Tuesday, July 10, 2012
One thing the Lord has showed me along this journey is that there isn't one way, one journey. Each of our journeys is so distinctive and unique.
Ultimately what we need is found in being a part of community. That's why My Book Therapy, ACFW, Christian Writer's Guild, etc are great.
I've been thinking about this and here are some of the people that have helped me along the way aside from critique groups and partners, who have helped me considerably. But I know I've already covered that here.
1) A supportive spouse or local friend.
This person doesn't have to write. They just need to allow you to reach for your dream. If it weren't for my husband I can guarantee, my book would still be sitting on my computer's hard drive as the months turned into years.
Now in the case of my husband he has also become the local writer friend. He is now working on his own novel and attending writer's support groups with me. Super exciting!
And don't forget dear Mom. Parents are some of the best support systems ever. When you've had a bad writing day you can send your writing on to Mom who will convince you that you're still writing the next "great American novel." You'll roll your eyes, but you're secretly grateful.
2) Local accountability.
Again this person doesn't have to be a writer, just someone that will bother you with phone calls reminding you to stop reading your email and finish writing your thousand words for the day. My husband is that person again for me. It helps that he's in the same house because he can help me make it happen by watching the kids for an hour.
I would also consider my face-to-face writing group accountability. I know I have to produce something new for each meeting so that keeps my momentum up.
3) Prayer buddies.
I am so blessed to have an older mom from church who prays for my writing. Her son also loves to write, so she understands the journey. Prayer support from your local church can be such a blessing. And I have other friends who willingly pray for my writing prayer requests.
I'm also blessed to have a wonderful online network of prayer support. You guessed it...my fellow Alleycats. We pray for each other's writing and personal lives. I'm so blessed to have such support in my life.
4) A writing buddy.
During the school year, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday you can usually find me sitting with a cup of tea and checking in with Alleycat Casey at six in the evening (late afternoon for her). The encouragement and support have helped me finish my novel and helped me start a more faithful routine. It is great for accountability. And if you type in #1k/1hr on twitter, you can often find an instant accountability buddy.
5) The older, wiser advisor.
ACFW is a wonderful community for making these type of connections. I have met several. Some I have only connected with briefly, others I have been in regular contact with.
I can't tell you the number of times another author from ACFW has reached out and offered support, advice, and encouragement. As I write this, I can think of several Spirit-filled advisors whose words have changed my life.
6) The larger community.
ACFW, My Book Therapy, Christian Writers Guild are all Christian organizations that offer support and scores of encouragement to writers. The forums, course loops and noveltrack features of ACFW have offered answers to scores of questions I didn't even think to ask (but did want to know). My Book Therapy provides free Monday chats that not only teach valuable skills, but also help the writer connect to a larger community of writers.
What about you? Did you have someone unexpected that helped you along in your writing journey?
Julia enjoys writing women's fiction whenever she can find a chair free of smushed peanut butter sandwiches and lego blocks. She is a wife and homeschooling mama of two littles. She also currently reviews for The Title Trakk and Christian Library Journal.