Every other year I attend the Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College in Grand Rapids. Since graduating from high school, I’ve attended 8 of these conferences.

You can thank FFW for this blog (which I started after the 2010 conference). And, because of FFW, I wrote for the Burnside Writers Collective which gave my career a little boost. Oh. And I met Amelia Rhodes in 2010 at the festival. A lot of good has come from FFW.

Can you see why I was so excited for the 2014 conference? I was absolutely giddy! I remembered how remarkable it was in 2012, attending for the first time as a contracted author. I sat in one of the sessions and wished I could be there all the time. Constantly surrounded by writers. Always gleaning wisdom from the presenters.

This year was different.

I went from session to session, gulping all the information offered me. I was so encouraged by the humility of authors leagues ahead of me. I scribbled notes furiously.

People, I cried in almost every single session. Quietly, thank goodness.

I believe I learned more this year than any other. But I never once wished I could stay there forever. I was eager to soak in the knowledge and then get back to my novel.

This year was different because I have work to do. By Friday evening my fingers were itchy to get back to it. I had a whole day left with some of the most impacting presentations to attend. And it all just built up the pressure to get this novel out of me. Onto the paper. Into the hands of readers. Then dive into the next novel. And the next and the next and the next.

At the Festival of Faith and Writing, I filled my well so that I can pour it all out in my writing.

And, speaking of my writing, I’ve got to get to it.

Interestingly, Bonnie Grove (author of the brilliant Talking to the Dead) wrote a post about this kind of thing at Novel Matters (if you’re a writer you must, MUST follow that blog). Click HERE to read what Bonnie had to say.

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