February 15, 2016

Home Sweet Inscribe Home - Tracy Krauss

I am more than familiar with the solitary aspects of the writing life. I spent about sixteen years in the 'closet' writing my first novel before I ventured to let someone read what I'd written. Even after that breakthrough, it took several more years before I made any significant connections with other writers. Until my first book found a publishing home, I shied away from even calling myself a writer. In some ways I felt like a  fraud - not really good enough to make such a claim. If I'd known then what I know now, I would have been quicker to find support, but I didn't actually understand how much I needed it.

It wasn't until my first novel came out in 2009 that I realized I needed a lot of things. I had zero platform, no website, and social media was a foreign concept to me. I naively thought that just by virtue of being 'out there', my book would sell itself. After a quick and rude awakening, I jumped head first into a cyber world that was totally unfamiliar and started to flounder around as best I could. It was a very steep learning curve, I assure you!

The first real support I felt was through an online group called 'Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers'. It was a forum for Christian writers and readers who didn't mind a bit of 'edge' to their fiction. It was a place where I felt I fit and I soon made some wonderful relationships with other authors that still exist to this day. (Sadly, the site itself closed down a few years ago.)

After that I kind of went crazy and joined almost every online group I came across - about thirty at its peak! Some were more beneficial than others, but it was difficult to maintain any kind of connection when spread so thin. I was also introduced to ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), a group that requires paid membership, and I joined.

It was somewhere in the summer of 2010 that I came across InScribe Christian Writers' Fellowship. It was purely by accident while doing some kind of online search. I can't describe the thrill I felt when I discovered that there was a Canadian organization for Christian writers. Added to that, I had previously read some blog posts written by Marcia Laycock on another site and had felt a connection to her because we had both lived in the Yukon. When I discovered she was actually the president of Inscribe at the time - well! I couldn't get my cheque in the mail fast enough! 

When I received my first copy of Fellowscript, I was thrilled (again) to discover that there was a writing group fairly near to where I lived. (A two hour drive, but its all relative...) Marnie Pohlmann, the leader of the group, has since become a wonderful writing friend even though I can't make it to most meetings. I attended my first conference that fall and have only missed one. Fall conference has become one of the highlights of my year.

These days, I'm more selective about the online groups I participate in, but online groups are still an important aspect of my writing life. I'm also a member of The Word Guild, and I maintain my ACFW membership. However, Inscribe remains my main source of encouragement as a writer. Somehow, ever since I became a member, Inscribe just feels like 'home'. I suppose it's why I feel so privileged to do my small part for the organization, like maintain this blog, for instance. It is truly a joy and I enjoy reading and sharing each wonderful post.

You can share, too! Just click one of the sharing options at the bottom of this post or along the sidebar. It's easy! 

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Tracy Krauss writes from her home in northern BC. She is also more than happy to serve on Inscribe's executive as this blog's moderator, the coordinator for 'Local Writing Groups', and as the BC Rep. Check out her website for details about her many published books and plays. 


17 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing, Tracy
    I'm grateful you are part of the InScribe family and am glad I've had the opportunity to get to know you and work with you. May God richly bless you as you continue to seek and serve HIM.

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    1. A big Ditto, Ruth. I find it amazing that we both discovered Inscribe at the same time. We were both at that 2010 conference too, but I don't remember anyone but Brenda Leyland, Marcia Laycock and Jack Popjes!

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  2. Thanks for sharing your journey Tracy. It is encouraging to hear how you came to where you are today. I am mostly a closet writer, except for my blog posts (and when I was reporting for the newspaper). Maybe someday I too will venture out and actually send something in for publication.....

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    1. It can be very comfy in the closet but it gets stuffy there, too. :)

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  3. Thanks for the post Tracy! You were the one who gave me the opportunity to post regularly on our InScribe blog. It has helped me become more confident as a writer. I'm in my "young sixties" and still plugging away at becomeing a more effective writer. I was thrilled when I was asked to write and article for our Fellowscript magazine and even more so when it was published. I feel at home at InScribe too! I enjoy the interaction with our other writers. Thank you again Tracy for giving me a jump start!

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    1. Thanks Alan, although I really can't take much credit. To quote Red Green, "We're all in this together."

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    2. Thank you Tracy, your writing is inspiring, and I appreciate your encouraging comments to us, who blog under your capable guidance. It feels as though many of you have been Inscribers for a long time, so it's a pleasant surprise to discover that you and several others have not been members that much longer than I. However, I haven't been to as many conferences.

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  4. Thank you for the work you do for Inscribe. I too have belonged to other writing groups and truly, Inscribe is different. I know it's the people that make it that way. So thank you to all those who serve on the executive in one way or another and to all of the members who truly feel like family.

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    1. So agree! Blessings, Tammy. And to answer Jocelyn, I was surprised as well when I found out some others hadn't been around 'forever' as I had assumed.

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  5. Anonymous9:03 am GMT-7

    Violet Moore here: Thx for sharing, Tracy. I agree, it was so nice to find Inscribe Writers! The Lord allowed Bobbi Junior and me to cross paths way back when... before I became an official writer. Thru her I became Facebook friends with Ruth Snyder. Met her at Tim Hortons in Bonnyville May 2015 and then thru her I connected with Sheila Webster in Vegreville later that same day! Awesome ladies! And all three inspire/motivate in unique ways.

    A question for you, Tracy, as our Blog leader... how can I 'comment as' with my own name?

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    1. I think you have to have a google account... I'm not 100% sure but I will look into it.

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  6. I too am thankful for the InScribe family. And you are another member that when I joined in 2013, I just assumed you'd been a member for a long time (like I assumed with Ruth). It's good to hear each other's journeys--a reminder that we are all in this together. Thanks.

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  7. Well, we're the lucky ones, Tracy, because you picked this group and you contribute so much insight, honesty, and encouragement!

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  8. Truly amazing! I stumbled on Inscribe just like you. I was searching for other writers and yet very nervous that my writing would not meet the standards of a "real" writer. So glad you shared your experience with on-line writers groups and the fact that they are indeed helpful. It's not easy choosing the right one nor is it easy sharing what I write. So thankful for your dedication to Inscribe and the words of encouragement you leave at the end of each post. So glad you came out of the "closet." Every writer needs someone to encourage them along the way.

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  9. I enjoyed reading your blog, Tracy, and all the comments that follow--both yours and the ones from other InScribers. When Ruth quotes Red Green saying, "We're all in this together," I can add Green's line, "Keep your stick on the ice." Or to put it differently, "Keep your pen on the paper."

    I am thankful for all that InScribe does and is for each of us, and I am also thankful for the spiritual insights as well as the writing tips I glean from other InScribers, Thanks to all who make this happen. And thanks be to God as well for working in our hearts and in our writing.


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