There is an African proverb that says, "It takes a village to raise a child." An entire community of people is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for children - one that promotes growth. Can you imagine a mass of people sharing the responsibilities of fostering a child's well-being? It sounds intriguing.
Now, imagine a writer looking for ways to sharpen their skills. If you're anything like me, you might be asking yourself these questions. Does scribbling in journals make me a writer? After all, it is where I discovered my voice, found creativity, clarity and passion. But these memoirs exist only in private.
Will a provide group meaningful discussion or will they simply teardown my stories? Will they provide a safe and healthy environment?
I worried that becoming a member of a writer's group would expose my fears, something I would need to overcome. Even so, I couldn't let go of the urge to commune with other writers. In my search for a writer's group, I came across InScribe Christian Writers' Fellowship on the Internet. They shared a common thread - our Prince of Peace.
Charles Stanley once said, "The Lord never intended for Christians to be isolated islands who never share their struggles with fellow believers. Instead, we need to lean on one another in our times of weakness."
Many writers indeed put words to paper unassisted and in solitude. But fellowship can free us from the bondage of loneliness, allow us to build trust, embrace support and put an end to self-doubt.
Being a part of Inscribe has meant the difference between writing and not writing. Here I can observe different writing techniques, seek friendly advice, and be uplifted by encouraging comments. Gentle critiques take precedence over harsh words.
A lot of people go through life unable to leave their wounded past behind them. I understand how they feel. During a writing class in 2015, I shared a life story with a room full of strangers. That story fell victim to editorial criticism that left stunned. It felt more like a personal attack. The brutality of those harsh remarks made me feel as if a part of me had just suffered a wrongful death. I did not feel safe.
My first thought was to run, pick up the shattered pieces of my life and leave. Unprotected, I sat there with my pen in hand in what felt like a foreign land. I wanted to shred the passport that had got me in there. Instead, I wrote down every word my teacher said. My numerous exclamation points marked the end of his rant.
I remember looking into his eyes and thinking about next week - the next time he might do this to me. I wanted to quit, but I didn't. Staying the entire ten weeks became a heroic moment in my life. I embraced my vulnerability and endured the risk. Pain and suffering are aspects of life that we cannot avoid. Doing your best in any situation is all that is required.
My decision to join Inscribe has been gratifying. There are so many friendly, kind and gently people here. This writing group only serves a precious lifeline that stimulates, empowers and promotes a writer's growth. Here you can be assured that your fears as a writer are shared, your victories are celebrated and your well-bing is secure.