Sunday, 24 August 2014

The Impact of Words

“Make a list over several weeks of the words or thoughts that people have said that have really helped.”

The above quote came to my inbox via the website where my personal journals are hosted, Penzu. Since I have three journals at that site, I get these prompts daily. Most of the time I just ignore them, but upon occasion, something triggers inside of me that I have to share.
I belong to several online writers' groups, including a few on Facebook. Over time I have reduced these for the simple reason, time. I feel guilty for not taking part in a group and after a while I decided that it was better to leave the group than to stay around, and not contribute anything.
There is one group that has had a huge impact on my writing - and that of other people as well. It is called My 500 Words. It was started with the intention to inspire writers and/or bloggers to write just 500 words everyday. But everyday.
As a writer I try to write everyday. Some days are easier than others, and there are days (as has happened in recent weeks) where I write...nothing. In my defence (or lame excuse, depending on your point of view) being away from home for work, is exhausting and finding the time and energy to write anything more than a tired journal entry, is not easy.
In this group I have made new friends, and continued friendships that started outside the group. Not everyone in the group is a novelist, most are bloggers, but I have learned a lot and sometimes things I have not been ready to confront in myself as a writer.
Until a few weeks ago where my FB friend, James Prescott, posted a piece about why we write. It touched on something that new writers often struggle with, and those of us who have been penning books for a while need to be reminded of.

This is an excerpt of that post: "But they [online writing resources about the elements of writing] aren’t about the art of writing. And they forget the most important thing - that our security and identity needs to come from something far deeper than what we do, know or achieve. We must know and accept our value, worth and security is already taken care of. We already have value. We are already secure. We already have infinite worth. Right now."
Of course, I have learned a stack (still do everyday) about writing, publishing and marketing my books, but the most value I have ever had from any online site, was the friends I made and the lessons and support I have received from them.

Join groups that add value to you as a person and a writer, but leave when you do not contribute or do not spend the time. It is not the number of groups that matter, but the contribution you make in the group that will help you grow.