We Are Writers by Janet Jones

The emotions display gently across her face as she reads the words aloud. I can hear confidence mixed with vulnerability in her voice. Her words paint a picture of eloquence and grace. I am there with her…with the characters, and with the writer who bravely bares her soul as she entrusts us with her story. I feel like she just handed me her heart. I hold it gently, trying to protect it as I savor the privilege of an incredible connection and sacred trust.

Participating in a writers group is scary, exhilarating and profound – all at the same time. “We Are Writers” began as a casual get-together between three high-school classmates eager to share what the years of creative writing endeavors had wrought… or not wrought. The years go by with roller coaster speed sometimes. Fulltime jobs, husbands and babies, detours and tragedies are the toll writers pay in life…a toll of time not spent writing that novel we always dreamed of writing. But it’s also a toll so worth paying. Without the experience of life just what would we write about? Or so we justify the too many moments spent not putting pen to paper… or more apt these days…fingers to the keyboard.

Our casual get together blossomed into a regular monthly meeting as more writers and would-be writers joined us. And at our classmate’s urging the “would-be” was soon dropped from our collective vocabulary. We ARE Writers. Period. Half the battle of any creative endeavor is the confidence to take on the role. Sculptors sculpt; painters paint; and writers write. Making a living at it is something every writer strives for, but waiting until that time to believe in ourselves is a mistake. Self-esteem breeds confidence and consequently success. In fact, according to motivational speaker Dr. Allen Zimmerman, “…you perform exactly as you see yourself.” (Two Steps to Better Self-Esteem by Dr. Allen Zimmerman)

My sister and I feel very privileged to know and interact with these four talented writers. We each bring a unique perspective to the role of critiquing each other’s work. But most important, we all understand how scary it is to share our writing. Only a fellow writer knows what it feels like to allow the creative meanderings of our mind to spill out into written words. And only a writer knows that initial cringe of fear when we first publicly display those words.

We write what we know and what we are. A part of us is afraid for people to see what we’re like inside. It does seem like ripping out our heart and offering it to the reader. But that’s okay. A writer’s group provides a safety net of encouragement and instruction. It keeps our hearts safe while our words are refined and polished until ready to be loosed on the world.

9 Comments

  1. marilyn says:

    beautifully eloquent – and right on!!! write on!! :)

  2. Rosemary Boyd says:

    Janet so well said. I still haven’t figured who is the best writer and now think you both are. Keep writing and finish that book.

    Mom

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