July 02, 2014

The Ted Talk by Marcia Laycock

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 conferences@swordfishdigital.com) and will be available on The Word Guild’s Website in the near future. I highly recommend it to all writers of faith.

Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada where she is a pastor's wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone. Her second novel, A Tumbled Stone was short listed in the contemporary fiction category of The Word Awards in 2013 and this year her work was short listed in three categories. Marcia also has two devotional books in print. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan. Abundant Rain, an ebook devotional for writers can be downloaded here. Visit Marcia’s Website 


  1. Thanks so much for sharing Ted's points, Marcia. Yes, they stirred me. Yes, they help. I needed to read them today.

    I hope TWG announces on Facebook when that talk is up and available. It sounds worth hearing.


  2. It's wonderful when someone speaks to our heart especially when we weren't expecting it.

  3. Thank you for sharing, first your inward groan, and then the delight and surprise in the challenge.
    Some powerful points, I will print them up.
    Congratulations on your writing successes as well.

  4. Ted Dekker has long been one of my favourite authors and was frankly the main readon I wished to go to Write! this year... Alas, it wasn't meant to be but I will be purchasing that speech once its available

  5. Marcia,

    Thanks SO much for sharing these points with us from Ted's Talk. Wow, they do speak to me, especially points four and six.

    Just what I need to start today with as I plunge into a new assignment today.


  6. He makes such good points! I agree that God uses writing to transform us more than to entertain or to transform others. God is so good.

  7. Thank you for sharing Ted's words of wisdom!
    I feel such a sigh of relief!!

    Bless you,

  8. "You are a writer for your own transformation, not for your success." I think that's my favourite quote that I gleaned from this post, although it is all so good and so relevant. Thanks Marcia, for sharing from your notes.

  9. I must say I have only read a couple of Ted's books but I thoroughly enjoyed listening to him and learning a little about his 'inner workings.' I liked his advice about not hanging on so tightly to our 'sacred cows' too! And then I can't get it out of my head about how he said 'change the story.' He used the example, I think, of road rage. Instead of thinking that the person who just cut us off is a no good...we need to change the story and perhaps see the careless driver to be someone who is driving their sick wife to hospital or who has just received some bad news, etc. I found that good advice for life as well as for our own stories on the page. If we don't like where we are going or our mindset then we need to change the story! :)
    Great post and don't you just love your own title, Marcia? I do. Love it Clever Girl! A great Ted Talk is surely was!

  10. Thanks for sharing those nuggets Marcia.
    I especially liked his inner focus--what we do is teaching and transforming us; certainly something that has to happen if it is going to influence others.

  11. Thanks, Marcia, for encapsulating The Ted Talk. Thanks for the challenge to find the greatest conflict in yourself right now and write it. I have opened a page and bled on the page before, but I think I need another bloodletting as we are still in the downsizing, unpacking boxes and fixing things stage of a difficult household move. All things were not as they appeared before we moved to a rental property.

    I wrote some of this plus some notes of gratitude for my July 10 InScribe blog. I haven't been following the InScribe blogs that well lately as Hank and I are putting in long days trying to make sense of our lives and our household.

    Thanks for sharing this great inspiration from Word Guild Conference.

  12. Great advice! Someday I hope to make it to Write! Canada. :) I've never actually read any of Ted Dekker's books, but I've heard great things about him and it would have been cool to hear him speak. THanks for sharing your notes. :)


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