Tag Archives: Quitter Conference

Interview with Jim Woods

In 2012, I had the pleasure of connecting with Jim Woods on Twitter and then meeting him in person at Jon Acuff‘s Quitter Conference held in Nashville. Jim was so kind, encouraging and gracious toward me. I’ve witnessed his growth as a writer and I am honored to be interviewing him.

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1) When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I think it was when I wrote a report in the fourth grade. I was really into nature and I wrote about snakes. I realized how much fun it could be to do research and then telling a story about my findings.

2) How did you develop the confidence to find your voice as a writer?

I think it was more through practice and trial and error. That being said, writing how you talk is always a great place to start.

3) Were there any books you read that helped shape and mold you as a writer?

Absolutely! I love Steven Pressfield‘s Do The Work and War of Art. Also, I have a lot of fiction influences: Edgar Allen Poe, Elmore Leonard and J.D. Salinger.

3) What did you do before you transitioned into being a full-time writer?

I was an accountant for over 15 years. That’s hard to believe now!

4) How long did the process take? What steps did you take in making your dream a reality?

About three years. It was a long long three years. Writing as much as possible, networking, going to conferences, meeting as many people for coffee as possible.

5) Now that you have succeeded, what is it like being on the other side of the rainbow? Has it been anything like you had imagined?

It’s like a good struggle, like when you’re tired after working really hard. You’re exhausted, but at the same time very satisfied.

To answer your other question, it’s harder than I thought it would be. It can be hard to unplug from the work.

6) What does your writing process look like?

I like to watch my work as much as possible. I am a momentum-based emotional writer so I like to find some easy wins and then go from there.

7) What is the hardest thing about being a full-time writer?

It’s pretty lonely and rejection comes with the territory.

8) How do you encourage yourself to keep going?

I talk to other writers and learn from them. Whatever the circumstance, it is very likely that someone else can relate.

9) Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

I just want to work with good people and keep telling good stories.

10) Are you working on any new projects?

About a month ago I created an event called the Finish Your Book Summit where I interviewed 16 authors who have written over 100 books. It’s still live, so you can access the interviews by going to finishyourbooksummit.com.

11) What advice would you give to someone starting out?

Don’t be afraid to start out slowly. Build a good writing habit—even if it is just for 5 minutes a day. Over time you’ll build momentum and see serious results!

Thank you for a wonderful interview, Jim.

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Jim Woods is a freelance writer, author, author assistant, and writing coach that loves to help others tell better stories. You can connect with him at jimwoodswrites.com.

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Guest Post: Did You Miss The Boat?

I wrote a guest post today for my friend Tammy Helfrich, who is enjoying a much deserved vacation right now. I met Tammy on line and then in person at the Quitter Conference a couple of weeks ago. We developed a quick friendship, she is one of the nicest people I know. I’m so blessed to have connected with her and become her friend.

I had the pleasure of attending my first Quitter Conference last week. I admit, I didn’t have high expectations. I actually went to meet all of my new Quitter friends.

I had become a cynic with regards to dreams.

I remember years ago when I first met my husband, he started telling me about his dreams. I would scoff at him. I would tell him things like, “Oh come on, give me a break, dreams are for kids,” or “Dreams are not for grown ups.”

Through the years, as I “matured”, my dreams began taking the back seat. I would hear someone talking about their dreams and I would think to myself, “Oh boy, here’s another ‘rainbow in the sky’ person.” I would politely smile as I listened to their banter on ‘dreams’.

Then I met these Quitter dreamers on line.  I started to watch and observe them interact with each other. I loved how they were supportive of each other’s dreams. I liked them because they were all positive and encouraging people.

To read the rest, please click here.

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Reborn Dreamer

This is Jon Acuff. He was kind enough to pray for me while I was dying of laughter. I was laughing so hard they were going to have to carry me out on a stretcher. I kid you not.

Anyone who can make me laugh and cry in one sentence is seriously gifted. I tried to hold back (as I was sitting in the front row) but to no avail. I couldn’t help myself. I do not remember laughing and crying so much in a long time. My stomach still hurts days later from attending the Quitter Conference.

I believe the Lord wanted me at this conference. I had all the excuses in the book not to go, but yet and still, I felt the nudge of God telling me to go. The week leading up to the conference all hell broke loose. I can see why now, I was blessed beyond measure.

I have to be honest and admit that initially I did not have high expectations. I was even wondering if I was wasting my time and money by going. Also, leaving my family behind was definitely not my comfort zone. My boys were not feeling my leaving them.

As as matter of fact, my eldest son told me to never to do that again. He said next time I have to take him with me so he can make sure I am ok. I guess next time we’ll have to make it a family vacation.

Initially, I thought the Quitter Conference was just a lot of hype. But I was so wrong. This conference was unlike any other conference I have been to in my entire life. I am not exaggerating.

I can see why everyone makes a big deal about Jon Acuff. He is such an authentic, down to earth and great guy. I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with him a couple of times at the conference.

Let’s just say this conference made me believe in my dreams again. Hello world, my name is Pilar and I am a reborn dreamer.

Besides hearing Jon Acuff, I also got to hear wonderful speakers such as Al Andrews, Matt Chambers, Jeff Goins and Alli Worthington. What an amazing line up.

Last but not least, the absolute treat of this conference was listening to Jon Acuff’s favorite band, Seryn. They are now my favorite band. I want everyone to know about Seryn because I had a spiritual experience listening to them. I have never felt so much joy listening to a band in my life.

I have been a lover of music my entire life. I am also a singer, so I have been exposed and my ear trained to know good music. This band is simply amazing. You must see them live to get the full effect. Each band member knows how to play several instruments extremely well. They are virtuosos.

Seryn’s lead singer Trenton Wheeler (isn’t that a cool name), absolutely poured himself out. He is an exceptionally talented artist. His voice is unique, his sense of rhythm impeccable and his gift of playing several instruments is out of this world.

I guarantee you if you see them play live, you will be mesmerized and left in a trance. Since hearing them, all I’ve been doing is talking about them. I am hoping they will come play in New York City.

Thanks to my dear Quitter friends, Jon Acuff and the Quitter Conference, I am a reborn dreamer. I have renewed hope to pursue my passions and dreams. I was able to reconnect with my deep love of music and singing by going to this conference. I am not too old and I haven’t missed the boat either. I am right where God wants me. So I am no longer dreading turning 46 in two weeks.

If there is one thing I took away from this conference is our dreams are not ours, but for others. I was deeply moved and inspired by this concept and it helped change my view of dreams.

In conclusion, I want to share a link of one of my favorite songs by Seryn. If you like their music, I encourage you to buy their latest CD on ITunes. You won’t be disappointed.

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