Although writing is seen as a solitary pursuit … Although many writers would consider themselves introverts … Although there is much we can learn on our own …
Belonging to a writing community such as InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship benefits us in many ways.
Today, let’s touch on five of them.
We were created for community. And a community of likeminded individuals facing the same challenges and victories? That’s priceless.
A writers’ community reassures you that you’re not alone. When you sit down and look at the blank page or blinking cursor, you can rest assured that you’re not the only one trying to get your thoughts sorted. You’re not the only one drawing a blank as to what to write. You’re not the only one questioning your choice of creative expression.
Plus, being part of a writers’ community gives you people with whom to celebrate victories others wouldn’t even recognize as such. When you share, “I pushed through and wrote 200 words today,” it may not mean much to those who don’t write, but to those who do … Those who don’t write may not understand your nervousness when you say, “I just clicked Publish on my first self-published novel,” but your fellow writers will offer words of encouragement and a virtual hand to hold. And when you sign with an agent after years of querying, you’ll hear the cheer go up from across the kilometres.
Community is important to all of us.
What better place to find a coauthor for your book, a cohost for your podcast, or a critique partner for your unpublished words than a community such as InScribe?
Belonging to the same writers’ organization gives you a point of contact, a reason to reach out and develop a friendship that may grow into a professional partnership … or a professional partnership that may develop into a lifelong friendship.
You may be familiar with the term “imposter syndrome.” You may ask yourself, “Why on earth am I here, surrounded by all these experienced writers, editors, and publishers?” Being surrounded by those who have far more experience than you do can make you feel like an imposter.
But it may surprise you to discover that there are best-selling authors who suffer from imposter syndrome from time to time. When they release a new book, they may ask themselves, “What if it doesn’t do as well as my last book?” “What if I disappoint my readers?” “What if my best writing years are behind me?”
What we learn from our fellow writers and other professionals in a writing community can build our confidence to continue to pursue our writing goals and dreams even if we feel we’re on shaky ground.
Belonging to InScribe, or a similar organization, gives you the opportunity to “give back.” You can make a commitment to write for the blog. (Both this and the professional InScribe blogs have openings.) There are many volunteers who serve on the executive. This is yet another way you can make a commitment to the organization and your fellow community members. Keep an eye on the FellowScript magazine for these and other opportunities.
You may find it odd that courage made the list, but belonging to a writers’ community can increase your bravery in many ways.
Your willingness to try new things, to make a commitment to the organization, will develop your confidence and courage to “put yourself out there.”
As you get to know other members of the community, you may very well come across people you’d like to work with and develop the courage to ask if they are interested in collaborating with you. (It’s best to start by working on a short-term project to see if you work well together and to address any potential problems before committing to writing a book together or cohosting a podcast.)
And imposter syndrome? Fellow community members can give you the courage to press on when you’re tempted to give up on your writing. Plus, you can do the same for others.
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s the importance of connecting with others, of being part of a community. And being part of a supportive writing community can help us get through 2021 and beyond.
What benefits have you found from being part of InScribe?