I was published over on the Breathe Conference Blog. I had so much I wanted to say about my wonderful writer’s group so I thought I’d say a little about how my writer’s group came to be and how I got connected to the Breathe Conference here. If your joining me from the Breathe Blog then welcome, and thank you for stopping by!
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I have the most vivid memory of sitting on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Disney World (this is long before the Jonny Depp movies) thinking, “I want to write this story! I want to make this world!” And I have written but I’ve never been able to call myself “writer.” I suffer from a desperate need for approval and a debilitating fear of being a poser (I think it’s a side effect of being raised in the 1990s). This, combined with little in the way of publication, has often left me unable to write at all
Three years ago, I was introduced to another writer who lived in my town. She was in a similar place in her writing journey and the first thing we did after we met was travel to the Breathe Writer’s Conference. Introverts by nature what possessed us to go to a conference filled with strangers and stay in a hotel together? I’m still shocked that we willing did that! I can’t say this is the wisest way to get to know someone but I am so glad we did. There are very few times in life where you can say, “This exact moment changed my life.” This was one of those moments.
That conference was the conference of platforms, blogs and indie publishing. It was also about writing groups. Every speaker, writer, and editor said the same thing, “get in a writer’s group and if you can’t find one, then start one.” So that’s what we did. Has it really been three years since our first Breathe Conference? Impossible! Our little group has grown to a group of eight. Different genres, different personalities, different goals. But these ladies have become so vitally important to me! I find it hard to put in words. We’re bound together by words to be sure, but it’s grown into something so much more. We’ve prayed for each other and cried with each other. We’ve seen each other have babies, go through the anguish of miscarriage and even get married. In some of my darkest (and non-writing) related hours they were there for me, supporting me and loving me when I could barely make myself get through the day.
And all of this, this deepness, this rootedness has led us to embrace ourselves as writers. I tell people, when they ask, that I am a writer. Because of my groups’ support and love, because of their genuine interest in my ideas and characters, I write, nearly every day. When we began our journey together none of us had been published, now we have essays, articles, blogs, and magazine credits to our names. None of that, however, compares with the sacredness of lives lived and shared together.
I am in a place with my writing that I am certain I NEVER would have come close to if we hadn’t stumbled into each other. It feels significant that the Breathe conference was started by a writer’s group. Because of them I found my writer’s group, and because of my group my writing, my life, is so much fuller so much deeper so much better than it was before.