This past week, I attended the Oregon Christian Writer’s Summer Conference.
Well, sort of.
This conference has been a part of my life — a major part — since 2009. I met some of my very best friends there. I found my amazing literary agent there. I worked for the organization itself for several years. I taught at the conference multiple times.
It’s been a catalyst in my writing life and personal life.
But this year, I had a few strings that made it a bit difficult to fully attend.
Cute and fluffy strings.
Things are different now
Getting away for a 4-day conference is a bit more complicated. So I registered for just a few classes and my mother generously looked after the kiddo while puppy patiently sat in her crate a few hours at a time.
Sitting in each workshop felt familiar, yet so strange. Bringing my son in to say hi to a host of writing friends (who all knew him from Facebook posts) was a unique place to be. Very few asked about my writing — it was all about baby!
I was 180 degrees from where I’d been in years before.
My writing is still a passion, but not a high priority in the scope of things. Being around my tribe of writers was refreshing, though I felt a bit like an imposter.
I missed my baby and yet relished in the freedom. It was and is an odd place to be.
It’s okay – this chapter is part of a bigger story
This year’s conference felt different for so many reasons. And yet I’m totally okay with it.
Every year will bring new challenges.
I’m so grateful for the new perspectives brought by having a son, taking care of a new puppy. These are all lessons in the bigger story of my life. Each little bit might end up in a novel one day. And I wouldn’t trade a moment of it.
Here’s to each new chapter being radically different than the last!