By Mazzy Adams
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 Conference in Sydney.
If only ...
I spend several minutes organising, if not holding, a personal pity party because the timing’s all wrong. It’s right in the middle of the crucial final countdown for our year twelve students; for their sake I need to be here more than I need to be there.
I know how valuable that conference will be. I pray blessings and safety for those who can make it.
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.
This past weekend, I’ve enjoyed the enormous blessing of sharing these experiences and more at the Omega Writers Toowoomba Retreat. In terms of numbers, we’re not exactly huge. But in my calendar, it’s super significant. Each year, this gathering has been a wellspring of blessing and encouragement to me in my spiritual walk and my writing journey—even the year I was sporting a plaster cast on 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 Passmore
- the spontaneous encouragement of a monthly writers’ chat n share in Pamela Heemskerk’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 Good Reads 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.
Mazzy Adams is a published author of poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. She has a passion for words, pictures and the positive potential in people.