Big or Small, Make the Most of it All.
The email lands in my inbox filled with punchy phrases designed to provoke and spread excitement about the next big conference in a major US city. It’s only a plane flight away but that’s a fanciful flight too far for my budget.
I press delete.
The state or national writers centre informs me of upcoming events. All very interesting. But the scheduled times clash with other commitments. There is a webinar but that’s not the same as being there …
Incoming: A reminder about the early bird discount period for the Omega Writers Conference …
If only …
I spend several days organising, if not holding, a personal pity party as obstacles that will preclude my attending pile up: The timing’s all wrong because it clashes with the crucial final countdown for our year twelve students and, for their sake, I need to be here more than I need to be there. The accommodation costs are too great a challenge to the budget bottom line, especially given my current mobility issues … (sadly, a tent in a camping ground is not an option.)
I know how valuable that conference will be. Heck, the main speaker is a Mystery/Thriller guru and I’d love to soak in all that experience-based wisdom. Sigh.
Instead, I pray blessings and safety for those who can make it and hope to hear more of their experiences down the track.
We’ve all been there, longing to gather with like-minded souls, fellow creatives who understand the word-driven psyche. We desperately want to participate, contribute, and make the most of any, and all, opportunities to connect, learn, promote, celebrate, and, er, commiserate. Let’s face it—there’s a unique blessing that comes when chatting to someone who UNDERSTANDS. When I say to a fellow writer, ‘He says, “Just put it up as an ebook”,’ and her spontaneous laughter tells me she KNOWS there’s no ‘just’ about it. She KNOWS it’s not that simple.
To be fair, pre-pandemic, I enjoyed the enormous blessing of sharing these experiences and more at our Omega Writers Toowoomba Retreats. In terms of numbers, we’re not exactly huge. But in my calendar, it’s super significant. Each time, this gathering has been a wellspring of blessing and encouragement to me in my spiritual walk and my writing journey—even the year I sported a plaster cast over a broken wrist.
But if the truth be told, the reason this ‘small’ event is such an enormous blessing to me arises from a plethora of tiny moments when I’ve been able to interact with writer friends throughout the year:
- birthday celebration dinners with fellow Quirky Quills
- gluing thank you cards and assembling welcome packs with fellow event organiser, Janelle Moore
- spending an afternoon cheering on fellow author, Jessica Kate, as she shared her experiences breaking into the US market
- learning ‘How to Avoid Literary Speed Bumps’ at a workshop by fellow author, and editor, Nola Lorraine
- the spontaneous encouragement of a monthly writers’ chat n share in Pamela’s cosy sunroom—especially when new-to-the-experience-but-longing-to-learn friends, (now no longer strangers), join in
- or the crying-with-laughter emoji posted by a Facebook sympathiser that makes my day.
A hundred and one little moments and short experiences combine to create a gigantic collective fellowship of encouragement (with the odd nag to get on with the business of writing thrown in for good measure; oh yeah, we should do some of that.)
Whether we’re writing a six-word short story, a three line haiku, flash fiction, blog, devotion, self-help treatise, novella, memoir, novel, epic saga, or multi-book series, a few moments of mutual fellowship and encouragement can make a huge difference.
So next time you feel the disappointment at having to let a grand opportunity pass you by, settle your soul with an engaging moment … post an emoji, phone a friend, grab a picnic lunch with a critique partner, post a star rating or book review on GoodReads or Amazon, or read or write an encouraging blog.
Above all, be comforted knowing that your little contribution to mutual interaction goes a very long way to make somebody’s day.
Maybe even your own.
Have you experienced, or imparted, a ‘blessed moment’ recently? Big, small, or minuscule, positive connections strengthen and inspire us all.