But, that’s just what my wife, Lisa, and I are about to do.
It’s not that there aren’t good writing groups around us. There are. And I mean, really good. It’s not that I’m a control freak, seeking the spotlight, or trying to promote myself. I’ll admit that in years past, that might very well have been my motivation, but one of the effects of the adversity God has allowed in my life the past several years is that a lot of my controlling, spotlight-seeking, self-promoting impulses were quite thoroughly crushed, and good riddance.
No, the reason that Lisa and I have decided to start a new writing group is because, as many good writing groups as there are in this area, most of them are packed. So, clearly, still more are needed. A second reason is that Lisa and I feel strongly led to support faith-based writers. I rarely encountered faith-based writers in the writing groups I attended, and thinking about that I think I may have put my finger on why: A lot of the content that contemporary mainstream writers, particularly yet-to-be-published writers, write can be very tough for faith-based writers to handle. And conversely, I’m sure a lot of faith-based writers would feel very vulnerable having their faith-based writing critiqued by such writers.
So, most faith-based writers, even published authors, tend to steer well clear of writing groups. And this is a shame, because, let’s be honest… a lot of Biblical and Christian fiction is being published because the demand for faith-based content is so high. Faith-based writers should be equipped so that they can produce some of the best writing available anywhere, and sadly, by virtue of not feeling welcome or comfortable in secular writing groups, they’re just not being equipped as well as they deserve.
Lisa and I want to change all of this – for the sake of faith-based writers, for the sake of the faith-based publishing industry, for the sake of literature, and most of all for the sake of the Good News. So, our writing group will be specifically and exclusively for faith-based writing of all types: devotionals, poetry, theological and biblical commentary, but with a special emphasis on the most neglected genre of all: faith-based fiction.
Now, I can’t say that I have attended tons of writing groups over the years. I’ve really only attended two with any regularity or consistency. But, I got a lot of helpful support and advice from those groups, and I’d like to pass on the support and encouragement I’ve received from them into the faith community.
We know that this is a need throughout the faith community, and we’d like this group to be the first of many such groups, supporting faith-based writers even across the country, if it be His will.
Details will follow as they become established, so please keep an eye out for them to follow.