Today I am delighted to introduce Author Lisa Jordan, my close friend and critique buddy. Lisa paints her words with beautiful imagery, tender romance, and a dash of spice. We will have a drawing for a free copy of her brand new book Lakeside Family. To enter your name in the drawing leave a comment below.
Married 23 years to her real-life hero, Lisa Jordan knows a thing or two about romance. She and her husband have two college-age sons. Lisa writes contemporary Christian romance for Love Inspired. Her debut novel, Lakeside Reunion, is a 2012 Carol Finalist. Her second novel, Lakeside Family, released in August. To learn more about Lisa, visit her website at www.lisajordabooks.com and her Facebook Author Page at www.facebook.com/AuthorLisaJordan.
Be a Blessing
Attending my first conference was a life-changing experience…and a huge leap out of my comfort zone. Traveling to Nashville in 2005 had been my first time flying solo. For this directionally-challenged gal, I worried I’d end up on the wrong plane. Not only that, but I was about to head into a hotel where I didn’t know a single soul. Well, I knew some of them, but I hadn’t met them face-to-face. Our contact had been online via email, blogs, etc. And you know what others say about people you meet online. Well, I’m happy to report there wasn’t a single stalker or psychopath among them…I didn’t count the zealous writers who followed the agents or editors into the restroom.
What impressed me the most about that first writers conference was how other writers went out of their way to bless me with words of encouragement, prayers and random acts of kindness.
My conference takeaway was I wanted to be that kind of person to others at upcoming conferences.
Before each conference I attended, I prayed and asked God to use me to bless someone who needed it. This person may be a stranger at the airport, another writer or a staff member at the conference hotel.
How about you? Maybe you’re uncertain where to start. Here are my suggestions to Be a Blessing to others:
- Be kind. A simple smile and a kind attitude go a long way. A smile signals “I see you” to someone else in a crowded room. Step outside of your comfort zone and say hello. This is a tough one for me. I’m an introvert so talking to strangers can be a challenge. But at a writers conference, we have commonalities. While standing in line, ask someone what they write or where they’re from. Those icebreakers open the gates to conversation.
- Be a Volunteer. Volunteering at a conference blesses the conference director, but it puts you in contact with others. Use those opportunities to build relationships.
- Be a Prayer Warrior. Before you register, pray for God’s presence at the conference. Pray for those who can’t attend. At the conference, pray for someone who may be feeling discouraged. If you notice someone sitting by herself and seems to be discouraged, ask if everything is okay, then offer to pray for her.
- Be transparent. Conferences are ripe with moments of embarrassment. When someone wants to crawl under the table, empathize and share one of your own faux pas. Chances are, you will be able to bond and help the other person laugh about the situation. Showing your heart puts others at ease.
- Be gracious. Conference emotions run rampant when hundreds of people attend the same place. Hurt feelings are bound to happen. Be sensitive to situations, but focus on grace instead of allowing resentment and bitterness to steal your joy.
People will leave the conference with suitcases stuffed with dirty laundry, purchased books and lasting impressions. Make sure their impression of you is one of blessing. Your attitude is remembered long after the conference ends.
Your Turn: How has someone blessed you at a writers conference? How can you be a blessing to others?