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Realm Makers Writers Conference (and why it was awesome)

I don't try new things often, but when I do, I blog about it.

This past weekend marked my first year at the Realm Makers Writers Conference: Pandemic Edition. It was recommended by a friend and caught me completely off-guard—I mean, writers conferences are something I've heard of but never imagined myself taking part in. Mainly because of stress, crowds, human interaction, and, well, you get the gist. So when the idea of a virtual conference was presented to me, I didn't see the merit. My response was a ready, "I'm good, thanks!"

Fortunately, things change. And that night, I registered to become a first-time Realmie.

Now, I could go into all the fun of registering for a conference a week prior, the mad rush to submit all my materials for zoom appointments before the deadline, the technical difficulties that ensued due to my frazzled state and complete lack of online savvy. But I won't. In fact, maybe I'll save that for my upcoming AuthorTube video.

This post is all about the opposite of stress.

If you don't know me personally, you might not think much of my choice to jump into Realm Makers head first and last minute. If you do, you'll know how absolutely ground-breaking it was for me. Before this weekend, taking part in something like this would have been panic-inducing. A notion I wouldn't even entertain because of the social stress, pressure, and overall terror it represented. Before this weekend, I would never have dreamed of voluntarily having zoom calls with publishing professionals.

But I knew I had to do this. I felt that I had to do this. And believe me when I say that God worked miracles in me that week.

I prayed for courage. I prayed that the Lord would take my fear, that he would replace it with strength and calm and commitment and willingness to learn. After registering, I felt ready. After the submission deadline, I felt accomplished, even excited. After day one, I felt humbled and focused. After day two, I felt humbled and grateful.

It was divine intervention, plain and simple. I know myself, and my chill throughout this endeavour was nothing short of miraculous. Oh, sure, I had my moments when I was rattled by a meeting, but the meeting folks were so very kind, the sessions I saw were inspiring, and overall, it was just an incredibly positive experience.

Especially day three.

I was working that day, but my fantastic boss allowed me to zip home in time to catch my final afternoon appointment. All of my appointments had been worthwhile and educational, but God knew exactly what I needed for a grand finale. He gave me nutritious blend of encouragement, hope, guidance, and perspective that not only strengthened me, but raised the entire weekend to a new level of blessing.

I'd love to do a true recap of my Realmie experience on AuthorTube (subscribe here if you don't want to miss it) but I hope this post offers a little taste of the lesson I learned this weekend. God is good, all the time. When we follow His nudges, He takes us down paths that may surprise us, but ultimately work toward our good. He grants courage and strength to those who come to Him with fear and weakness, and He knows with infinite clarity what we need to make us stronger, and to keep us on track to Him.

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