Combating Loneliness With a Writing Community
Have you ever felt lonely in your writing?
Maybe it’s the sense of discouragement that washes over you as you stare once again at the blinking cursor. Or it’s the realization you’ve spent countless hours thinking, planning and writing only to have your article sit idle in the depths of your computer. Or maybe it’s just feeling like the people around you don’t quite understand why you continue to type words on a page.
Writing can feel lonely, but take heart; He who called you is faithful! (1 Thessalonians 5:24)
As believers, we know our writing is both a calling and a gift. We also know we don’t have to fulfill this calling alone. Not only does the Spirit guide us, but if we ask, He is also faithful to provide a community of people to help us along the way.
Here are three benefits of finding community in your writing journey:
Paul opens his letter to the Romans explaining how much he desires to visit and encourage them. He writes:
“For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine” (Romans 1:11-12, ESV).
Paul knew fulfilling our calling can feel lonely. However, we see that using our spiritual gifts strengthens and encourages one another. In the same way, when we engage in community with other people who are also called to write, writing in faith mutually encourages one another.
When I first joined a COMPEL critique group, I found myself surrounded by others who were also trying to walk in obedience and write for the glory of God. Suddenly, I had people who understood my calling, cheered me on and pushed me to continue writing.
Secondly, a community of writers provides accountability when the writing journey gets hard.
It’s no secret that life gets busy and things come up that detour our writing plans. In my critique group, we’ve had women have babies, start jobs, travel for extended periods of time, experience sickness and loss, and so much more. And through each of these seasons, there’s been grace to push pause but also encouragement to keep writing.
It’s not uncommon for my community of writers to ask each other:
- What are you writing this week?
- Have you made any more progress on your book/devotional/blog post/etc.?
- Are you planning on carving out time to work on ____?
However, not only is there accountability in actually writing, but a writing community also offers accountability for content. These type of questions include:
- Is your writing theologically and biblically accurate?
- Have you checked the context of that scripture?
- Do you want me to proofread for spelling and grammar mistakes?
This accountability leads to the last benefit of finding a writing community.
Here’s the truth about writing in community: We make each other better.
It’s a process, but day by day as we offer and receive encouragement and accountability, our writing strengthens. This may be an improvement in our actual writing, but it also may be an improvement in the way we pursue Christ and seek to fulfill our calling.
Yes, writing can feel lonely, but it doesn’t mean we write alone. If you’re feeling lonely and don’t have a community of writers encouraging you, keeping you accountable and helping you improve, ask the Lord to open doors for community. And if you’re interested in joining our community here at COMPEL and a COMPEL critique group, you can find out more here.
How has your writing community encouraged you in your call to write? Share some stories of encouragement in the comments below.
As you step out in faith as a writer and find your community, your story could lead someone to Jesus today! We created “A Guide to Sharing the Gospel: How To Tell Your Story When You Feel Uncertain, Unprepared or Uncomfortable” to help you write your testimony in a way that impacts those who read it. Download your guide here today!
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