by Marianne Evans
Today’s post is a shout-out to the Internet, and the power of social media to bring people together from all walks of life, all locations, and create a blessing. Yes, the advent of cyber-communication is a paradox—the best of things, the worst of things—but I’m fresh from the cobbled streets of historic Deadwood, South Dakota and a reader appreciation event that provided the title and inspiration for today’s blog post.
I’ve been writing stories with fellow authors Mary Manners, Tanya Stowe and Delia Latham for over eight years. At the start, we knew each other only via ‘cyberspace’ – that being our mutual publisher’s e-mail loops and social media. We connected, we shared, we looked out for each other, supported each other and a sisterhood grew. Most of us had met each other face-to-face at varying events and locations, but we had never come together as a quartet who had crafted a half-dozen books as a team. Until Deadwood.
In tandem, we were blessed by being able to visit with a group of dear friends (I use the term friends very deliberately) who have, for years and years now, gone above and beyond in not just reading and reviewing our stories, but willingly and joyfully promoting our work to friends, colleagues, lending libraries, you name it. Most important of all, they encouraged us, affirmed us, lifted us up in prayer and in deed. Again, some of us had met these treasured friends face-to-face, but our connections grew via the Internet. We had never come together as a big, boisterous group of readers/writers/friends/extended family. Until Deadwood.
The point of this post? A reflection on the power of connection. At times, authors live in solitary worlds, worlds governed by the voices and storylines of our precious characters. Deadwood gave us a chance to lift the bubble away, giving us a chance to bond even more. We rejoiced in each other’s company, we brainstormed, we hugged and laughed (a LOT!) and even shed some tears. Especially when our reader friends loved on us, and shared with us the impact of our stories on their hearts and lives. I mean, wow. The power of words. The power of a mission. The power that goes straight to God and His glory—always. What a blessing to hear their testimonies and hold them close both physically and emotionally.
So many times, I wonder if my efforts “mean” anything. If the sweat and toil I put into each story ever really reaches the hearts of those who read them. Until Deadwood.
What a grace to experience sisterly fellowship with my dear friends—authors and readers alike—and exit my writing isolation to enjoy meeting new friends! If you’re an author who’s reading this post and wondering if you’re doing right by the gifts God has entrusted to you, I say: We never fully know what happens to our book babies once they’re released into the big, wide world.
So, keep pushing. Keep trusting. Keep writing for His glory!
Need some encouragement? Find out about the reader/writer sisterhood! @MarEvansAuthor #ACFWBlogs #Encouragement #AmWriting #WritingLife Click To Tweet
Marianne Evans is an award-winning author of faith-affirming fiction who has won acclaim from critics and readers. RT Book Reviews named her book Forgiveness a 4.5-Star Top Pick and readers laude her books as ‘riveting’ and ‘true to heart.’ She’s a life-long resident of Michigan who calls suburban Detroit home.