Several months ago I received an invitation to attend an Authors’ Expo in Marion County, Florida. Local authors from all over the central part of Florida were invited. It sounded like a Writers’ Convention to me but with no guest speakers, no seminars, and everyone else in the community was invited to attend, too. Authors could bring along a few books just in case someone wanted a signed copy. There was a very minimal entrance fee required, yet what I gained from that event was worth many times more than I paid.

What did I gain?

FRIENDS: I sat next to Robin Thomas. I learned she has a husband who is in Afghanistan as a civilian contractor, and she writes Romantic fiction (the uplifting kind). I met Steven, a blind author, who wrote about his experiences as a sightless serviceman and a paramedic.

RENEWED COMMITMENT: Writing can be a solitary experience. It’s just you and your computer, and sometimes even your computer has a bad day and won’t communicate with you. Being with others who share a love of the written word turned up my pilot light and ignited the spark in me again.

I was reminded how essential it is to join with others to encourage, inspire, and challenge each other to continue using the unique gifts and talents God has given us. Although we wrote with different styles and for different audiences, we had one awesome similarity: we were all doing what we loved!

Photo credit: Robin Thomas, Author.