AN UPDATE: The (in)ked Writers Group has reached its maximum number of 50 members, so I am so sorry that we are unable to accept any more members. All of the (in)couragers groups are capped at 50 to ensure that the groups stay small enough to be manageable and conducive to conversation. However, the good news is that there are THREE additional writers’ groups offered, so please hop over to the Find a Friend page and check out the other great writers’ groups. Thanks!!
Last year I hosted a group of women at my house for an (in)Courage in-real-life event. Some of the women I knew well. Some of the women I’d never met before.
Truthfully, I was a little nervous about the whole thing, and part of me regretted getting myself all involved in it. In fact, I’d awakened the night before at 3:30 a.m. in a panic. Should I buy flavored creamer? Would I have to pray out loud? Would people notice how sprongy my couch is with the broken springs?
How would it work, I wondered, with such a disparate group of women – women who didn’t even know each other, who weren’t even in the same place in life? I worried about the fact that we were probably all at different spots on the spiritual spectrum. “What if it’s too Jesus-ey?” I worried. “What if it’s not Jesus-ey enough?”
Sure, some of us had never met before. And it’s true, we were different, all of us at various life stages – married, single, divorced, empty nester, grandmother, young mother, working, stay-at-home, retired. And yeah, we were undoubtedly at various points on the spiritual spectrum, too. But despite all that, we laughed. We shared stories. We ate scones.
We connected. And it was a beautiful thing.
Fast-forward almost a year. I’m still connected with (in)RL, and this time I’m teaming up with my friend Kimberly Coyle to lead an online (in)Couragers Writing Group. It’s called (in)ked: A Community for Writers (Kimberly came up with the super clever name!), and we want YOU to be a part of this!
If you’re coming over from (in)courage to find out more about the Writers’ Group, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I’m mom to bug-loving boys Noah and Rowan and a pet lizard named Frill, and wife to Brad, an English professor who reads Moby Dick for fun. I live in Nebraska, where we moved 11 years ago, and where I discovered the Great Plains, grasshoppers the size of Cornish Hens…and God. I’d been an unbeliever for 20 years or so, and my return to God was as much a surprise to me as it was to everyone else in my life.
My faith and my writing have been connected from day one. Back in 2006 I inexplicably began to write my faith story – literally the first sentence I wrote would turn out to be the first sentence of a memoir that would take me more than two years to write. I didn’t know it at the time, but God used writing to bring me back to him, and I’ve been wrestling with my faith on the page ever since.
This writing journey hasn’t turned out exactly like I’d envisioned. In short, my hair turned grey, and I’ve thrown more tantrums and shed more tears than one might like in pursuing this dream called publishing. I’ve thought about quitting once or twice(okay, like 24 million times), suffered more rejections than I can count (including another writer’s rejection…but that’s a whole other story) and weathered every up and down you can imagine.
That’s why I LOVE the idea of this online writers’ community.
Writing can be a lonely endeavor. (in)ked is a community where we can connect: to celebrate each other’s successes, pray for each other’s opportunities, ask each other for advice and support one another when the inevitable rejections trickle in. We hope to create a place where we can talk craft and calling, and we want you to join in the conversation.
We want you regardless of where you are in this writing journey, whether you have three books with your name on the cover, or if you only refer to yourself as a writer in the quiet corners of your heart. Everyone is welcome, no matter which stage of the journey you’re at.
I met Kimberly last summer when we were roommates at the She Speaks Conference, and she is awesome. Not only is she a beautiful, eloquent and passionate writer, she is also super warm, hilarious and very real. Ten minutes after meeting her in person, I felt completely at ease – and this is saying A LOT, especially considering the fact that we were two perfect strangers hanging out in our pajamas within hours of meeting one another. I was rattled to the bone at She Speaks, and Kimberly cracked me up and helped me settle in and just be me, which was a huge gift.
So, what do you say? Will you join us to talk about writing and all its up and downs? I can’t promise Kimberly and I will have all the answers (or any, for that matter), but I can say with confidence that we’ll learn, we’ll connect in a meaningful way and we’ll eat virtual scones.
If you want to sign up to join our writers’ group, please do so before March 1 – the groups are capped at 50 members. The (in)ked Writers Community runs from today (February 12) through April 26. We’ll mostly be hanging out at the private (in)ked Facebook page, so join there if you are interested.
*Note: I apologize to you men out there who are reading this and thinking it sounds good. (in)courage is a community for women, so (in)ked is open to women only.
Questions? Let me know in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.