Wednesday, August 31, 2011

5 Things I learned at a Writers Conference I Can Apply to Life - Guest Blog by Jeanette Levellie, a client of Diana Flegal

Today we are going to divert from First Pages for a guest blog by author Jeanette Levellie. I hope it makes you smile. Look below for the author reveal of last weeks First Page.

5 Things I Learned at a Writers Conference I Can Take Through Life

When I attended the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference last weekend, God surprised me with some lessons on life. Whether you're a writer or not, you may find these 5 tidbits helpful.

1. Loving people is more important than making myself known.

God gave me several opportunities to choose between pushing my own agenda forward and putting others first. I hope I passed the tests. He didn’t need to see what was in my heart, but I needed to grow in trusting Him to open doors for me, not pushing them open by my own manipulations.

2. Everyone has a different take. We need to listen to the Lord for His direction, not be overly moved by people’s opinions.

One editor said, “This is so good, it needs to be in a big publishing house. We are small and not taking new non-fiction this year. I’m going to pray a large house picks it up.” Another editor said, “You need to find a small house, or self-publish your first book, and then when the sales on that are good, look for a larger house to publish the subsequent books.” Aha.

3. People do stupid, rude things to get noticed.

Shove in line ahead of another author in order to talk to an agent; interrupt a presenter to tout your book; wear gaudy clothes to draw attention to yourself. You can do all these things, but it won’t impress anyone. You’re only fooling yourself if you think this is what breeds success.

4. Truly great people, no matter how famous they are, are approachable and humble.

Cecil Murphy, Karen Moore, and Kathi Macias are three wonderful examples of legend s in the Christian writing world. Yet all of them were gracious and kind, taking time to help and advise those of us not as far along on the journey as they. Reminded me of Jesus.

5. Words on a page are powerful, whether they’re in a book or on a conference schedule.

When you print “Coffee and fellowship” in the 2:30-2:50 time slot and the coffee is missing, I feel betrayed. Mad, in fact! At least explain why the coffee is missing…

I know others give advice on attending writers conferences with everything from how to pitch your book to how not to dress. I thought I’d share some musings from my heart regarding character. Not just for a conference, but for life.

Jeanette Levellie is an Author, editor, speaker, vocalist and Pastors wife.

Last weeks first page was submitted by author Jeff Miller. This is a page from his current WIP.


Jennifer Shirk said...

Those are a very good points. Thanks for sharing!

(And YES. When the say "coffee" they better mean it!!) :-)

Slamdunk said...

Excellent points Jeanette. I wish more would take your advice on the do anything to get noticed approach.

Jeanette Levellie said...

Jennifer: Yes, I take my coffee very seriously. I'm convinced they'll serve it at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb!

SD: I know! But those types alsom force me to look in the mirror and ask, "Am I showing off?" Others' faults usually give us ouches because they remind us of our own.

Jeanette Levellie said...

I meant also, not alsom. Must have not had enough coffee today.

Andy Scheer said...

I always plan to bring my own coffee supplies to a conference. (With a few notable exceptions, most conference center coffee is mediocre at best.) Am I a coffee snob? Absolutely! As an emergency measure, it's good to bring a stash of instant coffee. Even when the coffee runs out or isn't ready yet, there's still likely the tea-drinker's hot water, which you can add to your instant. It's better than nothing.

Linda Glaz said...

I remember sitting at Terry's table that first year. The poor guy never got a bite of food. Just as he'd try to eat, someone asked a question. I watched him and decided I wouldn't ask one question, but I surely did make up for it when I got home. I wrote immediately and thanked him for hosting the table. He told me he never plans to eat much at a conference so he can share info. What a great guy, but some of the folks were soooo rude.

Millie Samuelson said...

When I saw the post was by you, Jen, I knew it would be a fun and worthwhile read, so I read on -- and I wasn't disappointed! And hey, a suggestion for you and Andy -- have you tried coffee bags yet?? I like them better than instant. . . Weekend blessings! :-)

Karen Lange said...

Great post, Jen! I think they apply to a lot of different events too. Thanks so much for sharing.:)