Well, She Speaks has come and gone my OG’s. I am so thankful for all the calls, texts and prayers. I felt them for sure. I spent the first 12 hours REPENTING for being so nervous to go. What a mistake I made. I am so thankful God does not lose His patients with me. I just imagine Him in heaven making all my dreams come true and I am down here going, “Oh Lord I am so nervous to go do this thing.” He has to smack His forehead, right?
Jesse and I lived it up a little by renting a convertible Camero. Dave Ramsey people will understand how hard it is just to rent a basic car with a debit card, so that fact that they let us rent a fancy car with a debit card just shows Jesus was pulling strings for us. Get over yourselves rental car companies.
So, then it was off to Concord to get ready for the next day. All I wanted to do was go over my proposal, so Jesse was sweet enough to hear it, “just once more.” There was a sweet woman from Rockwall there too! Her name is Alison. She is a friend of a friend, but we connected at the airport. She said, “You can’t practice you just have to go in and do it.” I told her, “If I go in and wing it the F-Word will slip out somewhere and I am sure they will frown on that.”
The next morning was the pre-conference day. It was also the day I had two publishing meetings. Jesse drove me over to the conference center. On the way there I saw two women walking together to the conference center. I thought, “I bet they are walking to the conference.” Sure, enough when I went into the room, I saw them sitting there so I walked over and asked if I could sit by them. Side note: Does the feeling of being an awkward high schooler in every new situation ever go away? Anyway, they said yes because guess what? This was conference full of CHRISTIANS not raging Vikings. Turns out one of them was named Sarah. I mean come on, that is crazy right? When you have the same name there is an instant connection. God can’t make it any easier than that!
I learned so much. I am fighting a little discouragement because this is going to be a lot more work than I anticipated over a lot longer time. The “growing the email list” thing has been hard enough to live with. But to also have to think about the business side of writing feels really hard. The branding, media blitz’s, acquisition magnets, and marketing were all things that made my heart race because that is what happens when I am told I have to do something I have no idea how to do. But the Proverbs 31 Women who put on the She Speaks conference are no dummies. They knew each night that we would come into dinner, heads and hearts swimming, and they would re-focus us on the One who knows our hearts desires. They are really a brilliant group of women.
And the women, oh my gosh the friends I have met. That sounded weird, I don’t mean to be a chauvinist. I just met so many awesome women! I am also so grateful to be a Hope Writer because that was an instant connecter too! I cannot even. It is all worth it to get to share your heart with other women who are in the exact same boat. And then turn to another women and be able to encourage her because maybe she was one step behind me. We are all creatives with the same desire to tell people about Jesus. We could all go home and just live life and be fine, except for this burning desire to communicate God’s love with other people. Trust me I have quit several times over the last week. I have thrown my hands up and said, “This is too hard, I don’t have to do this.” Only to walk back into my writing room and try again. I was afraid I would come home from She Speaks and not know what to do with myself. That is not the case at all. The well-crafted classes helped me see exactly what the next steps are.
Here are some highlights that I learned:
- Worrying about competing with the other women at She Speaks would ruin the conference for me. They told us the first day that competition has no place in God’s Economy. This is true for life too. You have to exchange competition for connection. This was a game changer for me. I was a risk to be crushed by competition.
- A great communicator makes God the Hero of any story.
- Your “Brand” is so much more important than just a logo. It is what builds trust with your readers.
- My job is to identify a pain point in women and gather them around the solutions, not the misery of the pain.
- Be brave enough to pitch your message, not yourself. Then it isn’t self-promotion.
- Your calling is not something you dread, and you can’t manage it without Jesus.
- Bianca Olthoff is the funniest person alive.
- When we experience “triggers” they are actually an act of great mercy because if the fullness of the impact of sin was heaped on us at once it would kill us—Lysa TerKeurst. Sometimes my whole life feels like I am working through triggers, this changed my perspective.
- What you think and say shows who you are mastered by—Lysa TerKeurst.
The first publishing appointment was a dream come true. The agent I met with loved my book idea and told me she wanted me to build my email numbers (which we already knew) and then reach back out to her. But she also told me she was a writing coach as well and was willing to help me get started on the official proposal and to get my numbers up. I was over the moon. The next appointment did not go so well. But here is the good news. I Sarah Griffith, with well documented fear of rejection, got rejected and lived to tell the tale! The third appointment was similar to the first. She loved the idea but could not move forward until I have a bigger platform. I can’t tell you how encouraging it is to have a professional in the writing industry tell you are “on to something.”
This coming week we head out for our family vacation and to celebrate Sydney’s birthday. I am going to take the time to try to let what I have learned marinate. And then we get back to start school again. I am sad/glad about this. Sad because we just had the absolute best summer in the history of the Griffith house hold. Glad because as I said before, I have some work to do and I can’t wait to get started. Also She Speaks 2020—I can’t wait!!