Once upon a time, there was a CPA (me) whose friend commented, “You guys have the funniest stories. You should write them down.” So I did. Forty two of them. My stories became a book… at least in my computer.
With visions of my book on the New York Times Bestsellers list, I began a quest to figure out how to get them published. I did it my way (i.e. the hard way). Yes, that book got published, but it would have been oh so much better if I had only known…
There is help
I no more received the first copy of my first book when I discovered the Florida Christian Writer’s Conference held annually in central Florida. Here, writers from all genres come together with published authors, teachers, editors and publishers to learn about the craft of writing and learn how to get published. Who knew?
It was here that I learned about Word Weavers International, an organization dedicated to providing a forum for Christian writers to critique each other’s work in a face-to-face format in order to learn about and improve the craft. Guess what! They were meeting monthly right here in Fort Lauderdale.
Word Weavers International president, Eva Marie Everson, said, “I fervently believe that the most important thing about Word Weavers is our call to the 3 C’s: Community (the meetings/the members), Critique (what we do at the meetings and how we do them), and Conferences (what we prepare our members for at the meetings).”
Importance of Writer’s Fellowship
Writers tend to be solitary individuals. That’s great for writing but dangerous when battling the enemy. In quiet moments, Satan plants seeds of doubt and despair to cause us to turn from the plan God has prepared for us.
“Is my writing good enough? Am I just wasting my time? No one will ever read this.” That’s what Satan wants us to believe.
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8 NLT).
Joining Word Weavers provides encouragement and prayer, so we can build each other up for the war Satan is waging against God and His foot soldiers (us).
Word Weaver, LuAnn McBrayer said, “It’s nice to have people walk alongside us as we re-play our journey through our writing…even though God was walking with us… We have our friends walking alongside us with empathy and compassion.”
“Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing” (Thessalonians 5:11 NLT).
Importance of critique
One of the most common errors committed by beginning writers is being in too great a hurry to get finished. Sure, you can sit down at a computer, pound something out, then with a few clicks you can be published in an e-book on Amazon. But if you don’t take the time to write your first one well, the book may not be read and you may not be taken seriously. Does that bring glory to God?
“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31 NLT).
The name “critique group” evokes visions of having your work torn apart. This may be in other forums, but Word Weavers groups focus on encouragement. Perhaps “suggestion group” would be a better descriptor because we work to improve our craft to the glory of God.
“To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction” (Proverbs 12:1).
Word Weavers uses what we call, “the sandwich method.” We start with a positive comment, make suggestions on what might be something else to consider, and then end with another positive comment.
Bill Delgado said, “Being in an atmosphere with like-minded individuals always gets the creative juices flowing! Iron sharpens Iron!”
An “accidental” novel
Three years ago, Miriam Finesilver had seen an advertisement in the Good News for Word Weavers. She offered to take a friend who wanted to write her memoirs. Wanting to “get her money’s worth,” Miriam decided to write 1,500 words of her own to bring for critique. Miriam explained, “With the expert advice and encouragement I received at my first meeting, I was hooked. Eventually each month I had over 1,500 words and had to make the hard decision what part of my newest writing I would bring each month. In May of this year, my book was published – all 94,334 words.”
And so, Naomi, The Rabbi’s Wife, was born.
Are you ready to start?
South Florida Word Weavers meets on the 2nd Saturday of each month at 9:30 a.m. You are always welcome to visit once as an observer (without joining) to see what we do and how we do it. For more information about us, please visit our website at www.word-weavers.com.
Want to write for the Good News?
The Good News is always looking for local contributors who can tell uplifting stories that build this community. If you are interested, visit goodnewsfl.org/Write4GN/
Patricia Hartman is president of South Florida Word Weavers, a CPA/partner at Kofsky, Hartman & Weinger, PA. (www.khwcpa.com), a speaker and author of “A Funny Thing Happened on My Journey to Heaven (Amazon) and “The Christian Prenuptial Agreement” available at www.ChristianPrenuptial.com.