September 29, 2011

Writing Buddies, Unite!

In my friend Shari’s blog post, “When Inspiration Fades,” she writes about those times when writers feel like giving up. Like Shari, we all experience seasons of discouragement when our writing seems a little off. Characters we love become lifeless and boring. Plots fall flat. Words don’t flow as they should. Frustration sets in, and we ask ourselves, “Is all of this worth it?”

There’s a story in the Bible about Moses and the Israelites fighting a bunch of thugs called the Amalekites. Moses goes up a hill with the staff of God in his hands. As long as he holds the staff up, the Israelites win the battle. But when his arms get tired and he lowers the staff, the Amalekites wallop the Israelites. Moses’ friends Aaron and Hur see what’s going on, and they rush to his aid. They literally hold up Moses' hands until the Israelites conquer their enemies.

When we writers find ourselves in a battle of will, we need writing buddies to hold up our hands. Here are a few places to find them.

1. Writing Conferences. Whether you write for children or adults, there is a writers' group for you. The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and American Christian Fiction Writers are just two of many groups who hold writers’ conferences all around the country. Attend conferences, and you’ll find plenty of Aarons and Hurs.

2. Facebook. If you choose your “friends” wisely, you can build a network of online writers who will be more than willing to hold up your hands. I’ve found some wonderful, supportive friends on Facebook. Many writers, published and unpublished, hang out there.

3. Local Writers’ Groups. Check with your public library about local writers’ groups. Most places have at least one where members can share and critique each other’s manuscripts and, of course, hold up each other’s hands.

In times of discouragement, remember these words from Vincent Van Gogh. “In spite of everything, I shall rise again: I will take up my pencil, which I have forsaken in my great discouragement, and I will go on with my drawing.”

How about you: Who holds up your hands?


Vicki @ Light for the Creative Soul said...

Hi Jean!

Such an encouraging post to find - thank you so much! This past year I let my writing slide for awhile due to health issues that affected all my cognitive abilities. I still struggle a bit, but the yearning has returned, so maybe I can get back in there:-)

Oh, and I can't believe it! Those words from van Gogh that you quoted were exactly the words I jotted down last night as I was reading about him and doing a little planning. Thank you for this post!


Jean Fischer said...

Hi, Vicki!

Thanks for stopping by. I'm happy to have just found your blog, too. I'll be visiting there more often.

Karen Lange said...

Aside from the Lord, my writing friends do. I'm blessed to have so many, and thankful you are among them! :)