It Takes a Village

As a writer, one of my priorities is to encourage my readers — to put a positive spin on their day by adding a touch of humor, faith, helpful information, or any combination thereof. I do love to relate to people. Only… I seem to spend an awful lot of time at home, in front of my laptop. All by myself. You don’t have to be an eccentric recluse to write, but it would be mighty easy to become just that.

The danger in being a reclusive writer is that I would lose touch with the very resource that will sharpen my faith and humor, and bring about much of the helpful information I would like to share: namely, other people. If I just keep my rear in my desk chair all the time, my store of things to write about will soon run dry.

Fortunately, my magazine assignments get me out of the house and into other people’s lives. I have met some fascinating characters, and always learn something or gain some inspiration from each one. You can catch a few of these conversations in the sidebar.

But I have discovered another source of mutual inspiration and support: online friends, some of them fellow bloggers. On Fridays, I like to link up with as many “Company Girls” friends as possible. They may offer a frank look at some situation where they don’t know what to do, or perhaps where they have failed. I can usually relate, and their transparency blesses and encourages me. Equally inspiring are the victories or fresh insights they share. I’ve been challenged to pray with more faith; to be kinder to my home, my family and myself; to appreciate some blessings that God has showered on me, but which I had not even noticed. It is mutual, too: sometimes I hear that my words have blessed someone else. I have really hit it off with some of these ladies, who have become real friends. All good stuff!

But now, to complete the picture (and avoid becoming an eccentric recluse), I need to get out there and use what I have learned. And in the process, I can gain some insights of my own, and pass along some of God’s blessings to other people, which is the whole point of getting those blessings in the first place.

As near as I can figure, it’s a matter of balance. Indoor/outdoor; give/take; solitary/social; output/input; virtual/real-life. We all need each other; everybody has something to offer. And everybody has a story, as I may have mentioned before. I hope you will link up with some of the blogs in my sidebar or at today’s “Company Girl Coffee.”

Thanks for reading!

About Jan C. Johnson

Welcome! If you like food, reading, laughing over life's little disasters, and maybe thinking about the bigger things of life, you have come to the right place. Besides blogging, I write humorous fiction, though real life tends to leave fictional humor in the shade. But I'm not a total goofball. No, really. I'm also working on a biography project. I live in North Texas with my husband, Brent. We enjoy bicycling, Mexican food, and traveling to visit our kids and grandkids.
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14 Responses to It Takes a Village

  1. Star says:

    I’m with ya! I’m not a writer in fear of becoming a recluse…just a stay at home, home schooling mom in danger of withering away from lack of adult interaction! I love visiting with the Company Girls on Fridays…it is really the only day I give myself to sit down and take the time to blog. Thanks for sharing, have a great weekend!


    • Jan says:

      Thanks, Star! I greatly admire homeschoolers, by the way. Looks like you have your children in some good outside activities. Maybe those will help you, too — to prevent that withering process! Now, kick back and enjoy a relaxed weekend.


  2. diane says:

    You need to take in to give out – and vice versa. Most of us have a natural bent toward either introversion or extraversion, but we need to make the effort to balance things, or, as you said, we become stale.

    I took the StrengthsFinder assessment, and one of my top four strengths was “relator” – someone who enjoys finding out about people and helping to make connections with and between them. I almost fell out of my chair laughing – I am an introvert with a capital “I”, and being with people for extended periods of time exhausts me. Yet on thinking about it, I realized it was right. It may be against my natural temperment, but it is something I have done very successfully.

    In some ways, it’s easier to share our hearts in this odd, word-centric world. Nice to know connections are being made and we are encouraging and inspiring each other!


    • Jan says:

      Hi, Diane! Your “relator” surprise sounds a bit like me… I tend to describe myself as “an introvert who loves people.”

      You are right about our “odd, word-centric world.” We may meet only online, but behind each post is a real person that we can connect with.


  3. Katharine says:

    This is soo true! Thanks for sharing today and making me ponder some things! I love company girls as well… I always look forward to my Friday visits!
    Blessings on your day!


  4. Lea says:

    Well, compared to some of you great writers, I’m just an ordinary writer for sure. But, I’ve fallen in love with the world of blogging and have made some of the greatest friends along the way. And, Company Girls is just the best for sure! And, you are so right, “everyone has a story.” Blessings to you!


  5. Jen says:

    I just looked in your sidebar and was just awestruck by the fact THAT I AM THERE. I am so thankful for that — I really just don’t have words. Also, the fact that you are writer and you put me there blesses me and encourages me to keep doing what I am doing. I aspire to write…something. I would love to do magazine articles — really whatever God calls me to do. Enough rambling, but you are lovely.


  6. I just discovered Company Girls a few weeks ago, and really enjoy it.

    And I totally agree with you about balance–that’s a major key to successful living!


  7. LydiaCate says:

    Let me just say “Ditto” to Star’s comment!! And although I don’t blog, Rachel and the Company Girls have given me an outlet that has proven to be one of the biggest blessings. I enjoy commenting on her site and visiting the company girls as I’m able to.
    Love the Company Girls!!
    Thanks Jan for a great post!
    Have a blessed week!


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