healing & I will not break! I’ll #BEMORE! Join me!
— Sandi Krakowski (@sandikrakowski) March 13, 2015
Susan May Warren
Susan has had 17 novels published by huge publishing houses. She was previously a missionary to Russia and now focuses on Suspense/Romance and Chick Lit.
At the conference, Susan stressed that an important part of writing is being changed. If God didn’t change you while you wrote your book, then you missed the entire point.If God didn't change you while you wrote, then you missed the point. @SusanMayWarren #rewriteconf Click To Tweet
Here’s the deal: we write from our past. We write from our “dark places.” Those dark places of suffering and pain, she said, can become great tools for others. Just as you change, the character in your story changes. So understand yourself and how you reacted to dark moments in order to better write your own characters.What dark places from your past inspire your current writing? @SusanMayWarren #rewriteconf Click To Tweet
What dark moments have you had in your past? What lies did you believe that caused you to act the wrong way? For example, did you believe you were weak and that caused you to portray yourself as weak to others? Your dark moment might also involve facing your greatest fear.
The flaws in yourself and the characters that you write revolve around what you believe about your greatest fear, what lies you’ve bought into, and how you’ve reacted to this. These things can combine to create your character’s big WANT, the thing that drives you. The WANT always translates into an external goal.
Susan went on to talk in detail about the three acts of a story and the basic story structure. I won’t go into that here. If you want to read about that, the Re:Write Conference sells videos of its talks. 🙂
It seems that a big part of the message from these women involved embracing your past, allowing God to teach you from it, and then using that to teach others. While at the conference, I heard one attendee talk to Ted Dekker about how he had shared life-changing lessons in his book, only to have to learn those lessons all over again later.
That’s an important point to keep in mind. Just because you share a life-altering message in a book you’re writing, this doesn’t mean you have it all perfectly figured out yourself. Writing about it doesn’t mean you might not have to learn the lesson again sometime. Just don’t beat yourself up if you do. We’re all on this journey together.If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to the blog below. 🙂