Susie Finkbeiner is on the planning committee for the conference this year. Susie’s first novel, Paint Chips, will also release in January 2013. This post was originally from her blog. Susie shares with us how the Breathe Christian Writers Conference was a turning point for her writing career.
Last year, just about this time, I felt like I was suffocating.
I could barely catch a breath as a writer.
It felt as if I had run about 20 miles without taking a single breath.
My novel wasn’t finding an agent. I felt relatively uninspired.
Like an old pea you find that rolled under the fridge months ago. Shriveled up. Dry.
I needed a breath. Something to remind me that I’m a writer. And that it isn’t selfish/petty/audacious/vain to pursue that life.
My good friend (and writing gal pal) Amelia Rhodes and I were determined to find a writer’s conference to attend.
So, we went to Google. Good old Google.
We found The Breathe Christian Writers Conference.
I need to tell you, this conference became a turning point in my writing career.
Each workshop I attended nailed the point that I am a writer. That it is a holy calling. That God can use me as I write stories about broken people. People who need redemption. And love. And compassion. And mercy. That the words I use are important. That the Holy Spirit is my inspiration.
Each person I met made me fall in love with the West Michigan writing community. A community that has become more like a family. A family that cheers us on. Shares meals and hugs and advice.
I’ve been to big conferences. They’re good. I’ve learned a lot.
But, I have to say, there is something special about Breathe. I grew as a writer. A friend. A servant of God.
I believe that it was because of the intimacy of the event. The welcoming smiles. The hugs. The new friendships.
At the end of the conference, we all exchanged business cards.
I didn’t expect to hear from many of them again. Perhaps a few. I expected our friendships, our community, to be limited to the conference each year.
But that’s not what happened.
Amelia and I both forged relationships with the people at The Breathe Conference. Not just Facebook friendships. No. The kind that is deeper. More authentic.
Church. The Body of Christ.
As a writer, I breathed deeply.
If you are a writer, or suspect that you may be, this is a great conference. Full of encouragement, instruction, and opportunities to meet others like you, it is well worth the trip and the VERY reasonable registration fee. This year’s conference will be held in Dutton, Michigan (right by Caledonia…south of Grand Rapids).
October 12 and 13 are the dates to mark on your calendar. Register before August 15 to get the early-bird rate of $110 (which includes dinner on Friday night, lunch on Saturday, and coffee…yes…that is an important detail). After August 15, the rate goes up to $135. Still reasonable. But, hey, that’s $20 you can spend elsewhere!
We’d love to see you. This is a conference for writers of all skill levels, genres, and from all over. It’s worth the trip, for sure!