A writer friend and I were corresponding recently. She was struggling with her current manuscript and finding it difficult to continue. She’d been getting in some productive writing time, but for a reason unknown to her was feeling discouraged. I recognized her symptoms—it wasn’t Writer’s Block. She was wrestling with something far worse. I call it Writer’s Isolation.
Writing is largely a solitary pursuit. We lock ourselves away in our offices, turn on our favorite playlist, and cut ourselves off from this world. This never comes without a price. Writing requires focus, dedication, passion, and a dream that cannot fully be understood by those who aren’t writers. While family and friends may offer a tremendous amount of support, they have a hard time relating to the frustrations that come from spending long hours alone at the keyboard.
This is why organizations like the Christian Writer’s Guild are so vital. The Guild doesn’t just offer courses to improve your craft or sponsor events that introduce you to agents and publishers. They provide a way to foster friendships among kindred spirits.
I’ve met many of my writing companions during my time as a Craftsman and at various Writing for the Soul Conferences. I’ve also found a community of writers through Twitter and Facebook. Chances are we’ll rarely, if ever, meet in person. But just knowing we’re on similar journeys goes a long way in forming a bond. We encourage each other, brainstorm, congratulate accomplishments, swap stories about our real lives, and, as a result, are reminded of why we chose this path in the first place: To inspire others and ourselves.
Scripture affirms that Christians, regardless of their craft, are never meant to undertake life’s journey alone. “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls alone and has no one to help him up” (Ephesians 4:9-10).
If you’re struggling with Writer’s Isolation, don’t drop your pen in despair. Seek out a fellow traveler who can help you through whatever sludge is dragging your feet down. But most importantly, remember God’s greatest promise, “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go” (Matthew 28: 20b).
You are never alone.
Jennifer Lindsay is an avid reader who draws much of her writing inspiration from the scenic Northwest. She began the Guild’s Apprentice course while earning her bachelor’s degree in English and writing and has since completed the Journeyman and Craftsman courses. A full-time editor, Jennifer also enjoys volunteering with local youth.