The Value of Peer Encouragement

Quote card Eccl.4.9

Motherhood can be a lonely journey, but it’s a joy in the company of other moms.

You could say the same about writing.  It is a lonely process, but it’s much better with other writers.

In my days as a stay-at-home mom, I remember feeling lonely sometimes, cut off from the real world.  I adored every moment with my precious little ones, yet I felt a hunger for fellowship.

I found that in my weekly Bible study groups.  The spiritual discussion satisfied and challenged me, as did the discussions about parenting, household management, and shopping tips.  I felt stronger as a mom when I met with other moms.  A morning of peer interaction powered me through another week of diapers, messes, and tears.  A word of encouragement from another mom gave me hope and wider perspective.

The work of writing is lonely, as any writer will tell you.  In the past few years of blogging, I often felt alone.  I struggled with doubt, asking myself over and over if anything I wrote really mattered.   Most of my writing is spent in total silence, rushing to get finished while my children are sleeping or otherwise occupied.  Writing is a solitary sacrifice, but it’s easier in the company of my peers.

In 2013 I attended a writing workshop in St. Louis.  This was the first time I met formally with other writers wanting to hone their craft.  I hadn’t enjoyed such fellowship with other writers since my college years.  We exchanged ideas, read our pieces aloud, and offered helpful critiques.  Their words of encouragement were invaluable.

Back at home I joined a local writing guild.  Each month we report on our writing progress.  This simple exercise created an accountability factor.  I didn’t want to say the same thing over and over—“I’m blogging.”  So I began new projects and kept working on my memoir.  Thanks to the guild, I learned about contest opportunities and conferences.  Taking part in a writing guild opened new doors and held me accountable.

In July 2015 I attended the local writing conference and networked with other writers.  I felt energized and ready to double-down on my blogging efforts.  This July I attended the local conference again.  I gained new ideas there which I will use to expand my skills and reach.  In my next post I will reveal an exciting project coming to my blog this fall.  Stay tuned!

I would not be the writer I am today without help from other writers.   I would not be the mom I am today without help from other moms.

My peers mentor me, encourage me, spur me on, and give me great examples to follow.  Even though we come from different backgrounds and face different situations, we encourage one another on our shared journeys.

If you are a writer but have yet to join a guild, I highly recommend it.  You will be blessed!

If you are a mom who needs encouragement, I recommend you call a mom friend, or join a Bible study for moms or a Mothers of Preschoolers group.  You will be blessed!

Question:  How has your peer group encouraged you?  How can you encourage someone in your peer group?

Blessings to you,  Sarah

 

Copyright 2016 Sarah Geringer

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