Monday, February 28, 2011

Guest Post from our Conference Photographer, Sean Earnhardt

I'm not a writer; well, at least I don't claim it as a profession, passion, or pastime. But I feel the need to write a little something today.

I spent my weekend doing something that a fair amount of guys would call torture; I attended a writers conference! A Christian writers conference, no less. The Write2Ignite conference held at North Greenville University in the foothills of South Carolina.

O.k., to be fair, this was not something that I had on my calendar for the year and awaited with intensifying eagerness.
My wife is one of the team members and I tag along under the assumed moniker of "staff photographer." In all honesty, I really enjoy photography and this event gives me the much needed practice time to try settings and tweak them, if they don't work, to get the right picture. It also gives me a good excuse to buy some not really needed equipment that, for this annual trip, seems absolutely indispensible!

Upon arrival on Thursday, we simply surveyed the landscape and made a game plan for Friday and Saturday's adventure. But, an interesting thing happened after the team ate supper; They called an official meeting. I'm not sure I was welcome, but no one asked me to leave so I decided I would enjoy this brief glimpse into my wife's world. What happened next was very interesting.

This group of ladies proceeded to discuss the event, what had led to the event, things they could do to make the event even greater in the future. Now, keep in mind, THIS years' event had not, technically, even started yet! The level of seriousness, enthusiasm, and professionalism was remarkable. What's more, this group of people are part of a non-profit organization. Why is this important? Well, I think it would have been impressive to see the level of effort put forth knowing that each person were going to take home a nice check to cash. But, all of them knowing that they were going to make the trip home not having made a dime off of their hard work, made the effort put forth seem absolutely amazing to me! (To be fair, some of the folks are published authors and were selling their publications. But, given travel, time, energy, and all of the other variables; it was obvious that the book sales were not their primary focus nor would it cover all expenses incurred in the weekend get-away.)

Friday came quickly and much work went into setting up the registration table, "book table", and stage presentation area. The attendees and presenters began showing up and all were checked in with badges, bags, and books as is appropriate and common for conventions. I guess I am qualified to critique this convention as I have been to several large IT conventions where many thousands of people would gather for a full week. As the conference opened on Friday night, it is worth noting that it was right on time per the agenda. What proceeded was a well orchestrated and thought out plan of introductions and speakers. Then, for the "big day" on Saturday, there was more of the same; a perfectly flowing conference filled with great speakers and presenters very knowledgeable on their chosen genre. In closing, I would just like to let you, the reader, know that you should look into this group and what they have to offer. Not only can you attend this wonderful annual gathering, but there are other opportunities to participate with them throughout the year. I know that they have a wonderful website, blog, and they also use Twitter quite often.

If you do attend, let me know and I'll be sure to get a great photo of you. And, you just never know what INTERESTING people you may meet! Hope to see you there next year!

Sincerely,Sean Earnhardt (aka Donna's Husband)


  1. Thats funny that you find an IT conference not as boring. Great insight into the people that put together and attend those types of things. I've always met the most encouraging and kind people at writer's conferences. Bravo for going. =)

  2. Wow!!! Sean, what a fabulous post!!! We loved having you at our meeting! Your input was valuable. :) And many thanks for being our photographer!!

    The new blog looks amazing!! Way to go Donna!!!

    You two are so great...and very interesting. :)

  3. Dear Sean,
    It was really a blessing that you were willing to be the official Staff Photographer. Your sense of humor and willingness to help is a treasure, as Donna, your wife, knows! Thanks for posting an inside report.
    Joan Y. Edwards.

  4. Do I fall under the "INTERESTING" people? I had a great time there! (I wish blogs had "like" buttons...) very awesome post!

  5. Thank you dropping in to our new "home", y'all! :)

    Raquel - he is a brave soul, indeed...and a good photographer, too. Hopefully, he'll be back next year!

    Kristi - You are so sweet to us. You know we love you!

    Joan - thank you for stopping by and offering your continued support. Hope to see you soon!

    Micah - of course your fall in the "interesting" category. Was there any doubt? :) Hope you can come to W2I again next year!

  6. So glad you were there, Sean! You do great work! work great! And...conferences are just plain fun, aren't they? So good to see you again!