If you are a creative person of any kind (musician, writer, artist), it’s important to have a tribe. A fellowship of like-minded creatives is a wonderful place to share our work, bounce ideas, and be vulnerable. We need people who “get us” and understand the mind of a creative person and the processes we undertake to create our art.
My husband is fantastically supportive, and he does help proofread my work on the blog, but he is not a writer. He’s brilliant and analytical, a skill set that is excellent for our partnership. My big-picture creativity is tempered by his detail-oriented practicality. I love him, but he’s not in my tribe.
Last June, I was able to attend my first writers’ conference at the St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference. I was utterly unprepared for how profound and meaningful this experience would be. Not only was I among brothers and sisters in Christ, I was among people who were passionate about and talented in their craft.
The conference was a game-changer for me. My eyes were opened to the beauty of a community of creative people. We could be weird, creative, and at times, tortured by feelings of inadequacy together. It wasn’t just me who felt under-qualified and less-than as a writer. There’s something reassuring about knowing you aren’t the only one who feels that way.
When I returned from the conference last year, I started a local critique group called Kingdom Scribes. It was a group of half a dozen Christian writer friends who met once a month to discuss ideas, critique work, and encourage one another. It was a step in the right direction towards building a network of people I could share my work, frustrations, and dreams with.
Last month, I went to St. Davids again. I was further convicted about how important ongoing community will be if I am to persist in this writing dream. The week together was inspiring, but we all packed our cars on Sunday and fanned out in every direction, back to our home bases.
During the conference, a couple of my new writer-tribe friends and I discussed getting an online writers’ group going. This way, those who didn’t have access to in-person writers’ groups could participate. Also, the idea of networking more widely is appealing, especially for those who are specializing with laser-focus in a niche or on a particular topic.
When I arrived home, I transformed the Kingdom Scribes Writers’ Group (click link to join) from a “secret” group to a “closed” group on Facebook. It is open to any Christian writer who would like to take part. Staying connected and sharing ideas is critical for me. There may be some who work well in isolation, but I’m not one of them. Please feel free to join us if you are interested in getting started as a writer or are already on that path.
Proverbs 27:17 is the verse I chose to define our group’s mission:
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” (NLT)
If we are Christians, and part of the body of Christ, it makes sense for us to be in community with each other as we encourage and share the gifts God has given us. We are a special part of the body of Christ because we aim to glorify Him through the medium of words.
Your tribe can look like having coffee with a few friends to discuss art or books. It can be traveling to a yearly conference. Perhaps it is starting or joining a Facebook Group like Kingdom Scribes. Maybe it’s a little of each of these.
A praying community is one of the surest ways to combat the lies of the enemy that tell us we aren’t good enough to share a message through our art.
I’m passionate about this issue because I have been the grateful recipient of encouragement and “iron sharpening iron” as the result of finding my tribe.
If you are a Christian artist, I encourage you to gather in a community, either online or in-person (or both) to sharpen and be sharpened. A praying community is one of the surest ways to combat the lies of the enemy that tell us we aren’t good enough to share a message through our art.
Later this summer, I will be sharing specifically about the benefits of attending a writers’ conference. While this may not be relevant to some of my readers on a personal level, I hope you’ll share with any writers you know to encourage them.
May your words flow, your heart be full, and your iron be sharpened as you weave your stories and ideas together.
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Hi! I’m Tracy…Christ-follower, wife, mama, writer, blogger, speaker, teacher, dreamer. I love Earl Grey Tea and quiet mornings. Here at Earl Grey and Yellow, the focus is striving to be faithful and appreciate the small things. So glad you stopped by. Please have a look around and subscribe to our newsletter and social media to stay connected.