It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. 2 Cor 3:5 (NLT)
On Monday, Nola announced she was stepping down as coordinator of Christian Writers Downunder, though she will remain on as a member of the committee. She has passed this role (that she has fulfilled so admirably) on to me. I have some big shoes to fill.
Reading through the responses from Monday’s blogpost, I know you all will join me in thanking Nola for her gentle, wise and Spirit-led leadership and her faithful and humble serving behind the scenes of CWD over the last couple of years. From arranging the blog calendar, sharing links to the blog twice-weekly, accepting new members, encouraging, commenting in the FB group, and negotiating the occasional tricky situation, Nola has acted with wisdom and grace. In recent times, she has co-opted first Anusha and then myself to share the load of these various responsibilities. We would love her to continue in her role in CWD but God is calling her to focus on other things.
For myself, CWD has had a significant impact on me when I returned to writing a few years ago. Suddenly, I was part of a virtual but very real and active community of like-minded writers who were willing to share what they had learned, to encourage, pray and laugh together, even though we often came from different traditions and perspectives. While clearly valuing faith in Jesus and Christian values and worldview, there has been has also been a willingness to look outward, to consider how we might best engage creatively with the world.
I’ve appreciated the opportunity to blog regularly on CWD blogsite, to connect and network, to discuss and group together for common goals (like the NaNo Camp July cabins & FB groups or the Glimpses of Light anthology). I like that CWD is primarily a support group for Australian and New Zealand Christians who are writers or associated with writing (as publishers, editors, illustrators). There are opportunities to promote or share one’s triumphs, but CWD isn’t primarily a promotional group where everyone is trying to sell their wares and no one is listening.
All these are qualities that I hope we will be able to preserve and cultivate in the future.
CWD has more than doubled in size since I joined as a rookie member in 2012. It is perhaps inevitable with a large group, that some members are much more active than others. Maybe this is because not everyone is on FB as often, or maybe because some of you are shy and reticent to participate. One thing I’ve found in life is that the more you put into something, the more you get out of it.
Let me encourage to be active in the group — join in on discussions, congratulate or pray for each other, read the CWD blogs (they’re good value) and comment on them, join the blog team, get behind the anthology, support each other’s works through sharing links, writing (fair and honest) reviews. Another writer’s success doesn’t make ours less likely. By supporting each other, we become stronger together.
While I have a few small ideas percolating away, my main aim is to continue what has been started. I appreciate your prayers and support and would like to thank you all for being such a vibrant, encouraging and inspiring group.
Jeanette (Jenny) O’Hagan
7 January 2015
Jeanette O’Hagan enjoys writing fiction, poetry, blogging and editing. She is writing her Akrad’s Legacy Series—a Young Adult secondary world fantasy fiction with adventure, courtly intrigue and romantic elements. Her short stories and poems are published in a number of anthologies including Glimpses of Light, Another Time Another Place and Like a Girl.
Jeanette has practised medicine, studied communication, history, theology and, more recently, a Master’s in writing. She loves reading, painting, travel, catching up for coffee with friends, pondering the meaning of life and communicating God’s great love. She lives in Brisbane with her husband and children.