February 10, 2016

Spurred and Spurring by Sharon Espeseth

" . . . Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another . . ." (Hebrews 10:24 NIV)

Spurring and being spurred on, that is the connection I have with Women Word Weavers, which is our Barrhead writing group, and InScribe Christian Writer's Fellowship, which I have been a member of for several years. Both of these groups inspire me, teach me, encourage me, and try to keep me honest and accountable about my writing. Thankful for my writing colleagues, I try to give back in kind to my fellow writers in each of these groups.

I have previously written about my InScribe and WWW mentors/friends in my September 10, 2015
blog on Inscribe, "There's No Ship Like Mentorship" and also in my November blog, "Growing with InScribe Then and Now". I will try not to repeat myself.

In both groups, I find our friendships deepen with time, but often on meeting a new writing colleague there is an instant connection. We are a diverse, but like-minded group. We trust one another with our writing and with our personal struggles. We pray for one another and encourage one another in our writing and in our lives.

Since Women Word Weavers was formed before we became a Satellite group of InScribe, we do not require members to adhere to our faith, but we are free and open to write, share, and discuss Christian matters. Most of my writing, for example is faith-oriented or at least expresses my Christian worldview.

For either group, I get excited when our next meeting, workshop, or conference approaches. We regulars, in either group, don't like missing meetings or conferences. "Kindred spirits", we enjoy each other's company and savour the inspiration freely shared. Glynis Belec in her blog on the theme of writing partnerships mentions that her group sometimes becomes a therapy session when one of the members is experiencing struggles. " . . . (We've) got each other's writerly backs," Glynis says. Can anyone identify with that?

At our WWW's meeting on Feb. 8th, I asked the group to share their comments on what our Barrhead group does. Susan said, "The last meeting made me go home and get this long-time idea down on paper." She then shared this writing, a ready-for-critique and soon-to-be-submitted article on the topic that had been on her mind for ages. Susan plans to submit this piece to a denominational publication. Yahoo!

Other members talked about great writing prompts, stretching our writing, extending our boundaries, trying new genres, and getting used to reading our writings to others. We take turns chairing meetings with each chair doing her best effort to spur us on to fresh, open writing.

Women Word Weavers
We  also take turns bringing snacks, not to outdo one another, but to buoy ourselves to higher levels of writing. True! Our discussion momentarily turned to olives, bologna as a gift from Dorene who couldn't be at the meeting, chocolate, home-made bread, and apple crisp with whipped cream. Tears, hugs, and laughter also came to mind. As members, we help one another believe in our writing and aid one another to see writing dreams come to fruition.

We talked about our much-loved member, Mabel, who is presently in hospital dealing with cancer. We are missing this gentle, soft-spoken woman for her wisdom and serenity.

On our way to visit Mabel recently, Glenice and I had grabbed a grocery-store bunch of tulips and a card. When we removed the tulips from the cellophane sleeve and put them in a short vase the nurse provided, we were aghast to see the tulips flop horizontally. We laughed at the sight, but we brought them to our friend as something for her to care for. Mabel shared our laughter and said the tulips inspired her to write a poem.

I passed on Steph Beth Nickel's "12 Benefits of Belonging to a Writers' Group" to our satellite group members. After Marianne, a Word Weaver who spends much of the year in Switzerland, read Stephanie's blog, she replied, "A good writing group matters, because it sucks to write alone!!!"

Marianne has tried unsuccessfully to start a writing group over there, but it seemed writers there aren't as open about their writing. On her trips back to Alberta, she tries to fit a WWW meeting into her schedule.

We are blessed to have our writing group(s). May we continue to spur one another on to love, good works, and good writing. "Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us." (2 Corinthians 5:20a ESV)



8 comments:

  1. I love your story on how the snacks "buoy ourselves to higher levels of writing." It's given me an idea. You have shown how being part of a writer's group benefits not only our writing, but our spiritual and emotional health through connections.

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    1. I chuckled at this line also!

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  2. Sharon-I so enjoyed reading about your journey within your writing groups. "A good writing group matters." Amen to that. And Heb. 10:24 is the perfect verse for what a good writing group does. God is good.

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  3. Thank you for the post, and the challenge to spur one another on.

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  4. Yes, Lynn, meeting together is good for our spiritual and emotional health, which is a bonus on top of the reciprocal encouraging and teaching. A good writing group is beneficial in many ways. If you listened in on our sessions, you would hear silence and bursts of laughter, and both are good soul food. Thanks for reading and thanks for your comments. Yes, Connie, God is great. God is good, and we are thankful.

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  5. Sharon, what a very special group! How fortunate you are to have such ongoing friendships.

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  6. Trusting one another is key to a successful relationship with other writers for sure.

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  7. Thanks to all of you for your comments.

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