By Tamara D. Fickas
Do unto others. That was the devotional given by Beth Vogt one Saturday morning in our local ACFW meeting. She talked about what this looks like for writers. How if we want a mentor, we should be open to mentoring someone. And if we want to grow in our writing, we should be willing to help others grow.
Easy for you to say, I thought. Beth is a multi-published author. She’s a speaker. She’s mentored many writers over the years. If I had all the experience she has, I could do all that stuff also.
As she went on with her devotional, she encouraged us to look at what we could offer. We all have to start somewhere. I realized the truth in her words. She didn’t just wake up one morning able to do all she does. I’m walking the same path she walked before me.
After that meeting, I took my concerns to God. I told him what I felt I needed on this journey of mine, and I told him I would be open to what Beth suggested. Scared the stuffing out of me, but I did it.
When I first saw the request in my Facebook feed from a fellow writer for speakers, I scrolled right on by. I couldn’t speak to her writing group. She’s a published author. What could I offer that she couldn’t?
The request meandered around my brain for a while and met up with those thoughts that Beth had planted about doing unto others. It wasn’t long before I reached out to my friend and said, “I’m not experienced and I don’t know what I’d speak about, but if you want me, I’m willing.”
Her enthusiasm for my talk was infectious. I came up with some topics and sent them over to her. A few days later, she let me know her leadership group chose the topic of The Power of Story.
A month later, I did my first writing related speaking engagement. It wasn’t long and it wasn’t fancy. I was nervous and I’m sure if I watched a rerun, I would want to crawl under my sofa, but I made it through. When I opened it up to questions, they asked me about all things writing related. After the meeting, I got a text from my friend saying they all really enjoyed my talk. I later got a thank you note signed by everyone in the group saying how much I inspired and encouraged them.
I may not be a keynote speaker, yet, but I’ve used what I know to help another writer along the path. I’ve done unto others. It was a great experience and one that I highly encourage other writers to consider.
Tamara Fickas is a child of the living God, storyteller, writer, speaker, encourager. She lives in the foothills of the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her beloved kitty boy, Wilson. She has an essay in the anthology God’s Provision in Tough Times by Cynthia Howerter and LaTan Murphy. She writes a weekly post at Girls Night In – the blog for single, over-40 women. She’s an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers. When not writing, she loves to try new adventures, spend time with her Dad, read any book she can get her hands on, and make others laugh. Her writing is fueled by life experiences, her over-active imagination, coffee, and Hot Tamales.