Today I did one of my favorite things! I went to a Writers Group meeting in Simpsonville. I heard about The Writer’s Den group at the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference and quickly decided I wanted to join them. I have a strong respect for the power of a group of writers due to my history as a writer.
In the spring of 1998 I decided I wanted to learn to write. It had been two years since I graduated from Northland Baptist Bible College and felt like I was in a rut. But how do you go about learning to write? I was in a bookstore one day in Baken Park in Rapid City, SD and saw a poster advertising the Black Hills Writers Group and the conference they were hosting. Aha! I filled out the form, joined the group to get the special rate, and excitedly attended my first ever conference. In the months and years that followed I was fairly faithful to attend the monthly meetings. There were many months when I hadn’t written anything. The year I was secretary of the group there were many months that the only thing I wrote was the minutes of the meeting.
Even though I wasn’t writing regularly I was regularly focusing on writing. Those friends taught me so much about writing. They were the accountability that reminded me each month, “You know Miriam, what’s up with that book you are supposed to be writing?” When I did bring something to read they listened, critiqued, encouraged, and pushed me on. I know, without a doubt that the rough draft of my first book would have NEVER been finished if it wasn’t for the BHWG.
Since getting married five years ago and moving down South I hadn’t found a writers group. I attended one meeting in Fort Lauderdale and enjoyed it, but getting there was such a hassle. Since I moved to SC I never got motivated. Until now… and the best thing is that I’ve found not one, but two groups. The very day I returned from the Blue Ridge Conference, I had a voicemail waiting telling me about a group in Newberry. That’s my town! Wahoo! So next Thursday I get to go meet with another group of writers and gain more motivation for my writing process.
It reminds me of the verse in Proverbs 27:17. “Iron sharpeneth iron: so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” I know that groups aren’t for everyone. Some people don’t have the ability to get out and go. Maybe you live too far away from a group. There are online critique groups that might meet your need. Or maybe you are better finding one writing buddy who can read your material and give you feedback. Whatever works for you, just make sure you are doing it. God has given me this ability. He has given me a RICH heritage and surrounded me with Godly examples. I am beginning to realize more and more that with great opportunity comes great responsibility. So thanks to all of the people who have helped me on my way! I’ll do my best to glorify God with my writing and in my life.