By Tracy Morgan
“In seeking to reach the world, we must learn to connect with others.”
Joy K. Massenburge September 18, 2020 (ACFW)
The pandemic ushered in an array of changes in everyday life. It presented me with the opportunity to attend the ACFW Conference virtually. I prepared for the classes as if I were embarking to set sail on the wide ocean blue.
I chose my attire from head to toe as if the outfit would propel me as a candidate to be hired in a competitive market for the dream occupation. Classes chosen with detailed precision filled me with euphoric anticipation.
As I entered the portal of the Zoom meeting, it struck me no one would see my outfit. No one would hear my heart. My organized three-ring-wide notebook, white college rule- lined paper, and felt tipped color coordinated pens would go unnoticed. And no one would be interviewing me.
But then a voice filled with the timbre of a melodious hello and a welcoming introduction, began her presentation with a colorful slide with the bold word: CONNECT. It grabbed me through my computer screen. It felt like the excitement rushing through when you drive through the decorated neighboring streets at Christmas with an abundance of twinkling red and green lights to celebrate the season of joy.
It came as no coincidence the word of the season came to my mind because the name of my instructor, started with the word which resonates the meaning of the December celebration: Joy.
As she guided this newbie, starry-eyed writer, her words kept hitting me in my mind. She told us the path of a writer should never be travelled alone. In my mind, a balking spirit stirred from fear of throwing myself back into a working group setting. As a retired educator, wounds from my previous profession caused my heart to throw up a wall.
As she continued in her presentation, words like sharing, caring, seeking, flowed in repetition. Then she said, “Don’t rush the process. Endure.”
I began to wonder if endurance would be enough. Then the Lord overpowered me with the reminder to “Run the race with endurance.”
Her contagious smile, boisterous personality, and words of wisdom caused me to grab my favorite pink pen and write, “Tracy, embrace the journey.”
On this road of writing, I learned my experiences provide fodder for the words I bring to a page. I cannot separate any season of life from what I’m seeking in my travels as an author.
My writing world combines with the struggles of everyday life, and like a wise, sweet instructor reminded her enclosed, internet classroom, “Connect, connect, connect.” Words of truth.
During this time, I learned to interact with others promotes growth for me in more ways than just plot and setting. You must open your writing beyond the page. It’s frightening but necessary. You will find connecting with others provides you with strong prayer warriors, shoulders of support, and hands of affirmation, and even in the rejections open arms of encouragement.
And the speaker for the class, she lived what she instructed. In the past and present, she continues to connect with me and encourage my journey. In the one class, I found a motivator; but more so, I found a friend.
Fellow writers, step out today and connect. You will be glad you did.“Embrace the Journey. @tracyomorgan #ACFWBlogs #writetip #critiques #ACFWCommunity Click To Tweet
Tracy O. Morgan lives in Upstate South Carolina with her husband and their rescue puppy, Missy. She is a retired educator who serves on an education scholarship board. Family, college football, and event planning keep her engaged in the community. Her current writing project is her romance Bicycle Point Series.
Connect with all your yearning heart,
find a tribe or clan
of which you would fain be a part,
and do it while you can.
There is a rising tide of time,
and there is nowhere to run,
no tree or cliff which you can climb,
and you will be undone
unless the effort’s put in place
to reach out for community
that provides a warming grace
and bestows immunity
against a cool and lonely fate…
go, friend, ere it is too late!