I usually blog Tuesday and Thursdays. But on this Monday, I’ve got things to say. Hard things. Maybe things you’ll relate to. Here we go…
Friday I had a very difficult and unexpected conversation with someone. I didn’t see it coming. Honestly, it sent me spinning and unable to focus for a while. Even covering the issue in prayer, it was something that had to be dealt with right away. It needed my attention. Even after addressing it, the issue required a lot of reflection and thinking and seeking guidance.
Authors often hear the advice “no matter what, write something every day.” Even in the midst of pain, rejection, uncertainty, uninspired times, a writer should write. (For those who aren’t writers, sub in your own occupation/role–chances are, this message will apply to anyone.)
Friends, I’m no expert, but I’m here to tell you it’s okay not to write. It’s okay not to produce. Looking to the famous passage from Ecclesiastes, there’s time for everything. There’s a time to push through and write, and there’s a time to just be. There’s a time to sit with Jesus and cry. Be in that precious moment. There’s a time to admit inadequacies and be reminded God is carrying us.
Another thing authors are told is to gain as many experiences as possible. See many places, peoples, and wonders. Familiarize yourself with various scenery so you can effectively describe it on the page. Hear dialects, catalog facts, soak up the world. As writers of Christian fiction, we also need to take note of life’s experiences that challenge our faith, deepen our trust, stretch our belief in hope and love and peace. And we can’t experience these things without stopping. Feeling (as much as it hurts). Listening. Healing.
This weekend I experienced some soul-deep emotions related to parenthood. Any forced writing I did would have been unjust to my current work-in-progress. Sometime this week, I will likely sit down and write these emotions so I can call upon the experience one day. But in the moment, it was best not to write. It was best not to force my non-creativity on a story different from the one I was living in real time. It was best to be with Jesus.
Life happens. Let it. Stop, pause when you need to. Your calling to create won’t suffer if you stop, listen to your gut, and pause at the right moments.
Writing (or Not) When Life Happens — TWEET THIS!
As Christian Fiction writers, we need to take note of things that challenge our faith, deepen our trust, stretch our beliefs in hope… — TWEET THIS!
Your calling to create won’t suffer if you stop, listen to your gut, and pause at the right moments. — TWEET THIS!
7 thoughts on “Writing (or Not) When Life Happens”
Well said, Teresa. Such a great post! And so very true… our creativity really won’t suffer when we take those breaks. Often it seems to grow stronger!
Great post! I agree! 🙂 I was given advice at ACFW to have a weekly or monthly word count goal, instead of a daily goal, and that feels a little more flexible to me! 😊
That’s great advice! I might try that 😉
Sometimes, you have to leave “expert” advice in the dust and let the Holy Spirit lead (which should be our guiding force all the time). You did the right thing. Prayers over you today!
Indeed, Cynthia! You’re so right. Thanks for the prayers, and for reading.
Having once lived in Florida, I’m familiar with riptides, which is often similar to the unexpected situations we experience in life. You’re swimming along, things are great and then a rip current pulls you off shore, or further down the beach than you’d like. Experts will tell you to swim WITH the current, not against it. Most times the rip tide current will end as quickly as it begins.
Life can be a lot like a riptide. Learning to “go with the flow” is helpful, but letting God take control is better. Creativity certainly won’t disappear if you need to take time off from writing, in fact, that break may be just what you need to produce an even better idea.
Wonderful analogy, Lara!! I love this example. Thanks for reading. 🙂