As you know from previous posts, I have a heart condition. A serious one. And sometimes it’s tempting to give in to it, to pamper myself, to let it limit my experiences and my enjoyment of life. But I don’t. I want to live to the fullest, to enjoy all God has for me. I take care of myself and listen to my wife and the medical team around me so I don’t do stupid. But I won’t let the condition hamper me.
In the same vein, sometimes I’ve been tempted to give up on writing because of what seems like insurmountable obstacles and limitations.
Building a platform, maintaining a presence on social media, being an active marketer, and writing itself all seem beyond my reach at times.
Poor sales of my indie books drags at me.
Finding an agent seems to have more hoops than a Hula Hoop factory on caffeine, and they all have to be jumped through just right. And they keep moving the hoops.
Focusing on the writing itself can overwhelm some of us. We perceive time limitations: I just can’t find the time to write. Helpful hint: we will never find the time to write. We must make the time to write. When we make the time to write we have to beat it with a club so it behaves (paraphrase of Jack London)
Family responsibilities, health concerns, job responsibilities, and finances present challenges as we pursue our dream and calling to be writers.
These limitations wear us down and drain our confidence. I’ve seen writers give up in the face of them. I’ve been tempted myself to chuck it all.
So, what do we do about it?
Refocus on Our Foundations
Why do we write? How did we get started on this roller coaster? What keeps us on it?
Here are four areas refocus on:
REFOCUS on God. He gave us the call to write. Get back in touch with him and his promises for strength. He has promised never to forsake us. There have been times when I’m struggling with my writing and I remind him that this was his idea. And he reminds me not to focus on the external, worldly signs of success, but to focus on obedience to his call. One of the principles we teach in our stewardship classes at church is: If I can, I will. And God will do the rest. He has given each of us the ability to do what he has called us to be. What he requires is our availability.
REFOCUS on the gift he has given us to create with him. This applies to every vocation and occupation. As writers, he wants us to use words to encourage, to enlighten, to comfort and support, to inspire. Trust he will guide, equip and enable us.
REFOCUS on the journey, not the destination. What does God have for us along the way?
The primary thing he has for us is GROWTH. We grow in our relationship with him. We grow within ourselves into so much more than if we didn’t have him.
Writing had made me a different and better person. And I’ve seen it do the same in many other writers. Along the journey, he has brought us friendships and relationships that support us and challenge us. These people come along side and we travel together.
REFOCUS on not giving up, on not stopping until he releases us. Continually seek his wisdom and guidance. Keep working. Keep writing.
Keep touching others through our ministry of writing. Be faithful stewards of the gift and talent he’s given us.
How have you handled being tempted to give up?
How do you refocus?
Tagged as “one to watch” by Publishers Weekly, award winning author Henry McLaughlin takes his readers on adventures into the hearts and souls of his characters as they battle inner conflicts while seeking to bring restoration and justice in a dark world. His writing explores these themes of restoration, reconciliation and redemption.
Besides his writing, Henry treasures working with other writers and helping them on their own writing journeys. He is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. He regularly teaches at conferences and workshops, leads writing groups, edits, and mentors and coaches.