As we all continue to stay safe at home in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic we must rethink what it means to be a part of a writing community.
These days, we can’t – or at least we shouldn’t – huddle up with our writing friends and blogging buddies in tiny side rooms at our favorite coffee shops. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still get the support we need from our fellow creatives. As you work on your next post or project you can get the encouragement you need and still practice social distancing.
Of course, I think the best way to find the online writing community you need is to become a member of the See Jane Write Collective. Enrollment for membership won’t reopen until the fall, but you don’t have to be all alone until then. You can join our free Facebook group, the See Jane Write Network, today!
Back in February when I turned 39 I shared a list of 40 things I want to do before my 40th birthday.
Then COVID-19 ended the world as we knew it.
Shortly after that I learned I would need to undergo chemotherapy. (In case you’re new around here, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January, but initially told I would only need surgery and radiation for treatment.)
COVID, cancer, and chemo obviously mean that many of my 40 Before 40 plans — like traveling and hosting in-person events — simply can’t happen. And for a while, I was going to just ditch the whole project. But that felt too much like giving up and that’s something I refuse to do.
Writing my way back to God isn’t just about using my journaling practice to thank God for the bright future I believe will one day be my reality. Writing my way back to God also means leaning into gratitude and thanking God for my life as it is right now. Even in the midst of cancer, chemo, and the COVID-19 crisis, I am unbelievably blessed.
Here are 30 things, people and places I love about my life right now.
I was a freshman in college when I first started keeping a prayer journal. Merging my love for writing with my love for God was exactly what I needed to take my faith to another level. My prayer journal became a collection of love letters to God. My prayers became poetry and suddenly God was everything and everywhere. God was a post-workout smoothie. God was the sun kissing my brown skin when I would lie on the quad reading. Once on New Year’s Eve, I felt God with me on the dance floor of a night club.
Prayer has not made me immune to crises of faith. These crises usually happen when so-called Christians are being racist, sexist, homophobic, or xenophobic in Jesus’ name. I stop going to church and I start questioning everything – until I remember the God I fell in love with so many years ago.
As a Christian, I strive to have childlike faith in God, but the book The Edge of Everywhen by A.S. Mackey reminds me that sometimes even children can struggle to believe in the goodness of God when times are tough. But this novel offers a message of hope that will prove particularly poignant for writers and readers who believe words can change lives.