Concrete Detail

Erika Hayes, Author – Write like a reader, read like a writer and edit like a beast!


She took the leap and found her wings on the way down. — Unknown

Growing your community is vital to any profession. This can be hard for writers because we usually build our community in our stories and we like our solitude. However, a community is not only a social media presence but also meeting with peers to review your work, readers to critique your work, support of family and friends and learning from the masters.  I am a member of a writers guild for a pretty awesome author, Jerry Jenkins (more on that later) and I also follow many writers blogs and seek out advice and take classes whenever I can from the people that have success in the industry. I read books, lots of books on how to compete in this very difficult industry.  I mentioned a writing group (Scribophile) that is filled with other writers that read and try to help one another.  All these people and things are a part of my writing community.

I heard a story on Sunday that gave me the courage to do something I have wanted to do for years.  The story was about a man that was told to pray for six months about something and see what God would do.  God moved, the man moved, he did things he didn’t know he could do.  He acted when God gave him the opportunities and the outcome was nothing short of amazing. The man’s life changed.  I believe that story resonated with me because I sometimes struggle with my writing, always allowing that doubt sneak in and make me question myself.  I decided to start praying about it.  Six months I said and I will do whatever God lays on my heart.  Here we are less than a week later and God is at work!

I don’t know anyone that is a writer that wouldn’t jump at the chance to hear from someone wildly successful in the industry.  I have a confession,  I know an author that is very successful I know she writes but she doesn’t know I do.  She has many books published in several genera and under a few pen names.  I know her because we happen to live in the same community and she and I frequent the same establishment.

One day many years ago, her husband and I struck up a conversation when he saw me reading a book.  Her book! I was so overwhelmed.  I didn’t say anything at the time about being a writer because she is so successful. (I was intimidated by her success – no lie – I am not easily intimidated by anything.)  Over the years, we have chatted several times about everything but writing.

Today, I saw her and her husband at this same establishment and as she was leaving I felt the push.  Though my stomach was knotted so tight I felt I would pass out I did something I have wanted to do but never had the courage to do.  I simply said, “Would you be willing to talk to me about the writing industry?”  My heart was pounding so hard I thought she could see it through my shirt.  She replied, “Of course.”  with a big smile.  A genuine welcoming smile.   I felt a rush of gratitude as my shoulders relaxed a little. She asked me a few questions and then we agreed we would chat later.  We said goodbye and a few moments later she came in and handed me her business card told me to contact her so we can set up a meeting.  I can’t tell you how much that meant to me.  She came back in from her car to give me her card!

Here is the purpose of this post.  It is about encouraging you!  We have more resources then we know.  Being brave enough to step out of our usual solitary little world, to step up and admit that you want something enough to make it a priority in your prayers, to take action when you are given opportunity is what I want to leave you with.  While I am not easily intimidated, and it is even harder for me to admit, I will tell you for years knowing this woman I have been afraid approach her because she is successful. I wasted valuable time because I didn’t take a leap!  Well, today I did and I found wings on the way down.

Today I grew.  Today I am so grateful for God’s push and His answer in the response of kindness from this amazing woman that agreed so readily to help me along in my journey.


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