Sheltered to Write Story by Pearl Allard

on Aug 30, 2017 in Blog | 12 comments

“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 ( ).


  1. Another awesome benefit of being a member of the Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild. I hadn’t thought of joining an online group. I figure I don’t have time to read the work of my fellow Guild-members, since I barely have time to keep up with the workshops. But I might rethink that, after reading your post. I like the idea that if the group is large enough, at least one person will respond!

    Diane Holcomb

    August 30, 2017

    • Diane, I hear you. I wish I had more time to read everyone’s writing, too. Ten ish seems a good number for a group – small enough for intimacy and large enough for efficiency. Hoping you find what works for you!

      Pearl Allard

      August 31, 2017

  2. Well, I beg to differ, Pearl. I think you’re pretty extraordinary. As always, I love your posts. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for helping make our group so great. You and the others really add a bright spot to my days.

    Melissa Stroh

    August 30, 2017

    • Melissa, you are a consistent encourager. It sure helps to know we haven’t been thrust into the world to write alone, doesn’t it? Hugs, sister.

      Pearl Allard

      August 31, 2017

  3. Melissa is right! You have encouraged me so many times, as have each of our friends. I think a book of our message thread could win a Pulitzer – or at least could help a horde of people just keep going. Love you, sister.

    Rebekah Love Dorris

    August 31, 2017

    • Rebekah, that encouragement is a two-way street! (Or a 9-way street? Hmmmm…) Love you, too, sister!

      Pearl Allard

      September 3, 2017

  4. I so enjoyed this post. I, too, would like a little glimpse into Jerry Jenkins group. Have wanted to do that for years actually. But, still haven’t gotten disciplined into the consistent habit of writing again. (Some days i want to bring back high school…where that’s one of the things i did alot).
    This post is so encouraging! I’m stepping out and stretching by registering for Breathe 2017. Nervous, giddy (if a mid life mom of many can still be giddy occasionally) and excited all at the same time. Trying not to let the life distractions and all the fear and doubt sidetrack me.

    Carol Graft

    September 5, 2017

    • Carol, thank you. It was great to meet you in person at Breathe! It looks like you’ve taken off and are flying! Keep going! 🙂

      Pearl Allard

      November 13, 2017

  5. Pearl, you my friend, are such a beautiful soul. I love that you are real and vulnerable and you KEEP GOING! Thanks for the encouragement. See you at Breathe!

    Janyre Tromp

    September 8, 2017

    • Janyre. *happy tears* Thank you. That means a lot. I’m glad we had the chance to connect at Breathe. I look up to you.

      Pearl Allard

      November 13, 2017

  6. Pearl, so glad I finally came here today! Love this! I’d have to agree with Melissa … you are one extraordinary gal. So glad to have met you and the others at the Guild. You all have been my lifeline during some dark times.

    So excited about what God has for all of us as we continue on this journey of writing for Him.


    September 27, 2017

    • Precious Hulda, if not for you we would never be the group we are! You initiating and getting things going made all this possible. You are such a woman of strength…because I see you hanging onto His. May God lead you tenderly, heal miraculously, and whisper lovingly as you keep going. May all the encouragement you’ve given me (and our group) be boomeranged right back to you and multiplied. Hugs!

      Pearl Allard

      November 13, 2017

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