Last night, I was reminded exactly why I work so hard to become a published author.
The Portland/Vancouver Chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers group met yesterday and amongst other great news and camaraderie, one of the members, Christina Berry, is celebrating the release of her first book, The Familiar Stranger.
The pure joy on her face was priceless. This is a woman who worked on this novel for more than ten years, with more than 45 rejections. Now, the book, published by Moody, is a striking figure for any bookshelf. Congratulations, Christina! The hard work was well worth it!
In the writing group, there are writers of all stages of life and publishing. For me, the group is a source of networking and encouragement. It was through this group I discovered the Oregon Christian Writers, which led me to attend the wonderful Summer Conference! I met wonderful agents and editors and received helpful feedback on my manuscript.
Beyond the surface benefits, groups like the ACFW and OCW provide more to its members. This is a place where you can shout and scream in excitement about your upcoming book debut, and everyone understands why. We have all toiled over the computer, sent query after query to agents and editors, and faced the dreaded revisions and rewrites. There are few places where you can discuss killing someone (in your book) and no one will call the cops.
I recommend you all check out The Familiar Stranger, which is high on my list of books to read. For any aspiring writers out there, I further encourage you to look into organizations that will serve as a platform and educational tool. You may even discover a kinship beyond the love of the written word.