Avoid these Christian Writing Conference Traps


By Emily Golus


It’s that season again. No, not pollen season (though it IS that too), but writing conference season. Many of my Southeast friends have just attended the Carolina Christian Writers Conference or are gearing up for the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writing Conference, and several of my fantasy/sci-fi writing pals are looking forward to the Realm Makers Conference in July. 


There’s something electrifying about a good writing conference, especially one where fellow attendees are also believers. You can hone your writing skills, meet people who share your passion for portal fantasy or the Oxford comma, and maybe even catch a big break with an editor or agent.


But be warned—there are writing conference traps you want to avoid. I don’t mean anything intentionally set by faculty or attendees, but some dangerous mental snares you can fall into, even (or especially) at a Christian conference.


When you go to that conference, be cautious if you find yourself thinking the following:

Trap 1: “Oh no, I don’t belong here!”

Maybe the imposter syndrome hits you hard. You desperately want to be a serious writer, but it seems everyone except you has their act together, with a long list of writing accolades. Maybe you feel embarrassed talking to anyone. Are you just kidding yourself with your writing dreams? Should you quit and go home?

Trap 2: “I DO belong here: here and nowhere else!”

Maybe you have the opposite experience. Here at this conference, you’ve finally found your tribe. Until this point, no one ever understood your writerly quirks. Now you feel so validated by your conference crew—these word-loving dreamers who understand how special you truly are—and you dread the crash you’ll feel when you leave.

Trap 3: “Is today the day I find my writing destiny and life purpose?”

Maybe you believe God has called you to be a best-selling author, and you’ve got a strong feeling that this—yes, this—conference is where you make it big. You know the agent is going to adore your pitch, and you’ll have nothing but the greatest of success, because if not, why did God even put you on this earth?

What’s the harm?
Maybe some of these traps don’t seem so bad on the surface. After all, it’s a good thing to make friends and feel confident in your writing pitch, isn’t it? But if you get too deep into any of these mindsets, you’re setting yourself up for trouble down the road. Maybe you’ll leave the conference feeling like you’re a failure (when you aren’t at all!). Or maybe you’ll leave on a high that distorts your view of reality or leads you to an emotional crash when you go back to everyday life.


The issue with all of these mindset traps is this: They all lead to disappointment because they emphasize your performance as a writer over your identity as God’s child.


Do you know Whose you are? Christian friend, you don’t need writing to make your life matter. In other words, you don’t need writing to make your life matter. (Okay, those are the exact same words, but they’re worth repeating.) If you’ve put your trust in Jesus Christ, here’s where you already fit in the grand scheme of the universe:


Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. … He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. (Ephesians 1:4-7 NLT)


For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son … And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory. What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? (Romans 1:29-31 NLT)


God has united you with Christ Jesus … Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”  (1 Corinthians 1:30-31 NLT)

Do you see that, friend? The God of mountains and oceans and stardust has chosen you, forgiven you, and made you to be at perfect peace with Him. You are united with Jesus Christ. Is there a higher place of prominence?

This is all true of you before you ever write a single word.

Writer is not who you are deep down. Creating books or articles or poetry is not how you justify your continued existence. You can rest in Christ; you have no need to manufacture any other identity to boast about.


So if you go to a writers conference this spring, go with your head held high and peace in your heart. And if you ask yourself those “trap” questions, answer them with confidence:


Do I belong here? Sure, just as much as anyone. If you’re a newbie, own it. You’re here to learn, and there’s no shame in that. Get as much from the experience as you can, and talk to some people farther along in the journey than you. You’re not an imposter because your most important identity is God-given.


Is this the only place I truly belong? Nope. Conference community can be really great—enjoy it and meet people! But you don’t NEED conference buddies to validate you because Jesus already does. When that pressure is gone, it’s easier to just relax and make friends, here or wherever God puts you.


Is this where I find my life purpose? Nope. No matter what happens—whether you bomb that pitch or get a contract—not a bit of it changes your value before God. You’ve got nothing to prove. Christ is with you always, no matter which direction your writing does (or doesn’t) take you. 


Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash



Emily Golus is an award-winning fantasy author with nearly 20 years of professional writing experience. Golus aims to engage, inspire, and show how small acts of courage and love create meaningful change. Her books feature diverse cultures, authentic characters, and cinematic fantasy settings.

Her first novel, Escape to Vindor, won the 2018 Selah Award for Young Adult Fiction, and a spin-off novel, Crack the Stone, won the 2024 Kudos Award for Fiction. Golus lives in Greenville, S.C., with her husband, Mike, who is her greatest supporter. They have two active little boys and enjoy hiking, making Thai food, and exploring small towns in the Carolinas. For Vindor book news, visit WorldofVindor.com and EmilyGolusBooks.com, and follow her at Instagram.com/WorldOfVindor.




  1. Great advice for a newbie. Thank you!

    1. Glad it was helpful, Laura. Are you headed to a conference soon?


Post a Comment

Popular Posts