f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n: Live from the Festival of Faith and Writing

f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Live from the Festival of Faith and Writing

As luck/chance/providence would have it, there's a web terminal just outside the exhibition hall and I've been able to grab ten minutes to come a type something.

I don't have any wonderful grand insight into things. It's a conference. People with a passion for writing and books and God and Jesus have gathered at Calvin College to try and figure some things out. Bret Lott gave a keynote address on Christian literature. I just attended a talk by Vinita Hampton Wright (she wrote Velma Still Cooks in Leeway on the creative process.

Her key point was to stress a self-awareness that we need to develop as writers to understand how we, individually, write. We need to understand what inspires us, what blocks us, and what can jolt us to action. It's not ground-shaking, but it's well-worth knowing.

The creative process is too often thought of as a grand mystery and we simply can't afford to treat it with such reverence or we'll be a slave to it. Neither should we completely control the process to the point where inspiration and mystery are meaningless. The balance between the two is the place where writers can thrive and their art will flourish.

A few quotes:

"Your first draft will never be good enough." Amen to that.

A few other observations from the conference:

Image and Seattle Pacific are moving forward with their MFA program. It's a limited residency degree. More information looks to be forthcoming.

Got to meet some folks from a new publisher called WordFarm. It's cool to see what people are doing in the industry. I wish them luck and will pass on some more information as I gather it.