Me (l), Anita Klumpers, (rt)
I met with some lovely writerly friends last week and we chatted about all kinds of things. We were especially celebrating the release of Anita Klumper’s debut novel, Winter Watch and Lisa Lickel’s new book, The Last Detail. Both are fabulous reads and I’ve reviewed them here.
This is not a critique group. This is a sanity group. A networking group. A group of writers who love Christ and want to serve him with our gifts. We encourage, tease as well as share ideas and lessons learned.
Writing can be a lonely career. We sit at a computer, or with a pencil/pen and paper and let all our thoughts, dreams and plots come ooooozing out onto the page.
Sometimes it’s ugly. Sometimes it’s brilliant. It’s always solitary.
Even for pure extroverts, interaction with other human being is essential. I’m an “ambivert,” which means I’m in the middle of the extrovert/introvert scale. As much as I love people,I love the quiet alone time too. Even I need to be intentional about leaving my house to actually do more than shop for groceries and pick up my kids from school.
I have to socialize sometimes.
But writers are an unusual people. Only other writers can really understand the emotional ins and outs of doing this thing which seems so simple. If we do it really well we might even get paid.
And when we release our babies into the world we wait for people to tell us whether they love it or not. Sometimes the trolls try to negate the hard work we’ve done.
It’s winter as I write. It’s been record-breakingly cold. I struggle with depression and winter does not make that easier to cope with. So, knowing myself the way I do I make it a point to attend these writer lunches.
I don’t think it matters what you do. You can’t grow and thrive in isolation. We all need others. As a stay-at-home mom of tiny tots, that was MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), and for awhile it was a class I taught. Moms of young kids need to get out and be with other moms. Writers need to connect with other writers.
We share our struggles with others in similar situations to know we are not alone. We are not unique in the challenges we face. I follow many writers on-line who struggle with the gamut of health issues, family challenges, financial trials. Life seems to conspire against us to accomplish our goals.
When God calls us to write (or parent), and we seek to do it for His glory, then we should expect oppostion. Our enemy is not the trolls who write the nasty one star review without reading the book. Our enemy is a spiritual one who doesn’t want the messages of love and hope that we write about in our stories or poems or artwork. Beauty is born often of pain.
So if you are an author–do you meet regularly, face to face, with real people? How often?
If you are a reader, please pray for your favorite author or any friend you know who creates trying to bring honor to God with their gifts. While it may not seem important in the larger scheme of the world, it’s possible that one book, drawing or poem, might be the one that God uses to draw a soul into a relationship with Him. Our enemy will do anything to stop that. We covet your prayers. And if you read our books, write a review and let others know so they can enjoy them too.
You may never know the lives you touch when you step out instead of hibernating.