November 25, 2016
Hanging in there..... By Vickie Stam
Psalm 138:3 "As soon as I pray, you answer me, you encourage me by giving me strength." NLT
This past summer, I thought the moment for action had arrived. I could no longer ignore the desire in me to continue writing my life stories. The need began as soon as I pulled the familiar blue binder from the shelf in my closet, the one where I had compiled some of my favourite childhood adventures and the heartaches transpired as an adult.
Upon leafing through it, I was immediately taken back to those days when I sat at my computer. A good part of my day slipped by as I plucked away at the keyboard. My life seemed to unfold on the screen in front me.
The art of putting words together to paint a true depiction of my life was something I enjoyed doing even if some of those stories were filled with pain and sadness. My children, family, and friends along with the places I had visited were all described in such a way that would surely help the reader see them in their mind.
Still, I wasn't sure how to bring those stories back to life once again, especially since they had laid dormant for some time. It had been months since I had attended a writing class. I wasn't even sure if I wanted to sign up for another class or join a writers group, something I had often thought about doing. I had hoped a writer's group would offer monthly meetings in a year round setting, as opposed to a weekly program that was only going to end after eight or ten weeks.
I began to search the internet, after-all, that had always proved to be the easiest way for me to find what I was looking for even if I wasn't quite sure exactly what that was. Google has been a great source of information for me. Helpful whenever I'm feeling undecided. I simply type a word or question in the google task bar, sit back and wait to see what shows up.
Scrolling through some of those answers, I came across a writer's group that was an hours drive away but after learning that the attendance from their previous meetings was low, I felt a little discouraged. Three seemed to be the operative number of committed writers. Of course, I had never been part of a writer's group so I must admit that I wasn't even sure if three was a good number or not. Needless to say, I wrote the information down and kept it handy in the event that I didn't come across anything closer to home.
During my search, I also found a writing class. An "intensive writing class." "Not for beginners." It too was an hour away from home with the premise of 'critiquing' as the main focus. That sounded both exciting and frightening to me. I had never critiqued my fellow classmates writing nor had any of my work ever been critiqued before. Critique means criticism. They go hand in hand, I told myself. I was a little worried about how I might react to negative criticism, but I signed up anyway.
I have to say that rising to the task of critiquing and being critiqued has certainly proved a challenge for me.
Yet, over the course of the class, I've learned:
-Prayer is very important.
- Other people's opinion can sometimes come across as very harsh.
- The tone in which things are said can sting.
- I need to continually ask God to give me strength to face new challenges.