As I read and learned from the various blogs I've come to love and frequent, I was encouraged to join the American Christian Fiction Writer's (ACFW). So for a few weeks as I worked on my novel, I pondered this. There were plenty of perks with joining for the writer-geek in me, and a discount to the coveted writer's conference was the cherry on top.
I finally did it and then sat back to let my nerves settle. It seemed so...official...to join a group of writers. I was admitting that I wanted more than to simply write as an outlet for myself and that was a huge step for me.
Immediately, my family became horribly sick. I was so taken up by the care of a sick husband and four sick kids that my emails were barely scanned. I kept seeing some pop up from ACFW but truly could not even process what they were all about for several weeks as one virus and then another and yet another made their rounds through the house.
Health very slowly returned (though the Pukes have come to visit again this week, and quite frankly they are unwelcome guests) and with it came glimpses into the world of e-loops on ACFW. One thing that stood out in particular was the comaraderie, warmth and welcome among the various writers. I am automatically part of a regional group. There are also state groups and class groups and a critique group among others that I can join. And there are local groups who actually meet face-to-face once a month.
I have kids in karate the night the local group meets, much to my dismay. Actually, that wasn't entirely true. At first, I was relieved because I am not fond of large groups or being the center of attention ("introduce yourself..." - oh my!) even for a brief moment. And while I coveted the courage to show up, deep down I was secretly relieved to have an excuse not to.
But this is all part of the journey for me. I joined. That was just one step in the right direction.