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Down Payment on a Dream

Down Payment on a Dream


Literary Agent and Vice President of Books & Such Literary Management

Co-Teaching a One-Hour Workshop and serving on the Agent Panel.



I’m guessing that some who investigate the cost of attending a writer’s conference like The Mount Hermon Christian Writers’ Conference are taken back by the cost. Four nights of accommodations in a pristine giant redwoods setting with a couple dozen meals, snacks and food events not to mention professional mentoring, teaching and networking with publishing professionals. Does it give you sticker shock?

I’m rereading Mark Batterson’s Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge for the third time. Yes, it’s only been out for a little less than two years but this book is worth reading and rereading even in the space of a few months. On day seven, which he titles, Put on Waders, he tells the story about the year before his congregation bought what is now the famous coffee shop, Ebenezers, on Capitol Hill. They were praying for a piece of property to come available– any piece. They knew it would take a near-miracle to find anything for sale, let alone for a price they might be able to pay.

That year he took an $85.00 step of faith that set them up for the three million dollar miracle to come. His children’s school held a charity auction and he attended. Most people bid on trips or tickets to sporting events but he decided to bid on a book on Capitol Hill zoning codes donated by the Capitol Hill Restoration Society. Batterson bought the book and considered it a down payment on a dream. He sensed he needed to demonstrate his faith even before they found a property.

As I read that for the third time, it hit me– that’s what we ask writers to do all the time. Put a down payment on a dream. What are some of the things you might do?

  • Create a website and begin building a reader following long before you have your first contract.
  • Jump into social media and begin to build a platform long ahead of your book.
  • Join the writing community and connect with other writers, both published and not-yet-published.
  • Spend scarce dollars to take classes and webinars.
  • Create a writing environment in your home– a place for you to be serious about your dream. (I know, I know, but Noah built the Ark on dry land, didn’t he?)
  • Or maybe, just maybe, click on register for the 2016 Mount Hermon Writers’ Conference. Let it be your down payment on a dream.


Come meet Wendy Lawton at the Mount Hermon, March 18-22, 2015, where she’ll participate in a couple of workshops, review pre-conference manuscripts, and meet with writers!


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