Friday, August 26, 2011

The Human Touch

by Jennifer AlLee

Human contact. It’s one of those essentials of life that we often overlook. Oh sure, we have contact with our immediate families, but that’s not always enough for every situation. 

Take the writer, for example.

Writer’s think differently than normal people. We see what ifs everywhere. We hear the voices of our characters talking to us… and we talk back. We also deal with more assaults to our self-esteem and emotions than you’d think. Often, they come from outside sources, but just as often, they come from ourselves. Talking to a spouse might help, depending on the severity of the situation. Nine times out of ten, the non-writing spouse won’t understand why it’s a big deal.

So what’s a writer to do when she feels particularly vulnerable, her armor more dented than the surface of the moon? Reach out to the only people who truly understand her: writing friends.

You can take the word “writer” and substitute any other you choose: Secretary, CEO, pastor, teacher, stay-at-home mom, dental hygienist, and on and on and on. Sometimes, the only way to get out of the doldrums is to have your friends pull you out. And the best friends for the job are the ones who know what you’re going through.

Of course, God knows this.

And let us consider one another in order 
to stir up love and good works, 
not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, 
as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, 
and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. 
(Hebrews 10:24-25, NLT) 

He’s talking to members of the early Christian church. There was a bunch who really needed to band together. They were persecuted. They faced attacks on a daily basis. Who else but another Christian would understand? Notice, He doesn't tell them to get together and pretend that nothing bad has happened. He doesn't tell them to ignore each other’s pain. He tells them to exhort each other, lift each other up.

In our modern world of emails, Facebook, and such, there’s no excuse for being alone. A timely email message from a friend across the country means just as much as going out for coffee and a chat with your friend from across town. Take some time to reach out today, whether you need to be uplifted, or you think of someone else who could use an emotional boost.

 We’re all in this together.

 JENNIFER ALLEE believes the most important thing a woman can do is find her identity in God – a theme that carries throughout her novels. A professional writer for over twenty years, she's done extensive freelance work for Concordia Publishing House, including skits, Bible activity pages, and over 100 contributions to their popular My Devotions series. Her first novel, The Love of His Brother, was released by Five Star Publishers in November 2007. Her latest novel, The Pastor’s Wife, was released by Abingdon Press in February 2010. Her upcoming novel, The Mother Road, will be released by Abingdon Press in April 2012. She's a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, Christian Authors Network, and the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance. - Jennifer's website - A safe haven for women living on the front lines of ministry.


  1. Sometimes, I don't know what I'd have done if it wasn't for my writer friends and their constant encouragement.

    A wonderful post!

  2. I'm so glad you wrote this, Jen, because so many people think it doesn't count unless it's face-to-face. (And I'm not talking skype)

    I remember in my military days on base when the neighbour women would get together at 10 every morning for coffee. It would last until 11:30 when they'd go home to make lunch for the family.

    I was a shiftworker and when the women invited me, I went because I wanted to get to know my neighbours. But that took a big chunk out of day - especially when I had a toddler and also had to get to work some days by 3pm. So I stopped going on those days. Then I decided I didn't like sitting around discussing what we didn't like about our husbands or the military, so I stopped going totally. I was labelled a snob. Our 5 yrs on that base was horrendous.

    I prefer the world we now live in because you're right, Jen. There are always people on the social networks if we want to talk. And we're not limited in what we talk about. And no one will diss me if I don't feel like talking.

    Thank you so much for writing about this.

    Anita Mae.

  3. Good morning, ladies!

    Anita, like you, I love being able to say as much or as little as I want to my friends via electronic methods. Facebook in particular has been a huge blessing, enabling me to send notes of encouragement, birthday blessings, etc. in little more than the time it takes me to think about doing it. Also, I've reconnected with people I lost track of years ago. For that alone, I must tip my hat to Mr. Zuckerberg :+}

  4. It's so true that no one understands our writing selves more than another writer.

    I'd guess I'm not alone, too, in thinking that little bit of encouragement, that little bit of knowing someone else is there with you, one tiny little "attaboy" makes a big difference.

    Good article! :)

  5. Thanks, Jen. We certainly do need each other, yet I find a lot of people isolate themselves. I'm guilty of that on occasion, myself.

    But this was timely because I've been praying about new ways to connect in my community. Thanks for the reinforcement!

  6. I remember just a few years ago when I went from a homeschooling mother to pretty much an empty-nester.

    Social media is such a Godsend. It's really nice to connect with people, even when you're home all alone.

  7. I remember the first time I walked into a writer's conference. It didn't take long for me to realize that these were people like me. :) until then, I thought maybe I was crazy to have all these characters and storylines running around in my head. It was nice to realize there were others like me out there.

    Great post, Jen.

  8. Pretty insightful. Thanks!

    My blog:
    simulation pret


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