Lessons Learned from the hope*writers Conference

Background photo by Kim DeLoach

This past weekend was the wildest ride I’ve had in a long time, and I’m dying to share the experience and takeaways here with you! Get ready for a little bit of personal reflection and a lot of practical takeaways - there’s so much gold summed up right here!

I’ve been stalking the hope*writers membership for at least a year because I knew it was time to get back into writing full-time, and endeavors like that usually go better when you’re connected to a community of like-minded people. (That was a free tip from me to you - you’re welcome. 😉) If I was going to get serious about this, I knew I just needed to jump in and DO THE THING. 

If you know me at all, you won’t be surprised that I jumped in with both feet and then also signed up for the in-person conference that was happening in North Carolina Nov. 3-5. Most people who do this sort of thing on a regular basis don’t have a big reaction to this statement, so let me take a moment to share why this was a huge deal for me:

  1. I had not traveled on an airplane in well over a decade. Actually, I’m pretty sure it was even before I had kids, and my oldest is now 14. So there’s that.
  2. Pandemic life and having a virtual job since 2017 meant anything in-person for that length of time had become something that was way out of my comfort zone. Could I still people (yes, this is now a verb) at that level and for that long?
  3. Booking a flight, hotel, and rental car is an epic level of adulting (also a verb) that my lack of executive functioning could hardly handle. It is possible that it took me a couple of months and massive levels of emotional support to make all of these things happen in time.

I did it, y’all. 

I did the things, I went to the conference, and it was absolutely worth all of the time, energy, and dollar bills that were invested in it. If you are a current writer or someone who is thinking of taking that leap, I highly recommend attending the conference next year!

Here are few gems I got to experience and take away from my time there:

  • If you’re struggling to claim your identity as a writer, start by paying attention and then write what you see. (Emily P. Freeman)
  • Marketing is movement, not manipulation - help people move from “before” to “after” so they get the transformation they need. (Caleb Peavy)
  • Writing doesn’t always have to be for someone else. Important reasons to write can include the catharsis it brings to you, personal education (for yourself and/or others), and bearing testimony to benefit your people. (Clarissa Moll)
  • It’s so important and valuable to find a community that is like-minded, like-missioned, and like-motivated. (Rachel G. Scott)
  • Part of the spiritual aspect of writing is that you feel called to write. Listen, be still, slow down, and allow yourself to become unattached from the outcome. Focus on the process over the results. (Ally Fallon)
  • Hope is shining the faintest light in the darkest night. (Brian Dixon)

Beyond those pearls of wisdom, I was also able to leave with new connections and friendships that I’m excited to explore and cultivate in the coming years. Get ready - there are some amazing collaborations and guest interviews headed your way over the next year!

Let me know in the comments - which takeaway resonated the most with you?

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