Okay, so now you have logged onto the blogging website of your choice, played around with themes, URL's, a name for your website and templates. Fun right? If you haven't done this already, the next biggest step is plugging into other writer groups and networking with other writers online. My struggle with writing has been from being alone 24/7.
So, join a local group of writers. It will be the biggest gift you can give yourself. If there are no local groups or church groups you can join, than join an online group.
The American Christian Fiction Writers Association is a wonderful group of people who will help you learn your craft and advance into some places you could not go on your own. You can find their website here~ www.acfw.com. There's no better way to hone your craft than with other writers.
My heart swells with gratitude for the women and men God has placed in my life to mentor me on this journey. Let's face it, it's one thing to write in a personal journal and another to broadcast your deepest thoughts and creative or nonfiction for the consumption of the masses. Ha! The potential for your writing to go around the world is very practical in this day and age through the internet and your websites.
You may never meet the people who you effect in this lifetime. But, just imagine the incremental influence you have through cyber space. Remember the shampoo commercial "and she told two friends, and she told two friends and so on and so on."? Two people turns in to twenty, one hundred, etc. You get my drift.
I was surprised and astonished really to see one of my web pages biggest fanbase were male from the ages of 20 something to early thirties. Many of my readers are located in Canada I even have fans as far away as Indonesia. I'm using the "rhetoric" on the stats page of my webpage, by the way, in no way do I feel like I have "fans" ha ha!
People desperately need to hear the good news of Christ today. Let's face it.
Some of my mentors have come from the unlikeliest places. Imagine my surprise when my favorite author met me at an ACFW conference with a hug and a prayer?
Conferences are a great way to meet other writers to be encouraged, edified and mobilized for your gifts and talents. Workshops are available to learn the craft, and mentors, editors and publishers will meet with you for one on one appointments.
My first ACFW conference I had a fifteen minute appointment with Ronie. What I expected was a very awkward exchange between myself and the AWARD WINNING, PUBLISHED AUTHOR RONIE KENDIG. :-)
Right before I got to my appointment a friend called for prayer for her brother-in-law who had surgery that day for cancer. Oh my goodness. I was sobbing with her as we prayed with each other for his healing.
I walked into the room for appointments. Probably late because I'm not a time keeper. And, there was my friend Ronie.
She walked around that table and broke through the fear I had for the unknown, and let's face it the fan girl intimidation I was under meeting her. She gave me a hug and when I signed up to review her latest release it came with her autograph and the scripture Exodus 4:4.Thanks Ronie! You can find her pic on my previous post :-)
Honestly, there isn't enough space on this blogpost to fill with the people who have encouraged me including my amazing hubby, daughters, my mom.
other writers at ACFW, local writing groups, my church, my crit partners, my friends.
The women at the Truth for Women are some of my dearest friends, compatriots and prayer warriors.
They have picked me up when I was down, cheered me on in the labor of love that is my first novel and never, ever made me feel as though I was wasting my time pouring hours of work into a manuscript that at the time I thought may never be published.
In fact, in one of my darkest moments (you have no idea how hard it is for a sanguine extrovert to stay home day after day) I received a card from my friends at TFW in the mail with the words "you are never alone" on it. Just when I needed a lift!
This journey started out with my pouring out my life to others and right now, I see it more as God blessing me in discovering who I am in Him. God has restored the years that were lost to me as a victim of sexual abuse and given me new life in Him as a writer. Does it get any better than that?
So what's your story?
Please let me know when your blog is live. I'd love to see it! Questions? Comments? Feel free to leave them in the space below. :-)
Next time, I want to talk about other specific ways God has encouraged me to stay on this writing journey through the resources others have offered to me. Until then, be blessed!