by Cathy Baker

I LOVE my local writer’s group, CrossNPens (led by Cynthia Owens), as well as my online group, The Light Brigade (led by Lori Roeleveld.)

I didn’t realize how blessed I was to be part of such amazing groups until my first writer’s conference at Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference. When discussing our critique groups, I was the envied one! And rightfully so.

Being critiqued isn’t easy when it’s your heart spilled out in ink. It has an especially vulnerable feel to it, which is why trust within a group is essential. If you have confidence in a person’s intentions—that they desire the best for you—the words can be received, even the “critical” ones. Don’t you find this to be true in our daily lives as well?

Some of our CrossNPens group from February meeting.

Doing life with other imperfect people can result in bruised feelings and messy hands, but it comes down to the heart. 
It always does. 

Both writing groups have introduced me to some of the godliest and most creative people I know. They’ve also helped to sharpen my skills, spur me on, and kick me in the pants when necessary. I have the footprints to prove it! 

You may not consider yourself a writer but truth is, we all need a group like this—whether it’s a life group in our church, a group of young moms who can relate to runny noses and weary souls, or someone to meet with on a regular basis to discuss the deeper issues of life. Even a bona fide introvert, such as myself, recognizes we were created for community. Some of us just have to work at it a little harder. 

Your turn! Would you like to give a shout-out to your group of any kind? Who knows, it might just spark an idea for someone else. 

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but
encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing
near. Hebrews 10:24, 25