COMMUNITY OF WRITERS
I learned to type in high school on a manual typewriter using correction fluid and carbon paper. My parents bought me a Smith Corona as a high school graduation gift, and I used it during college and beyond. I learned to use a word processor before becoming comfortable with a computer. For many years I wrote first drafts in long hand, edited them by hand, and typed them on the computer.
Although I can’t remember exactly when I discovered I wanted to be a writer, i.e. write for publication, I discovered a community of writers at my first Christian writers conference in 1997.
The take away from that conference: “A writer writes. I am a writer. Therefore, I write.” 😊 If you want to be a writer, and make a difference with your writing, you begin by writing: letters, a journal, a newspaper editorial, an article for your church newsletter or bulletin. You have to learn to use correct grammar, and to express yourself clearly and in a way that attracts readers. Good writing takes time and effort. It takes practice.
The faculty at that conference wanted to help me and the other conferees to learn to write well and fulfill our dreams and calling, whether we became a published author or wrote for ourselves, and whether we received payment for our writing or wrote without pay. I think what impressed me the most was their desire to glorify God in their teaching, editing, and writing.
Some of my fellow conferees from those early days have gone on to become well-known in the publishing industry as writers, editors, agents, and publishers. They direct conferences or travel from conference to conference as faculty members. They still teach and encourage writers.
There are times that the computer, internet, and social media frustrate me and make me nervous. I hear, read, and see things which shock me or are a waste of time. However, I know that being connected and staying connected with the writing community via social media has been a benefit to me. I am encouraged by what you, my writing community, share. I celebrate your successes with you, and I pray for you. I can depend on you for help and encouragement when I need it most. We are a community. We share a love for communication through the written word, and we help one another along: a community of writers.
Do you have a community that encourages you?