I am compelled, out of gratitude, to write a brief blog about the subject of community. Have you ever felt like you were thrown into an abyss of the "unknown" all by your lonesome? I can relate. I'm thankful for the people God has put in my path to help me navigate through.
In my Christian circles, community has become a "coin" word as of late. The question that dictates that discussion is what does community in God's Kingdom on earth look like?
I'm learning the answer every day. As a new author, my answer is different than it used to be when I was caught up in my small home schooling and local church worlds. Now I'm navigating this previously unknown world of professional writing. I've watched it from afar for awhile. Author Lauralee Bliss and I have attended church together for decades. As I watched her write book after book, my own dream became more achievable for that "one day" when the time was right. New graphic novelist Matt McDowell who released Nephilites, is a few steps ahead of me in his exciting journey. We attended church together for awhile. Although he writes in a different genre, our plots both involve angels. Nope, I'm not alone. A local church is also where I met Author Precarious Yates, whom I knew as Sarah Rogers then Sarah Smith. At the time, I didn't realize how serious she was about writing! Our brief conversations were mostly about parenting, her past ministry work in Ireland and perhaps that Sunday's sermon. Years later, she's graciously begun to mentor me as a new author. I'm so grateful. My first introduction to the online community of Christian authors was through CrossReads, a site that connects readers and authors. Then social media opened the door to direct advice from fellow authors. This advice gave me my new marketing handbook, "Book Marketing For Beginners by Heather Hart. Hart encourages networking and forming relationships with other authors. I learned that seasoned authors regularly mentor new authors! Thank You God! I'm not in this alone.
Although I'd never recommend forsaking the local for the virtual, both can provide encouragement, mentoring, accountability, and advice. Here's a shout-out to the helpful folks on CrossReads Authors FB page like Annie Douglass Lima, who pointed out that the all important comma needed to be inserted in the title of my husband's future non-fiction release! I also thank Kelly Hagin, who gave me the opportunity to do my first interview. When I was late in submitting interview information, due to my mommy duties, she quickly assured me that she too, was a mother, and understood. Nope, I'm not alone.
Despite my introverted personality, I'm learning that I can have a sense of community with people I'll likely never meet in person. This is a different type of community, but one just as God-given and necessary as my local community of friends. I guess it only makes sense with the new, but now normal, world of cyberspace.
I thought professional writing would be a dog-eat-dog world. But it's not. There are some good people out there. I thank God for them.