LittWorld 2006 opened on November 12 with four simultaneous two-part sessions. Since LittWorld was being held in Latin America, there was a meeting of ASEC and Letra Viva Member Publishers. The other three sessions concern editors, writers, and marketing strategists. Naturally, being a writer, I attended the session on "Disciplines and Habits of the Effective Writer" by Lawrence Darmani of Ghana and US best-selling author Robin Jones Gunn.
I was excited to meet Robin because I had earlier read a Tagalog translation of one of her fiction books titled Secrets. I spent much of my high school years reading secular romance novels, so when I became a Christian and discovered Robin's romantic novel, I was delighted. I must admit I was star-struck seeing author Robin Jones Gunn. I couldn't believe I was sitting in the room listening to her and Lawrence's valuable writing tips. If it had not been for God who brought me half-around the world to Brazil, I wouldn't be here learning from the pro. Let me share some of the nuggets of wisdom that Lawrence Darmani and Robin Jones Gunn shared in that session for writers:
"Great books have been born out of a tiny idea that was captured and not forgotten."
"Effective writers don't abandon their manuscripts. They finish them."
"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm (Churchill)."
"We are Christians before we are writers."
Another highlight for me for the day was the privilege to be one of the two participants to lead in the opening prayer during the opening night program. Sirima Githinji of Kenya prayed in his native Swahili while I prayed in Tagalog. Before the 200 or so participants in that room, I uttered a thanksgiving to God and asked for God's grace, wisdom, and strength to sustain us in the next days to come, and for Him to enlarge our vision to publish for His glory.