Writing has the potential to be a lonely endeavor.
Writing well is never, not one time, about going it alone. Writers need people. We have friends who help us brainstorm, listen to our rants about characters with lives of their own, or shake their heads when a plot twist is the most cockamamie idea ever considered. We have family members who endure weird facial expressions and odd body gestures as we attempt to describe the actions of our characters. Many of us have agents, who have assistants, who seek out opportunities, all the while challenging us to dig deeper in our storytelling. If we’re published, we have editors and cover designers and marketers and publishers and… well, you get the point.
Writing is not a solo profession. If you are trying to fly the story-conjuring plane alone, you’re gonna crash and burn. As a Christian writer, I liken this journey to Paul’s analogy of the church as a body. Some are hands, eyes, mouths, feet. He gives every one of his children a talent or job. Ephesians tells us some are apostles or prophets or evangelists. In Romans, we find some have the gift of service or teaching or exhorting. Every book you read, or write, has a body of people who have fashioned its design.
Without my friends to help me brainstorm, my readers might miss out on a terrific idea to improve the plot. Without my family, I might lose hope when the middle muddles together. Without my agent, I might miss a terrific opportunity. Without my editor, my scene might not be clearly written.
You get the point.
If your heart is tugged with the desire to tap fingers to a keyboard but you’re trying to go it alone, stop right now. This very minute. Join a writing group. Go to a conference. Talk to family and friends. Seek out people who will encourage your journey. We’re told in Hebrews to spur one another on toward love and good deeds. You need others.
Writing has the potential to encourage bonds of friendship you’d never dreamt possible.
Jennifer Collins Johnson has written nineteen Heartsong Presents novels, plus another novel, a novella, and multiple short stories for various publishers. Her most recent novel, Arizona Cowboy, releases September 1. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and together they’ve raised three of the coolest daughters on the planet. Even added a pretty nifty son-in-law to the crew. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and has the best group of brainstorming buddies ever. Check out her website at www.jennifercollinsjohnson.com. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.