On Writing

How I Became a Twitter Convert and Kept My Salvation

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI am still basking in the afterglow of a rich and rewarding 5 days at the Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College in Michigan. (Thank you, Grand Rapids, snow and all.) Since I have few available brain cells left for writing, I present to you a post from a n o t h e r wonderful writer’s conference four years ago. Enjoy~

I am exhausted and beyond tired. My brain is packed, my spirit is full to overflowing and my body has been existing on junk food since Friday.
It is so NOT FAIR that the day I have to drive home from the Faith and Culture Writers Conference in Portland is also the ‘Spring Forward’ part of Daylight Savings Time.

But it was totally worth it.

Like all good writers going to a conference on writing, I took a new journal to mark the occasion. A simple no line, blank page model, an empty picture frame ready for a masterpiece to be placed inside. So much potential waiting for my pen.

When I decided to christen this journal several weeks ago, I actually didn’t know what I was going to use it for.  Clearly God did.  I had a quote glued to the inside cover:

CHANGE IS GOOD.  You go first.

Yes, I changed my mind about many things–my writing focus, my voice. And especially about Twitter, a virtual chat-o-sphere which I have been avoiding like the salad bar in an old diner. It’s been around awhile but I wasn’t sure I could really trust it.

Lo and behold, Twitter is perfect for my random, abstract brain. And people are nice. And they listen to you. (Well, for maybe 60 seconds.) I became a believer.

There was also a powerful touch of the Holy Spirit and confirmation of the work I am doing through my writing.  So much encouragement and companionship and like-minded ness of writers and artists, who revealed all manner of God’s creativity in their own masterful ways.

From the platform, in workshops and in conversations I heard over and over again:

  • Write from a place of PASSION
  • Be authentic, don’t write from a place of safety
  • Take off your mask (everybody has one)
  • God will break through you when you’re broken
  • Go for quality of writing and connection with readers
  • Write out your God life in context of your daily life

Gracious, kind, young people listened to my silly questions. New friends who I was able to meet in real life have become old friends overnight and many of my old ideas about being a writer and a Christian were radically readjusted.

Now I am more convinced than ever I can change the world.
As soon as I take a nap. 
p.s.  my twitter handle is JodyLeeCollins2

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  • Nancy Ruegg

    I have a Twitter account but have never used it. 🙁 I’m SO tech-challenged I don’t know where to begin. I watched a youtube video, but the fellow talked and demonstrated so fast, I’d have to watch it fifty times to figure it out. Soon I may be able to recruit my granddaughter to help me. Her tech skills are fast eclipsing mine. She’s five. 🙂

    • Jody Lee Collins

      Nancy, it never ceases to amaze me the mad tech skills young ones have. I don’t what I’d do if I didn’t have a teenager or a 30 something around to help me navigate!

  • Natalie Ogbourne

    What an encouraging post, Jody! It made me smile. I kind be pretty random, but I’m more of slow simmer or slow-flow type, so Twitter is not yet for me. It is a wonderful thing, though, that there are lots of places for the different types of human beings God made.

    I’m so glad the conference was so wonderful for you. I’d like to try that one someday—probably not while I’m involved in directing the play. They occur pretty close together.

    Enjoy this weekend!



    • Jody Lee Collins

      Natalie, there are so many wonderful, conflicting events happening at the same time it seems–it makes it very hard to choose what to do.
      I am grateful I was able to go to this Festival–I’m still processing all that happened.

  • Katie Brewster

    Many thanks for sharing what you took away from the conference and your experience with Twitter. I’m thinking of joining up. Always appreciate and learn from your posts.

    • Jody Lee Collins

      Katie, I so appreciate your commenting on this….Twitter can be a double-edged sword like Facebook–I’m constantly having to fine tune how I use the platform. Thanks for being such a faithful reader!

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