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Diann Hunt
Isaiah 50:4 -"The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught."

 A Writer’s Circle: by Diann Hunt

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You have no social life? Ah, you must be a writer. Well, okay maybe that used to be the case, but things are different these days. With the Internet at our fingertips, we writers are instantly in touch with the outside world and a host of friends. But there’s nothing quite like having a “writer’s circle”.

A writer’s circle is that group of friends with whom you share every facet of your writing journey. They brainstorm with you, critique for you, mentor you. They send you chocolate when your spirit dips and accolades when the contracts roll in.

I stumbled upon my group quite by accident. Colleen Coble and I met at a writing class where we went to hear our editor speak to the group. We met up again at a library where we went to hear another author speak. We hit it off there and started zipping emails back and forth. Then she introduced me to Kristin Billerbeck and Denise Hunter and the rest is history.

As in any other friendship, the personalities have to mesh for it to work. Doesn’t mean you’re all alike, it just means you can relate to one another. They never make me feel stupid for questions asked—though I’m pretty sure they hide in the bathroom for a full two minutes, laughing their brains out before answering my email.

You say you’ve been just fine without one up to now, so why change things? Let me give you a couple of reasons why they work:

1. Though they’re not blood-related, your writer’s circle will read what you need them to read. Nobody forces them. There’s nothing in it for them, well, except your friendship. But they’ll read your manuscript, your synopsis, your scene, your grocery list, whatever it takes.

2. They not only read your work, they make comments. Okay, they might hack it to death, but it’s in a loving way. It’s kind of like one of those crusher squeezes Aunt Gertrude gives you when she hugs you hello. You dread it, but appreciate it all at the same time.

3. They understand your pain. When the rejections pour in, it’s nice to have someone who’s been there, done that to help you through it. Non-writers don’t understand the process like writers do. Writers feel your pain. They show up with chocolate. It goes along with that wailing principle thing in Biblical days. You know, when someone grieved, they brought in a group of professional wailers for comfort. That would be other writers. We can wail with the best of them.

4. They don’t let you “wallow” too long. Before you can say “chocolate truffles,” your writer friends snatch the box of chocolates from your grasp and plunk you right back in front of the computer to face your fears. They will not let you give up.

5. They can party like nobody else! When you are offered a contract, non-writers are happy for you, but your writer friends understand the blood, sweat and tears that went into your work that brings you to this moment of victory. They whoo-hooo and send so many congratulation messages you could paper your wall.

6. They are a respectful bunch. When you finally hold your “baby” in your hands, they gather round you, take a collective breath with you to experience the smell of the book binding, turn the pages with reverence, as though they’re made of gold, and let out the appropriate ooos and ahhs as needed. And you know right then and there that there is no one else in all the world with whom you’d rather share this moment.

Okay, so now you’re convinced that you need such a group, but where do you find one?

This may come as a shock to you, but the best place to connect with other writers is at writer gatherings.

Who knew?

Attend conferences, join local writer groups, sign up for on-line groups. American Christian Fiction Writers is an awesome support group and it’s over a thousand members strong. You might want to check it out at www.americanchristianfictionwriters.com. They also offer a fabulous conference in the fall. There are many others out there. Use a search engine to find them.

Once you join these groups, get to know the people. Participate in discussions, volunteer your time, and get involved. Once you start to “meet” people and make friendships, your own writer’s circle can evolve from there.

So what are you waiting for? Get connected! The journey is always better with friends—especially writer friends who are on the same journey!

 Be sure to check these books out!

For Better or For Worse
For Better or For Worse
CBD Price: $13.49

Hot Flashes & Cold Cream
Hot Flashes & Cold Cream
CBD Price: $9.99

RV There Yet? Women of Faith Series #14
RV There Yet? Women of Faith Series #14
CBD Price: $9.99

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Web Resources for Writers

There are many web sites with great information for Christian writers. Below are some that you might find helpful.

 

  • American Christian Fiction Writers
  • Christian Writers Fellowship International

  • The Christian Writer's Manual of Style
  • Writer's Digest
  • Writer's Market
  • The Writer's Magazine
  • Christian Writer's Market Guide
  • ACW Press
  • Writer's Edge (Manuscript Service)

  • More Author Tips

     • Words of Advice: Chris Fabry

     • Writing Advice: Maureen Lang