Done…And Just Beginning

photo by Luis Llerena
photo by Luis Llerena

Life exists on the other side of the writers conference.

I questioned that. I went into it with fear–of failure, of rejection, of not being enough. Didn’t sleep the night before we left because of nerves.

I’ve emerged from it with a sense of perspective, hope and more confident that I should write.

Didn’t see that coming.

They’d joked in the materials they’d sent ahead of time that we shouldn’t plan on sleeping. The schedule would be packed. People would be available for appointments. Networking would be encouraged.

I thought they were kidding.

I was wrong.

I got there for the early seminar with my two friends. Writing pitches and book proposals. It was either Greek or will take some time to digest. The learning curve had begun.

Thursday hit like a jackhammer on steroids.

Input. Critiques. Encouragements. One-on-one appointments with folks who were in the business. Seeking answers. Learning what questions to ask. Listening to others ask great questions.

Trying to act like I knew what I was doing.

Busy has a tendency to keep my focus from fear. Busy overwhelms emotion all together. I learned to welcome the busy even though I got to the point where I was drifting to snoozeland at a few seminars.

We began at 7:30 each morning. Great speakers sharing while we ate. Seminars all morning. Small critique groups where the  of each person was analyzed by our little band of writers. Looking for better wording, tightening the copy. I appreciated that they began with a positive comment, gave input on where they thought the text could be improved and ended with great encouragement.

More seminars in the afternoon. Our keynote speaker brought his messages in the evening. Followed by more seminars.

You knew it was going to be a long night when the leaders began offering chocolate to entice us to stay awake and come. I’ll do a lot for chocolate.

The busy had no end.

It was intense. But it was a coming together of like-minded people who all want to do the same thing. Honor God with what we write. No matter the genre or storyline.

Though I’ve questioned my ability, my take-away this weekend was bigger than talent. Greater than networking. More significant than connections.

My calling.

I’ve felt for years God wanted me to use my writing as a way to encourage others. To bring attention to Jesus. To share His truth.

I’ve been my own worst enemy. I’ve allowed my doubts and fears to blur the divine focus of my heart.

There’s no guarantee I’ll ever be a published writer. The call was to write. Maybe just for me and my growth. Possibly for others. I will write.

I’ve got God-shaped dreams in my heart. Things I should pursue. Stepping out of my comfort zone to follow those dreams is where I’ll encounter resistance.

I’ve an enemy who doesn’t want me to succeed.

The lies that populate my thoughts can drive me from those dreams. Reality–God is greater than those lies.

Staying true to a call?

It’s worth stepping out of my comfort zone.

What dreams has God given you?

photo by Roman Vignes
photo by Roman Vignes




13 responses to “Done…And Just Beginning”

  1. I am so proud of you!!! Love you


    1. Thanks for always being there for me, with a world of encouragement and a hug to keep going. I so appreciate you and how you’ve been supportive for so long.


  2. You captured it so well. I’m soooo encouraged by your solidified calling to write. Yes, yes and yes. God has got your back, he’s at your side and He has gone before you to call you on a path. I’m cheering you on and I’m walking next to you and that is a blessing to me.


    1. Well, friend, you know this well. We’re in this together. Word sisters.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Love that. Word sisters.


  3. I love you!! And your writing! And that you are writing!! I once heard an author say writing a book is like giving birth to barberwire. You know as much (or more!) about that than anyone! I’m one of sooooooo many loving you. And I’m on your team. There is no need to feel like writing. Just WRITE! You’ll be glad you did. So will your readers. I know….I’m one!


    1. Mar, you are one of the most encouraging, edifying, God-honoring restorers of hope and heart that I know. Thank you for this. And for reading. Love you, my friend,


  4. BTW, that last reply is from Mary Graham. (Perhaps you know more than one Mary!!!)😉


    1. There IS only one Mary!


  5. WgcylSW76UdTyNr2jxWvi4baekGRo+t1Weylq5ZVr30= Avatar

    Hey twino, I’m just reading this now. I’ve always known you can write. Let your light shine, Babe. God uses you hugely. Love you.


    1. You are a sweet encouragement to my heart, sweetie. You’re a balm to my soul. Thank you for reading. You’ve no idea how much it means to me.


  6. Alice Fredricks Avatar
    Alice Fredricks

    Just now read this and was wondering how the conference went for you!! YES! Dayle, I have no doubt you should be writing and love everything I read you write! Carry on with your calling, dear friend, God gave you all those words you use so skillfully! Love you!!!


    1. Allie, you’re such a sweet encourager–you’ve always been that for me. Thanks for your exuberance–I can’t tell you how much it means to me.


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