Reasons I can’t wait for JOT

The Weaklings, Josh Mosey, Bob Evenhouse, Matt LandrumIt’s hard to believe it, but Jot: The GR Writers Mini-Conference is tomorrow night! I and the other Weaklings members have been preparing for it for months. We’re excited and … a little nervous. We’re stepping out into the unknown – leading our own event for writers – and with that comes a healthy amount of butterflies in the stomach. I’ve been thinking today about all the reasons I’m looking forward to Jot. Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. I want to see if we really can pull of a “mini writers conference.” – This is one of our big goals for Jot and it helped shape the whole event. Back when we first started dreaming about putting on an event for writers in the Grand Rapids area we immediately ruled out a writers conference. They’re large, require lots of planning, lots of other people, a healthy amount of money, not mention blood, sweat, and tears. That’s when we landed on the “mini writers conference” idea. Something that captures the content, networking, and encouragement of a full scale writers conference in one night … for FREE.
  2. I’m looking forward to meeting new people. – If there’s anything I’ve learned about writing over the last five years it’s that I cannot do it without other people. Any success I’ve had with writing can in part be attributed to my brothers in the Weaklings. Without their encouragement and pushing I’d never have written anything. I’ve also learned that writers can uniquely help and encourage other writers. I’m looking forward to making new friends at Jot.
  3. I’m looking forward to testing my speaking abilities by sticking within the 15 minute time frame for presentations. – I’m long winded. Sometimes horribly so. Can I really give people helpful content about book proposals in a 15 minute talk? I think so, but it will test me (in a good way).
  4. I’m looking forward to hanging out in the newly re-designed Baker Book House. – I used to work at Baker. It was a great job and holds a special place in my heart. Back then we used to dream about a renovation of the store and the event space. Now those dreams are a reality. Even though I don’t work there anymore I’ll love seeing / participating in an event there. And I’m looking forward to sampling the new coffee too.
  5. I’m looking forward to the interview with Chad Allen from Baker Publishing. – Chad and I met briefly once a few years ago. I don’t really know him, but I know of him and I know he’s brilliant. You should check out his blog. He really is. I’m interested to learn from him and look forward to meeting him (again).
  6. I’m looking forward to seeing good friends. – I know of a handful of people who are coming that I don’t get to see very often. It will be great to catch up. That’s what a writing community should be like!

I hope to see you tomorrow night! Check out this link for all the details.

-AR

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