What do Hershey’s kisses, Jerry B. Jenkins, and 90 Minutes in Heaven have in common? The Writer to Writer conference at the Hershey Lodge featuring Jerry Jenkins (author of the Left Behind series) and Cecil Murphey (co-author of 90 Minutes in Heaven and Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story) as well as several other wordsmiths, editors, and author coaches.
We were given candy bars when we checked in to the Writer to Writer conference, hot cocoa during breaks, and Hershey’s kisses in each conference room. We even got to wash our hair with chocolate-scented shampoo! But even tastier than these treats was the teaching we received.
From funny to enlightening, here are my favorite quotes from the Writer to Writer conference. Tweet that!
“When did you know you loved to write?” someone asked Jerry Jenkins.
“There are a lot of things I love about being a writer,” he said. “I love having written, I love being able to write well, and I love being a writer. But writing’s a little too hard and grueling to love while doing it.”
In her blogging workshop, Lori Stanley Roeleveld said, “There is no hiding on the reader’s screen. Amid the carefully crafted words, your soul will appear in all its beautiful and messy imperfection. This isn’t an art for the skittish, the thin-skinned, or the fraud.”
Billy Graham said he does two things:
1) Prays without ceasing.
2) Searches the scriptures.
“It takes years to become a good writer,” Cecil Murphey told us in his keynote speech.
A chiropractor once said to him, “I think I’m going to take off six months and write a book.”
“That’s funny,” Cecil replied. “I was thinking I would take off six months and be a chiropractor.”
Rebecca Minor, the director of Realm Makers, a symposium for Christian fantasy and sci-fi writers, said, “I’m too weird for normal people and too normal for weird people.”
Author coach Suzy Q was teaching us how to be relevant, relational, and relatable to our audience, and then she reminded us, “You write books for people to read.”
Her husband laughed and repeated what she said. “You can now go home,” he told us. “Who needs Cecil and Jerry?”
What’s the most common mistake fiction writers make?
“Not plunging your character into terrible trouble as soon as possible,” Jerry Jenkins said in his “Fiction Your Readers Will Remember Forever” seminar.
Lori Stanley Roeleveld said, “We must be brave, we who blog. We must be fearless. We must love the Lord with abandon and recklessly allow that love to travel the path of our fingertips onto the keyboard to be translated into truth that can ignite a fire before the reader’s hand can click again.”
While writing Just As I Am, Jerry Jenkins told Billy Graham how much people admire him.
Billy Graham put his hand on the floor and said, “I feel this low when I think about all the ways I failed the Lord.”
In the midst of so many different writing projects we could pursue, Cecil Murphey gave us one final charge.
“Lord,” he told us to pray. “Where do I begin?”