Writing on Wednesday is a way to keep this particular writer on track (I hope!). These are weekly posts/updates where I will share something from the past week of writing with the readers of this blog. Sometimes it might be something I’ve learned, found useful, or a bit of my own writing and ideas. I hope this will be a time of sharing, encouragement, and accountability. Join me in setting some writing goals to finish that project and celebrate each success.
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What I Learned from my First Writing Conference
It’s been a couple of weeks since I attended my first writer’s conference. The experience was amazing on so many levels. Wherever you are on your writing path, I highly recommend attending one if you have the opportunity.
There are so many things that I’ve learned at this conference, and I wish I could share every single detail with you. But that might make for a handful of boring posts. So rather, I’m going to try to combine things into some posts, that I hope you will find not only helpful, but encouraging. All of these are topics that seemed to continuously pop up in various sessions, whether a workshop or plenary session. These are some of the ideas that I was blessed to walk away with and hope to keep in mind as I continue on my own writing journey. I plan to focus on one of these for each of the next 5 Wednesdays. I’m so excited to share them with you.
Have you ever had something that seemed to just be repeated over and over throughout different circumstances? Or you just keep running into a similar concept? That happened to me over the weekend of the writer’s conference. The idea of excellence. It was mentioned in a handful of workshops and with a couple of other speakers, and then our pastor mentioned something relating to it in church on the following Sunday.
One of the speakers at the conference mentioned that excellence and perfectionism were similar yet very different. At their core, both strive to be the best. But behind each, lies a different attitude. You see, perfectionism (and I’ve often referred to myself as a perfectionist) will always have an element of fear with it. In fact, fear drives it. Fear of failure. Fear of disappointment. Fear of not being enough. On the other hand, excellence requires courage. Courage to do your best and be content with that. Courage to face disappointment Courage to risk that it might not be enough. But also, courage to continue on.
In regards to writing, we should strive for excellence. Not perfection. Perfection doesn’t leave room for improvement. But excellence? That leaves room for growth. For learning. For just doing better. We have to give ourselves permission to write terribly. Because, only then can we start to polish those ideas and strive for excellence.
It’s always hard to give up ideas. Giving up the idea of being perfect is a hard one for me. I like to keep things just so, sometimes I find comfort in that. Being excellent is a challenge. It isn’t easy. It means giving up self-doubt and saying “this is my best.” But to say that, we can’t hold back. We have to give it all we have, and that is where we can find excellence.