I got off a cramped van which took me from Taft to Tagaytay together with two teachers and a family of three mothers, 2 teenagers and 4 toddlers. Onwards, I hauled myself, my trolley bag and my shoulder bag (heavy with notebooks, books and a laptop) into a tricycle that would take me to the hotel amidst the cool Wednesday morning air of Tagaytay.
I felt tired from the trip, but absolutely upbeat as I walked with a skippity-skip to the conference room. In this room I would spend the next four days learning from the masters.
I felt it was destiny that brought me here. I was at Bo Sanchez’s Bestselling Authors Bootcamp.
I had the awesome opportunity to spend 4-days in Tagaytay with 45+ participants, all Bestselling Authors in the making. I attended through the help of my friend and co-author Jhet Van Ruyven. My task is to learn as much as I can at the bootcamp and publish our Success journal with Jhet. And I was raring to go!
It was a jam packed 4-days. Let me summarize my experience with the 5 Things I Love about the Bestselling Authors Bootcamp.
#5 The Faith Orientation
We started strong on the first day with prayer and worship led by JC Libiran (preacher and builder for The Feast Youth Ministries) and Bene Sanchez (the almost like a Musical Director for The Feast PICC Youth Ministry). It was very clear for me that this seminar is founded on being faithful servants of our Lord through our gift of writing.
Yes, we would talk about writing, about internet marketing, about selling, about social media and all. And to me it was very clear that I was there to give praise to our Lord through the work that I do.
#4: The Powerhouse Bestselling Speakers
It was awesome being in close quarters with Bo Sanchez and his team of speakers. Bo opened our morning with a simple straightforward frame of the 4-day bootcamp. Rissa Singson-Kawpeng followed through with creative writing. Over the next four days, we got powerful messages and practical tips from our speakers:
- Larry Gamboa (Think Rich Pinoy!)
- Ardy Roberto (Ang Buhay na Hindi Bitin)
- Jomar Hilario (Internet Marketing and Virtual Assistant Guru)
- Tess Gumap-as Dumadag (When my Bridegroom comes)
- Atty. Alex Lacson (12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do To Help Our Country)
- Aileen Santos (Relationship Coach)
- Dean Pax Lapid (How to Turn your Passion into Profit)
- Chay Espiritu (The Responsible Author – PR for Authors)
- Arun Gogna (Happy Secrets of an Obedient Life; How to sell books at events and speaking engagements)
- Sha Nacino (The e-Book Queen! :D How to Write a Book Even if You’re Not a Writer)
Each of our speakers had their messages to share. I thank them all for the stories they shared, the wisdom they imparted.
#3 Practical Tips, frameworks, next steps
As I was listening to our speakers, I was taking notes on my mindmap. I was taking it all in. I would take photos of some of the slides because they were so practical, filled with insights.
I would keep a list of action items, things that I wanted to do as soon as I could. The talks were very grounded on real stories, real experiences from our speakers. They shared their triumphs as well as their foul-ups. Most especially, they shared the lessons they learned.
I told some of my classmates and friends that half of the learning is outside the conference room at the dining hall ;-) . Yes, that’s how I made the most out our conference. Breaktime and mealtime is not for eating. It’s for listening and asking questions! It’s for learning from our mentors and learning from our classmates. Each of us had so much experience, so many stories, so much wisdom to share.
During meals and breaks, I would actively get to know my classmates and learn from them. I wanted to be exposed to as many of our classmates and speakers as I could so that I can learn as much as I could.
There was also an extra special dinner on Friday evening. We visited a special place in Tagaytay and shared a special formal event. We shared songs and messages. It was a big blessing listening to everyone who shared.
And this was the highlight of my 4-days. On the last day, we were asked to create our book cover. We created our book title, our cover artwork, the back cover with its headline, the book proposition, bullets and the Author’s profile.
I was absolutely excited creating my book cover. I saw my book taking form right before my eyes! The same giddy feeling a school boy gets the first time he makes a snake or dinosaur out of clay!
And then Rissa reminded us to make two copies of our book cover. My first book cover was blue. And I loved it right away. It was my first obra maestra. The second book cover was pink. It was a copy of the first one. I wanted to make it an improvement of the first cover. I just felt more connected with the first blue cover than the second pink cover.
AND THEN a dreaded announcement was made! Bo told us that we were going to offer one of our book covers. We were going to BURN our book cover as our offering to the Lord. It is our act of surrender, offering our work to the Lord knowing that He will return it to us in real book form very soon.
I was TORN! I didn’t want to burn my book cover.
I was torn because I wanted to offer the pink cover. The one that was easier to let go of.
I wanted to keep my blue cover. The one I was in love with. The one that I was attached to. My obra maestra.
But I got to thinking: Is this how I offer myself to the Lord? Do I give Him the easier one to let go, or do I offer MY BEST to the Lord even if it’s painful.
It took a while for me to let go and make an offering. As we were singing songs of praise and my classmates were making their offering, I was just really struggling.
It wasn’t just the act of giving my book cover. It was making my commitment to the Lord and surrendering to his plans for me.
In the end, I heed the call.
Lord, I offer my life. I heed the call.
p.s. More photos on my facebook album: Bestselling Authors Bootcamp.