I came to the group feeling timid about myself as a writer. Although I had written for years, even had a few things in print, I was only beginning to share that hidden part of myself that admitted I wanted to write…to BE a writer. Joining BWG was a moment of vulnerability for me, an exposure of my innermost, sacred “me-place.” The minutes that I spent waiting my turn for introductions during that first meeting were tremulous ones for me. Palms sweating and heart pounding, I stated my name and gave a little history about myself, but my attendance was the greater declaration, the proclamation that my secret passion for writing was going public. This launched me into a new phase of my writing life.
I knew I was a novice among veterans, but I was never made to feel like one. Instead, I felt included, warmed by the openness of the group and the practical advice both speakers and members so readily shared. There was security in having others reveal their writing stories, for often it was similar to my own--fraught with uncertainty and frustration as well as sprinkled with moments of success. This common ground gave me courage to take steps I otherwise would have avoided. I joined a social network. I entered a couple of contests- even becoming a finalist in one. I attempted to set up a web site. I had a book signing for a newly self-published a book. I read at a poetry reading.
Still, I’m not where I want to be as a writer. All I have to do is listen to my fellow BWG members read their impromptu writings or share their writing achievements, and I realize that I have a lot to learn and just as much to experience, but that keeps me challenged…and incredibly humbled.
It’s true that I am, more often than not, a bundle of nerves, that I continue to hesitate to fully commit, that I’m still sluggish when it comes to motivation, that I remain addled about marketing my work, that I’m slow to the draw and even slower to pull the trigger, but I no longer feel immobilized by my deficiencies. Instead, as a part of SWLA’s best writing group, I feel hopeful, for I am guided by fearless writers who have walked this path before me, and I am supported by their mutually shared faith in their fellow BWG members…and I am one of those members!
Rachel Windham refers to herself as a Pen of Praise poet and author. Her book, A KINGDOM TO CALL HOME, is a children's devotional book. To order her book, go to her website HERE or talk with her at our BWG meetings.