Sheltered to Write Story by Pearl Allard
“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” – Philip Pullman
After the initial thrill of joining the Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild a year ago, I was certain I’d made a mistake – this was for authors who knew what they were doing, not a novice like me! Bewildered and insecure among the experienced talking shop, I stumbled on an online thread called Moms by Day, Writers by Night. Hope re-sparked.
The gal leading the conversation invited me into a moms writing group she was starting. I felt like I’d escaped the lashing rain and received a warm welcome around a table laden with steaming soup and friends I hadn’t met yet.
We’re a diverse group of nine women. Geographically, we span several states and multiple continents. Our kids’ ages range from preschool to college and beyond. Without current technology, the guild, and providence, I doubt we’d have connected!
We check in online weekly or when life allows. We compare notes on our writing goals and progress, our victories and setbacks, and whichever pieces of our non-writing life we feel like sharing. These precious mom-writers – sisters really – have provided consistent, crucial support.
I’ve often observed that we, myself included, apologize for not following each other’s journeys more closely. But who can give what she doesn’t have? We are nine ordinary women (ok, I’ll speak for myself, the others are pretty extraordinary). The portions we have contributed over time add up significantly. And because we are nine, someone is bound to respond to a comment even when not all can.
In the span of a year, we’ve celebrated a finished first novel manuscript, being part of authors’ launch teams, new adventures into graphic design, new and remodeled websites, new followers, first submitted articles, published articles, positive feedback, and perseverance. Together we’ve also mourned rejections, red ink, tragedy, and deaths of loved ones. We’ve prayed for health concerns, family situations, and relief from the attacks of our old enemies fear and doubt.
Our group offers a safe, come-as-you-are environment. The group has sheltered me from my own misgivings and gifted me with companionship. They’ve given feedback on my writing, cheered for me, offered wise counsel, prayed for me, and one designed my logo. (Thank you, Rebekah Love Dorris!) With shelter and companionship needs met, what’s left but to write?
Being connected invites me to drop my baggage and pick up a pen. And so I write. We write.
If you feel discouraged, after all the struggle just to begin your writing journey, take heart. Take courage. Take the next step. Maybe it will lead you to a writing group. Maybe it will lead you to start one. May you be sheltered to write story because yours matters.
Pearl Allard is happily-mostly-aftered to her hero of thirteen years and is stay-at-home mama to two crazy-wonderful kids in Southwest Michigan. Tired of tip-toeing around the edges of life defined by fear, she invites you along to help set fear on holy fire. Bring the marshmallows! Her evolving blog offers encouragement to focus upward to move onward at Look Up Sometimes ( http://www.lookupsometimes.com ).