Writer’s Contreat 2015
By: Elisha Garcia
“Lord, if you don’t want me to do this, please send me a sign. Please send something to get in my way. Please stop me from what I’m about to do if you don’t want me to do it.” This was my prayer on a Thursday afternoon as I drove home from work. At this point, it had been five years since I had finished my very first book and I was losing hope. I had made a vow to myself that I wanted it published by the end of this year, however, publishing it seemed so far out of my reach. I had desperately contacted some online publishers to try and find out how to get started, because I really had no idea. But they all seemed to be rushing me to send in my manuscript, or to get me to pay, saying “You only have till this Friday to sign up with us or you will lose your discount.” At first I was overwhelmed and stopped talking to them, but the more they called, and the more desperate I got, I started to think that maybe I should just do it. It would be a good investment after all. This was for my future of writing right? If God wanted this published, He would provide the money to do it right? One publisher in particular kept contacting me and I was going to finally give in. I was going to call them back and say, “Yes! Publish my book please.” And that is exactly what I was going to do as soon as I got home that day. However, I still felt uneasy about something. And that is why I was praying that prayer.
As soon as I stepped through the door to my Grandma’s house, before I even had a chance to ask her how she was, she said “Go talk to you mom, she has to tell you something.” Ok? I laughed to myself and headed over. It seemed unusual. When I walked into my mom’s house, almost like a repeated scene, she right away said, “You have to go to this!” And handed me a flyer to a Writer’s Conference. At first I was a little confused because I had never heard of a Writer’s Conference before. But after she explained that it was going to be three days of learning how to publish your book I was all for it. This was the sign from God! He answered my prayer immediately! I told my mom that God used her to answer my prayer and as we talked more about the Conference, the more excited I got.
A couple Thursday’s later, I was on my way to my very first Writer’s Conference. It went three full days, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, from about 8:00am to late evening every day. There were about thirty people there, all people like me who had something on their heart to write but didn’t know how to go about doing it. I met a range of people from those who had an idea and had it written out, to those who hadn’t even started and were wondering why they were even there. And the most amazing thing was to see those same people, at the end of the weekend, as inspired and on fire as me. The Conference not only inspired, but it definitely pointed all of those precious people and I in the right direction. I have pages upon pages of notes I had written of information I was given. Among the leader of the Contreat, Mrs. Gerry Wakeland, there were also four profession Authors there: Mrs. Cynthia Ruchti, Mrs. Gloria Penwell, Mrs. Linda Gilden, and Mr. Larry Leach. All of whom I was able to receive their contact information so I could email and asked them any questions I might have in the future.
I was nervous about going, only because I thought it was going to be a huge conference where you had to decided which workshop to attend, and what if I went to the wrong one when another would have been better for me? But I really liked how we were always all together in the same room and there was only one workshop at a time, so I know I got all of the information there was to offer there. Every day, there was sign-ups to go to lunch with one of the Professional Authors and I took advantage and went with a different one every day. A group of about six or seven people would go eat with them and just have a pleasant lunch talking about our projects. The Author, of course, would give great advice and ideas to help us. Also, there was a couple hours every day to just free right, between the workshops, and the Authors would come and sit at your table for a little while to ask you what your working on and offer good advice. I loved how they were just normal people, talking to us and offering advice like a good friend would.
The amounts of information I got was priceless and I met so many people who were interested in the same things as me, and also people who did other things. It was a great way to expand my circle of friends and connect with people that I might work with in the future and bounce ideas around with. I was able to start a critique group to help me with my writing, as well as gather ideas of how to better expand my music and worship. I now have a clear idea of what to do and how to do it and this Contreat literally saved me from making a huge mistake. It showed me that there are things out there and people out there who are willing to help me and I not only don’t have to do this alone, but I can’t do it alone. I need the help of great Godly people to help me and guide me.
Among all the information I learned, my absolute favorite part was the morning devotions. There was a beautiful teaching every morning and worship songs that got my mind and heart back on track with the Lord. Even when the enemy tried to distract me, and he did a few times during the weekend, the devotions were what kept me in the Lord and let Him do His powerful work in me for those three days. The one thing that was stressed above all was that the only reason we have any talents or abilities to write is because of the Lord Jesus Christ. And one thing I had never thought of was this: If God is calling me to write, I need to write. I need to obey that calling and write with my heart, and write to God. It’s not just something I do for fun, although I really enjoy it. It is a calling from the Lord to write and write for His glory. And he will take care of the rest.
This Writer’s Contreat opened my eyes and the Lord opened a million doors from this experience. If you are an aspiring writer, go to one of these, I promise you will not only not be disappointed, you will be so glad you did. It is worth every penny you put towards it. And the Lord will do great and powerful things in you life if you obey. He did for me. And He will continue to do amazing things in my life. I feel closer to the Lord then I have ever felt before and all because I obeyed. The Lord is good, He is mighty and wonderful. He will fulfill the desires of your heart if your heart is set on Him.
“He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” ~Luke 11:28of