Friday, March 28, 2014

Deeper than Ink - Writing Friends

Our lives are all part of a big story. There are fantastic parts, horrible parts, and everyday humdrum parts – but one thing that makes our stories richer is who we share the scenes with. Now, as romance writers, we all get the warm fuzzies about that romantic hero/heroine in our lives, but there are other important characters that join the tale.


Today, because my crit partner is  adjusting to the lovely demands of a new mom, I just wanted to talk about the fabulous role of friends as encouragers in this writing journey….but also as so much more.

Here at the Alley, we’ve been able to celebrate agent and publishing news, but we’ve also had the beautiful addition of encouraging each other in life. Do you have writing friends who do this with you?

We talk through tough trials together
Pray for each other
Celebrate the joys of life and writing
Help give guidance and perspective

It's so much deeper than ink.

Two weeks ago, I got to drive up to Amy’s to revel in the birth of her baby, Eisley Violet Simpson. Did we talk novels? A little. But mostly we just hung out and chatted about life and babies.
But this friendship developed solely through….writing. I wouldn't have met her otherwise.

He used our mutual gift to bring about an even greater gift - friendship. That's what He's done with my AlleyCats, my friends at Seekerville, and all the other amazing authors, agents, and readers I've met in this writing arena.

It's kind of like that wonderful experience of unexpectedly meeting someone who grew up in the same place as you, or who knew some of the same people you knew, or...even deeper, who shares your faith. There is an automatic connection - and then it moves deeper.

On my trip I got to have lunch with Julie Lessman - and there is an immediate kinship through writing and faith. By the way, Julie prays AWESOME prayers!!

And of COURSE I got to have dinner with another Alley cat and fabulous encourager, Krista Phillips. (If I'd had time and the resources I would have driven to Colorado for Casey, Texas for Sherrinda, Iowa for Ang, New York and Michigan for Julia and Mary, or sunny Florida for sunny Ashley...Oh and definitely all the way to Australia to see Karen - if only!!)

The kinship runs deeper than ink- it fits into our hearts and souls.

What about you? Have you found a friend, or group of friends, that started through your love of writing and became something much more?


Krista Phillips said...

Ohhhh, I could not agree more. LOVED having dinner with you, my friend. Goodness, how I've missed my alleycats!!!

It's amazing how God can use this writing things for stuff we'd never expect.

Even if I never published another novel, I am so eternally grateful for all the amazing people I've met who have spoken truth and love into my life. The whole crazy journey would be worth it just for that!

Karen @ a house full of sunshine said...

Oh yes.... that would be all of you lovely girls, who've become precious soul-sisters and friends! Beautiful post, Pep!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Oh Pepper-dear you are a lifesaver!!! And such an incredible friend... In ways that have nothing to do with the fact that we're writing partners. Love this post! Love the support and camaraderie we have here at the alley, with our ACFW friends, with the spice girls! We are so truly blessed to such fun, encouraging writers walking the journey with us. Hugs!!!!

Julie Lessman said...

PEP!! Meeting you for breakfast was a highlight of my month, so THANK YOU AGAIN for the blessing you are!!


Bonnie Roof said...

Hi, Pepper!!

I'm not a writer, however, was drawn to your post through Julie Lessman's Facebook page.

I have met some incredibly wonderful Christian fiction writer/author/reader friends - through the internet. I can totally relate to those friendships that start with the special connection of faith, and then continue to deepen. The friendship between two believers is always the best, and most special!!

My friendship with Julie Lessman started before I read ANY of her novels. Her wonderful comments of her love for God, His guidance in her life, and her desire to draw others closer to Him - through her writing, was the thing that inspired me, and enticed me to learn more about her, and then her novels. And yes - she does pray some awesome prayers, she's a true "prayer warrior"!! I've been the recipient of her wonderful prayers so many times!! Each of her wonderful novels has been an additional inspiration to me.

I can only imagine the special connection between writer friends, and encourage each of you to keep striving/working towards publication. Knowledge of an author's faith increases the enjoyment and inspiration I receive from reading her/his novels, and I'm sure it does for many other people - as well. I feel there is a Christian fiction novel to speak to a need in every person's life. It has added so much to my life, and I look forward to reading the novels of each of you at The Writers Alley!!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

Oh Bonnie, we are so happy you stopped by! We love Julie :) and know first hand the value of prayer warriors.

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Pepper,

I have been blessed with developing friendships with the most awesome people - starting with the ladies at Seekerville! Then I joined ACFW and went to my first conference and I could not believe how loving and generous all the writers were! It gets better every time!

And I love all you Alley cat girls! What a special group of people!

Definitely a blessing to be part of such a wonderful community!


Susan Anne Mason said...

AMEN to the prayer warriors!

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

We love you, Susan :)

Lindsay Harrel said...

Love this post, Pepper! I know exactly what you mean. I've met and been encouraged by so many writer friends along the way -- the Alley Cats are most definitely included in that! *waving to you all*

I also have a brainstorming and critique group that is more than that. We meet together once a year to talk writing, but much of our time together is also spent encouraging each other, talking about our faith, and sharing life. It's a beautiful thing when people brings people together over one thing and bonds them on a deeper level.

Pepper said...

It was such a blessing to get to spend one-on-one time just chatting with you. You are such an amazing woman!

Pepper said...

does your new house have a guest room? ;-)

Pepper said...

You know, Ames - we've talked about this before, but The Writers Alley started as something for writers without a group and has turned into this amazing 'family'. God's goodness through it is overwhelming

Pepper said...

I'm sO glad we got to spend some time together. It was WONDERFUL on so many levels. You are such an encourager...and so fun to talk story ;-)

Pepper said...

Your comments were beautiful. Julie is amazing and God's connections are deep and true - spanning far beyond space, distance, and time. Isn't that remarkable?
And God LOVES stories - Jesus is a great example of how to use stories for a deeper purpose, and I'm so glad you've enjoyed that through Julie's books. She truly weaves scarlet threads of God's grace in her novels!

Pepper said...

Susan, YOU are such a blessing. I LOVE this kinship through writing which binds us all in this crazy connection.
It's so weird to walk into someone you've never 'met' except through books or computer and say "Oh yeah, that's my friend, Susan"

Pepper said...

Waving back, Lindsay.
You guys definitely have a group similar to ours, so I know you understand how crazy it is to find this unique and beautiful bond at the soul-level. Truly a gift only God can provide in his amazing, multi-colored, magical way :-)

Gabrielle Meyer said...

Oh, this is such a lovely post, Pepper, and it resonates with me at that soul-deep level. Yes, I have made so many wonderful friends through my writing. Some I only see at conferences and retreats, others I've never met (only online), and still others I consider some of my very best friends in the whole world (and we have a date set for our yearly retreat). I'm constantly amazed that we all live in different parts of the US, yet they're the first people I want to talk to when something big or little, or even humdrum, comes up. It's amazing how quickly you bond with people who speak the same heart language as you. :)