To think that a few weeks ago I was seriously doubting whether or not I would even attempt this crazy thing called the “A to Z Challenge”! Now that I’ve survived the challenge, I’ve found more than a feeling of accomplishment – I’ve found a warm and encouraging community of bloggers that I’m thrilled to be a part of.
You see, I began my blog in January 2014 as something of an experiment. It was a way for me to release my creative energy, mentally escape from a hectic schedule, and get a few of my ideas out there. And as you all know, when you first begin a blog it can be pretty discouraging. After meeting so many fellow writers through the A to Z Challenge, however, I began to realize that thousands of other writers are going through the same emotional rollercoaster I am and that I can learn a great deal from their advice and expertise.
So here are three things I learned this month about working within a community of fellow writers:
- Writing is More Enjoyable When Done in Community – Isn’t this true of most things in life? Things just tend to be more fun when you have someone to share the experience with! The helpful feedback, encouragement, and camaraderie found through blogging is so dramatically different from mailing in a manuscript and holding your breath in utter silence as you wait for a decision to be made.
- There is Much to Learn from Reading Other Writers’ Work – Along with hearing about my own writing, this challenge also pushed me to get out there and read the work of other writers. I enjoyed seeing things from refreshing new perspectives, and also learned a great deal about formatting my entries and making use of different writing styles.
- The Instant Feedback a Writing Community Provides is Priceless – Blogging this month has been a little like joining a writing class (except this class is totally free of charge!). Other writers offer their helpful critiques of your writing, which is so valuable as we strive to perfect our skills. And I’ve realized that the silence of other bloggers can be just as valuable as those golden moments when they do decide to comment.
Of course, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that working in community with others is more fulfilling than going it alone. After all, God Himself joined forces with the Son and the Holy Spirit when creating the universe as we know it. According to Genesis 1:26, God said, “Let us make man in Our image.” And since we were indeed created in the image of a relational God, it only follows that we are a relational people.
Sure, we could all continue to write in complete and utter isolation. But after discovering the beauty of writing in fellowship, why would we want to?
Thank you to those who worked so hard on organizing the A to Z Challenge ! We appreciate your efforts!
10 thoughts on “The Beauty of Writing in Fellowship: Reflections on the A to Z Challenge”
I have enjoyed your work through this challenge and ordeal and I look forward to reading more from you, my friend. Congrats to us for finishing! 🙂
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Thanks so much, Deb! This was my first “real” blogging experience, and it really is a fun way to meet people from all over the world. I look forward to following your blog as well. Congrats on making it to the end!
What are you planning next for you blog?
Sue – As always, I have ideas fluttering around my head like a swarm of butterflies, but here are the ones I plan to “catch” and publish in the near future: 1.) Film Review for “God’s Not Dead,” which is personally my favorite movie of the year; 2.) Book Review for “Heaven Is For Real,” which is currently at the #1 spot on the NY Times Bestseller List; and 3.) a personal blog about the reason I dropped out of my Ph.D. program and went to seminary instead. Thanks for asking!
🙂 I’ll look forward to reading those. Sue
Absolutely love your reflections, John Mark. And you are so right. I hadn’t really thought about it before, but there is a community in the A to Z challenge that makes it so much more enjoyable. Glad to have met you during the challenge. I look forward to visiting again. I appreciate your insights. God bless, Maria, “http://delightdirectedliving.blogspot.com/”
Same to you, Maria! I’m glad the A to Z Challenge sent you my way – I’ll have to pop over and check out your insights as well!
Congratulations on completing the challenge. 🙂
Thanks, you too!