"Until this weekend, I would have said, 'I like to write.
After this weekend, that has changed."
One week ago, people from ten different states came together for the maiden voyage of The Pen and The Page. And ever since I got home, I've been trying to put my thoughts together to tell you about the epic amazingness of the first weekend.
My favorite moments are several pages long. It was sacred space, bringing these people together from all points of the spectrum of writers and nonwriters. They brought their notebooks, pens, and honesty. And we got to work.
For two years, I've been asking God to give me his favor and effectiveness. I longed for access to things that only he could say yes to, and I wanted an effectiveness about which I could only say, "God did that."
My goals were clear. I wanted to teach writing as a spiritual discipline.
And as a result of our writing practice together, I hoped each person would develop the following:
- an identity as a writer with a story to tell.
- an awareness of their own stories.
- a practice to take home and implement on a daily basis.
- a sense of healing, restoration, and peace.
- an intimacy with God as they embrace writing as a spiritual discipline.
You guys, this weekend was that.
Here a few words from the inaugural crew:
"I didn't know why I was coming to The Pen and The Page. I came because someone I loved and trusted thought I should be here. A weekend away doesn't change my circumstances, but this weekend I found glimpses of joy. I feel healing. I have seen God move.
As a nonwriter, I had no idea of the power of the pen on the page. I know God will continue to write his story in me."
"The Pen and The Page was a perfect retreat - one full of writing and learning, of rest and relaxing, of yummy food and beautiful views, of stories and memories, of sharing laughter and tears. The whole weekend felt like a breath of fresh air into my lungs (and at the higher elevation, I certainly needed those extra breaths!). I went into the weekend so uncertain. About if I would fit in, or if I would be as good as all the other writers. I learned within minutes that in this room full of writers, there was no comparison. Only sharing, accepting each other's stories and thanking each one for sharing. Tricia set the stage from the very beginning, skipping all the "fluff" and getting right into the good stuff (or "going for the jugular" as she said-- a phrase a nurse can certainly related to!). Her leadership by example was a powerful thing. Because she created a safe place for us and our stories, throughout the weekend, I wrote stories, and I listened to so many more from women who are bold and brave and beautiful, even in the midst of deep sorrows.
There are so many nuggets I picked up at the retreat, but one of the fundamentals is this: After this weekend, I will no longer only say, "I like to write," but instead I will now declare,
"I am a writer."
"Amazing experience. Developed great bonds, learned a lot about myself and my writing, and my Lord! How great it is to invite the Holy Spirit in to my writing. How I can write about anything for 10 minutes.... that could easily lead to 10 more and 10 more and 10 more until a chapter is complete, or a book, or a devotional, or a blog! Just write and write through the tears. Don’t avoid what comes up because it is meant to be written. Love you Tricia and your heart; and your family and all they meant to the weekend."
A restorative, healing experience. I’ve always loved writing, but Tricia taught me something new—writing as a way to connect more deeply with God and His work in my story. Highly recommend this retreat!!
As a Non-writer, I was able to participate, learn, and gain confidence, and I could tap into thoughts, feelings, and emotions on the page. I would highly recommend this event as an opportunity to tap into your story and deepen your understanding of the Holy Spirit.
Recommending-- oh, yes! Tricia is a writer, a teacher, an inspirer. She understands the power of words: for healing, for life. This is a conference for anyone who desires to push in and discover the writer inside. Tricia puts together a weekend to be remembered....
I was gifted the Pen and the Page weekend by a very dear friend. It would be my first get-away from my family since losing my son 15 months earlier.
I cried through nearly every writing prompt, but I didn't mind, because each tear that splashed down my cheeks symbolized the restoration of my heart. Our time together taught me how to pour out my soul onto paper without my internal checklist constantly critiquing me, what freedom!
No matter the season of life you may be walking through, I can confidently say that you will benefit from learning the discipline of writing at The Pen and The Page: Tricia Lott Williford. Because every one of us has a story that needs to be told.
Tricia is a gifted writer and communicator, and her authenticity and vivaciousness are absolutely contagious! I foresee the Pen and the Page experience to be a gift that keeps on giving for years to come.
I started feeling like God was asking me to write our adoption story. But where to start? I’m not looking at writing a book just to write out the story for our kids. As the weekend progressed, I saw how beautiful it was to put your pen to the page. And as you wrote, the thoughts of God’s healing and direction came through the words on the page. What a beautiful weekend! Thank you Tricia for your heart, encouragement and prayers for each one of us.
Friends, if you want a weekend of discovery, laughter, tears, new friends, and realizing you ARE in fact a writer.... check into this time! The next one is in March. You won’t be disappointed!
The past few days were truly perfect. In his famous stage to screen southern comedy, Steel Magnolias, Robert Harling once wrote: “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion” (Truvy Jones). The past three days, the tears have come easy as I have had to write and process some tough things. But the joy and laughter were abundant still. I had a room full of mama bears who took the time to learn my story and share their own. [This is a] group I hope to never forget.
But best of all, this precious lady took us on a beautiful and grace-filled journey that started with the pen meeting the page.
Multiple weekends of The Pen and The Page are underway across the country, and spaces are already filling up fast.
Here's one you can sign up for today:
March 15-17, 2019
Colorado Springs, Colorado
If you are interested in hosting The Pen and The Page for your community, Let’s Talk.
We can make this happen.
And I promise you: it will be amazing.