Alone, I pull out pen and paper to grab thoughts and ideas before they flee away. Alone,I stare at the blank computer screen and wait for those words to flow from fingertips to document. Alone, I revise, rework, and wait for more inspiration.
Writing is a solitary endeavor. I am the only one that can pull those thoughts from my mind and capture them on paper or the computer. Once written, I can share the words, story, or poem. Someone else, and editor, can look at our words, grammar, and punctuation and offer suggestions and places that still need work. There are cover designers, Beta readers, and those who read to review and endorse. Writing goes from solitary to team.
But there are times discouragement threatens any forward movement. A concept might be just out of reach, or a new technology befuddles my brain, and I have this feeling of wanting to quit. Negative voices reverberate in my mind, drowning out the positives. Challenges and negatives intertwine and drive inspiration out the door. What now? Where can I find what I need?
What about you? Have you ever felt this way? Do you need some inspiration or
encouragement with your writing? How about a challenge to push you out of your comfort zone and into new endeavours? What about opportunities to learn from others who are further in this writing journey than yourself? Maybe, what you seek is something to banish that feeling of the loneliness writers experience as they sit by themselves to jot ideas, write, or even revise pieces of work.
Meeting other writers through Inscribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship has filled many needs. Here I have been challenged to keep learning and then use what I know. From the first time I met Jan Dick and Marcia Laycock at a one-day writers’ conference in Saskatoon over a dozen years ago, I went from thinking I shouldn’t be there to feeling welcomed and accepted. What a wonderful feeling. The challenge continued when I signed up for Marcia's devotional writing course. I learned how to condense the words but still say the same thing as well as many other useful things. Mentoring, both intentional and incidental offered learning opportunities, growth, and challenges to move out of my comfort zone until I could say, "I am a writer."
I have been encouraged while I listened to others share their work, what they are learning, and tips on all aspects of writing. Judges comments on pieces I entered into the Fall contest gave me more chances to improve. FellowScript magazine gave me great reading material, helpful advice, spiritual encouragement, and the chance to have pieces of writing published.
Occasionally I have been able to attend Fall Conference where I finally could put faces and names together, be encouraged to hear about their writing journeys and spend time in worship, prayer, and learning with other like-minded individuals from various parts of our great country. I look at my bookshelf and see signed copies of books from devotionals to novels and think of the author behind the name. They inspire me to use the gifts God has given.
Connie Inglis' emails to say she had been praying a specific verse usually popped into the inbox at just the time I needed them. God is so good. Thank you Connie for your heart for others, your prayers, and the verses you sent. The voluntary leadership of our executive over the years has enhanced our group as they tried a number of ways to grow connections has touched my heart as well. I could list so many others I have met or interacted with via technology, but the post would grow longer and I might miss some. I am blessed to have so many writers to learn from and laugh or cry with, depending on the circumstances.
As this new year begins, God has impressed the words compassionate connection, on my heart and mind. Ephesians 4: 32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
The members of Inscribe have demonstrated this in words and deeds as they have inspired, challenged, encouraged, and taught me many things. May God increase the desire in our hearts to honour him with our words, being good stewards of the gifts He has given, and how we treat others, just like I have already experienced.The interactions we have become like the dandelion puffs blown in the wind. We may never know where the compassion
and connection may spread.
I may sit and write alone but I never have to be lonely in my writing journey as long as I compassionately connect with other writers, especially those from Inscribe.
Carol writes from her home in Saskatoon, SK. She loves to tell stories, reading, and visiting with others in person and via technology too.