Last year at this time, I had just returned from the CWG biennial writers retreat in DeWitt, Michigan. I am thankful that I’m still in touch with most of the people I met there. One has become a close friend in spite of the distance that separates us. Several have become my cheerleaders, and I hope my support buoys others from that special weekend. My life has been immeasurably enriched from that brief time and in getting to know my fellow retreatants/CWG members.
With the perspective of time, I am again reminded how powerful those few days were. I’ve attended other writing retreats along with numerous conferences, but putting our Lord and our Catholic faith at the center of the retreat was key to its uniqueness.
One of the themes that continues to come up in my monthly columns is that of connecting with other writers, whether it be critique based, genre based, special interest based, online, or in person. The Catholic Writers Guild is a great place for Catholic writers to connect. Opportunities abound. The Online Conference usually takes place in February; look for details as the time approaches. 2015’s Live Conference will be in Summit, New Jersey. Check out the website for critique groups. And if you’re not on the CWG Facebook page yet, email one of the officers for an invitation. While a writer’s life is solitary, find strength and encouragement in the fellowship of those who share the passion of the written word.
But most important, for us as Catholics, is the need to connect with God. Sometimes we need to take a step back from the pressures of writing and recall for Whom we write, and why we toil at this sometimes-thankless task. Enjoy your family this Thanksgiving. Work to alleviate hunger, poverty, and loneliness. Use your gifts for the glory of God. Avail yourself of the Sacraments. Spend time in prayer and Adoration.
May God bless the work of your hands, and may you enjoy the company of your fellow saints-in-making during this busy holiday season.