#1. I don’t know nearly as much about writing as I thought I did.
I learned this lesson faster than the time it takes to run out of breath walking from Rhododendron to Mountain Laurel! From attributions to plot to structure – I learned more than I even knew there was to know. And most of all, I learned that even after all that I took in, I have so much more left to learn.
It occurs to me now that this is a little like our walk with Christ. Before we can be saved, we have to first realize that we do not have all the answers. You have to know you’re lost before you can be ‘found’. Of course, when we first come to Christ, we can sometimes have such a passion and zeal that our words and actions hinder the cause of Christ. Similarly, at our first writer's conference, we can be tempted to think so highly of the masterpiece that we have created that we are perfectly obnoxious to everyone we meet (Oh, Lord, I hope that wasn’t me!)
As we mature and learn, we begin to see a glimmer of how long the road that lies before us is. We get a clearer picture of the immense amount of hard work that will be required of us. We glimpse the painful suffering that it may entail.
And we are faced with a choice.
We can ‘keep on swimming’ as Dory admonished in Finding Nemo. One of my favorite lines of all time and one that I use often.
Or we can give up and walk away. It’s too hard. I can’t do it.
But for me, writing has quickly become more than what I do. It is who I am. Going to BRMCWC was like returning to the mother ship – I am one of them! With apologies to Sally Field, "They understand me, they really understand me!" Just as once you have accepted Christ, there is a certain rapport that you feel almost immediately with fellow believers. So also is there a kinship amongst writers. We are different than other people. We are weird. And that is very good.
As a Christ-follower, you have no option but to continue to live for Him, no matter how challenging it is. So I, having accepted what God has fashioned me to be, have no choice but to press on.
13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14