“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” – Albert Schweitzer

Writing can be a very solitary endeavor. Often times it is just you and the computer (or you vs. the computer, depending on how your day is going). I’ve been feeling the solitude lately. I’m about two-thirds of the way through a manuscript that is likely the most tense and emotional story I’ve ever attempted. It’s been tough. Draining. And recently I started to feel that inner light of creativity and passion start to flicker as if it’s about to go out.

At times like that, I’ve learned there’s only one thing to do: stop writing and pick up the phone. Call another writer, a critique partner, a loyal friend who reads (and loves) everything you write, and let them rekindle your inner spirit.

In a month where we are focusing on an attitude of gratitude, I have been reflecting on how much God has blessed me through relationships with other writers. If it had not been for my critique partners, a dedicated mentor, and good friends who love to talk books and writing and dreams as much as I do, I would have given up my pursuit of publication a long time ago. I am so grateful that we are not in this alone, that God designed us to be in relationship so we can encourage, support, and inspire each other. I am so grateful for my friends.

A lifelong storyteller, Sara Richardson is passionate about communicating reasons for hope. Previously she has been an advertising copywriter, an Internet communications manager, and a whitewater rafting guide. In addition to writing fiction, Sara has published nonfiction articles in parenting and family magazines. As a member of MOPS International, Sara enjoys speaking to moms’ groups. She earned a master’s degree in journalism from Regent University. Visit her at www.hopetolife.com

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