The buzz of the audience made it clear that much was expected. Excitement hummed through us all as the evening’s coordinator took the stage to introduce the main speaker. I had read some of his books – some I liked, some not so much – so I was unsure what to expect from him as the plenary speaker at Write! Canada, the country’s largest writers’ conference, held June 11-14 in Guelph Ontario.
When he took the microphone and admitted that he hadn’t really prepared a speech for that night, I groaned inwardly. I’d heard speakers say that before and had to endure a rambling talk that had little focus and not much depth. But this speaker, on this night, would prove different.
Later it would be referred to as “The Ted Talk,” and it was the highlight of the conference for many of us because the speaker, best-selling author Ted Dekker, spoke directly from his heart about his life as a young missionary kid, his life as he became obsessed with writing and his life as success brought him to his knees and led him to surrender completely to God.
These are some of the things I jotted down that night. I trust they will stir your hearts to ponder:
*Writing itself is a process to peace.
*Your fear will keep you chained – move forward on the beautiful path of surrender.
*You are a writer for your own transformation, not for your success.
*Let go of the need to be better than you are and discover your true beauty right now through your writing.
*Your objective is to live life, not publish books so focus on your writing as a means to knowing God.
*Writing becomes “magical” when you find the light in your own darkness.
*If you are not being transformed the story will not be about transformation.
*We are just kids playing at making sand castles that will be swept away. But we are left with what has happened in us and what we find within us – God himself.
*Find the greatest conflict in yourself right now and write it. Bleed on the page.
Ted’s talk was recorded by Swordfish Digital (email firstname.lastname@example.org) and will be available on The Word Guild’s Website in the near future. I highly recommend it to all writers of faith.