Writing can be an isolating experience. As a very social being I find the discipline of my writing schedule sometimes difficult to maintain. Though I am committed to complete my manuscript by mid-spring, the challenge of sticking to my assignment and shutting out distractions sometimes give way to a desperate need for human contact. I am realizing how important it is to have a community of writers and friends who spur me on to complete the project. So, I am finding people and opportunities where my social needs and my writing inspiration intersect.

A recent Quills of Faith Christian writers meeting introduced us to the creative, fanciful, thought-provoking words and stories of people in the room who bravely read aloud from their own work. Some shared from already published material and some read fresh thoughts penned that day. The meeting included instructive advice from a much published writer.

Sharing aloud in a large group setting what has been written in the quiet of home gives life to the words that flow from head and heart to the computer screen. Hearing the response of others (in this setting it was all applause, no critique) really does inspire courage to press on. I do need cheerleaders. I do need to know that others care about not just the end result, but the process as well.

The presenter also added reality to the fluttering dreams of all writers… that any publisher would be a fool not to snap up what we have labored to lay down for the world to read. Layers of intention and purpose drive us on as writers. Of course we want to be published, but as one writer said, “This is my passion, I have to write.” So we write on, out of our own need to say  our words aloud or on paper (computer screens); we research, we learn, we dig deep and we write.  Then…

My cousin, Thonie Hevron, has proven to me that beyond the writing follows a whole other journey to become published. She continues to pursue “building her platform” and networking with other writers, editors and publishers, growing in her craft through attendance at writers conferences and with the sturdy support of her local writers’ group. Thonie has found her way and now helps others like me to discover how to press ahead through the process of writing, and then…

Realizing the need for community support has begun to create a hunger in me to move on…to write and be heard, to share what God has placed in my heart and drawn out in my life experience and from what I have gleaned from the lives and messages of others. I need the social contact, the “iron sharpening iron” as the Bible says, to accomplish the solitary task.