Hi and welcome. I'm writing to answer some of the questions received on the Q&A on Lysa TerKeurst's blog about P31's annual She Speaks conference for aspiring speakers and writers. Lysa was so swamped with questions, she asked me to address a few of them. (If you were checking back in to see my answers to your bible study questions on my earlier post - sit tight as I will get back to that and I've got some good ideas for you!)
I'll start tonight by answering the several people who asked:
"How do you decide between speaking and writing? I'm torn on which track to take."
When you register for the conference you'll have to declare a track and that will automatically determine some of the sessions you'll attend. But you also get to choose many of your breakout sessions and you can choose those from either track! The great thing about She Speaks is you are able to customize your conference to suit your needs.
I'll also mention that many people attend this conference more than once. So another option is to concentrate in one area this year and get started doing that. Then come back next year, or when you're ready, to try your hand at the other.
Others commenters wanted to know if you have to do both writing and speaking to be successful:
"I have more of an interest in speaking...do the two have to go hand in hand though. I love to blog - I write most every day but have never considered myself a "writer."
"How do you decide between books or speaking? I DO NOT like formal writing, but know that God did not bless my son just for my family, but for us to share his story and the healing power of Jesus Christ in our lives and we went through."
You do not have to do both to be successful at one, though they do often go hand in hand. You can speak in your church and around your city or region without needing to publish your words. You will probably need to know a few things that She Speaks can teach you in order to get this going but you don't have to become a "professional writer" in order to speak to groups of women if God has called you to speak.
For those of you who are more interested in writing - the thought of speaking in front of a group of women causes you to have to breathe in and out from a paper bag - let me assure you that you can write for websites, e-zines and various magazines (like the P31 Woman) without needing to travel around as a public speaker. But you'll need to have good writing on viable topics and She Speaks can help you with this.
"Can I get my book idea published without being a speaker?"
If your sights are set on publishing a book, I can tell you that a book publisher will be more likely to take a chance on you and your book idea if you are out there speaking on the topic. This is because your speaking helps to market the book. There are plenty of exceptions to this rule so don't think it impossible, but that's the rule of thumb. Also, this isn't the case as much for fiction writers.
Likewise, if you are a speaker dreaming of giving your message in front of thousands, you will most likely need a successfully published book before being invited to that speaking engagement. This is because your book lying on beside tables across the country will help to draw attendees to that stadium (which costs lots of money to rent). Again, there are exceptions but this is typically the case.
All you need to do right now is pray over it and ask God to reveal to you what your next step is and be obedient to that, allowing Him to manage the rest. If you think She Speaks may be your next step, then go ahead and register ... oh and be sure to introduce yourself to me when you're there! :)
Stay tuned as my next posts will tell you some of my journey as a speaker/writer and will also answer the question: "My big question is this, just how do you start?"