Friday, January 22, 2010

Writing Inspires...





Prayer!






Oh my, does it ever!

Writers, at least Christian writers, pray about their story premise, and how best to reveal the story for God's glory. Whether it's for the Christian Fiction/Non-Fiction market or the secular, we are prayerfully lifting our work to Him in hopes that He'll use it to His great Glory and that our written words become an instrument through which He can and will work wonders for His Kingdom.

But what about writers who are pulling back on time devoted to writing for honourable reasons? What special prayers might they lift?

Yes, I happen to have personal experience with this. When I wrote full-time my direction was clear--write because God calls you to, no matter that you have no idea if He'll use it to help anyone else but yourself, just write for Him. And, yes, it definitely fulfilled my own need for stretching my imagination and directing me to battle my own sinful ways and overcoming fears that God has no desire for me to be crippled with. But now...now that I have so very little time to devote to writing, I find myself running from it when I should be embracing those precious moments available for it.

Why am I running?

I want to be a blessing to others. If my writing is solely for my personal gain, if it will never be published for even one other to gain wisdom from, then what an absolute waste those brain-draining hours of editing and revising are, not to mention how emotionally difficult they are on me. Ahhh, but if it's God desire that I continue on, so be it. Amen.

I'm an all-or-nothing sorta girl. If I can't delve in and give it my full effort and time, accomplishing great gains with each session, then the rewards are too small for me to strive toward. Ahhh, but my daughter, what I'm trying to teach you is that there is great merit in perseverance and working with building blocks no matter how small each brick. Patience, my dear, break the task into the smallest of parts and set forth to accomplish one paragraph, one page at each session and rejoice in a small job well done. For those small jobs will accumulate much in one year compared to running from the task at hand completely.

I'm no good at it anyway. Why bother? It's probably time to quit, find a new challenge to stretch myself with, perhaps the girls and their horse time is what is to fulfill me now. When that last sentence reads: "It's time to quit, find a new challenge...", that's when I'll know it's God's desire and not my weakness calling me over to the dark side--to giving up. Indecisiveness is not of God. Think about it. When was Jesus ever indecisive?

Have you ever struggled with change and found yourself questioning if God is directing you elsewhere or if it's the "change" itself that you are fighting and thus you struggle to rid yourself of the work all together? If so, how do you handle it?

May our prayers be met with answers, clear, straight-forward answers that offer peace within, and direction to accomplish the truth. Amen.


Surrendering to Him,

Eileen

34 comments:

quietspirit said...

Eileen:
I have found that God always brings me back to writing. And,yes, I had to shelve it for my dad and stepmother's health issues. I chose to stop when I got a rejection letter (sort of childish, wasn't it?) I had submitted some poetry to the magazine of my former denomination and all I can remember it saying was that poetry was personal and they couldn't use it.

Amy Tate said...

Whew, girl! You hit me between the eyes with this post. I'm an all or nothing girl too, and God is pulling me in all sorts of directions. This week He had to sit on me to get me to be still. I totally relate with this post. I'm just thrilled to have Godly writers like you in my life to encourage me!

Jeanette Levellie said...

Yes, Eileen--which I beleive means "light bearer"-- we all struggle with these issues if we are serious wrtiers.

The enemy of our souls would love us to be so wrapped up in figuring everything out that we do nothing effective for God.

I love what my husband said last night when I was lamenting about a lack of motivation: "Just do SOMETHING, and you'll feel better." Two hours later, I had accomplished 85% of a huge writing project I'd been dreading.

I bless you and your writing, "Light Bearer."

Joanne said...

That you are so thoughtfully questioning writing's place in your life right now tells me you are not running from it. Instead, you are giving it the importance, the attention, it deserves, but in a different manner. I'm sure you will find the answer right for you, but in the meantime, I love Jeanette's advice, to do something concrete and you'll feel better. Sometimes that's right where the answer is.

patti said...

Yes, all the time! Prayers are going up right now about a couple of things.

There's such a fine line, isn't there, between doubt and making sure it is in God's will!!!

Praying with/for you, girl!

Patti
www.pattilacy.com/blog

destrella said...

I know the only way I will get published if God wants it and through my prayers. Praying for His direction and guidance. :O)

Warren Baldwin said...

Yes, I have struggled with that at times, and wonder if it is a pull from God or my own reluctance to summon the stamina to finish a project I'm wearying of. Often, I just set it aside. I did that with Roaring Lions, Cracking Rocks for about 2 years.

wb

Faith Imagined said...

I have finally come to terms that I write for God alone. If nobody reads my writings except for Him then so be it. Of course I have to daily remind myself of this!

-Alisa Hope

First Friday Fiction

Laura Frantz said...

Great post, Eileen! Your heart for Him shows in everything you write. I know it's the same for your fiction. Our egos should never get in the way of His glory, that's for sure. Thanks for the reminder here today.

Amy DeTrempe said...

I've wondered that about my writing often. Is it something I want to do or has God really called me to do this. Then, when I don't have time and get out of the habit of writing and it is hard to go back to I wonder if God wants me to stop or if I am stopping myself.

Katie Ganshert said...

Oh yes, Eileen - I've struggled with both!

This is what I love about you. Your willingness to be open and vulnerable and transparent all for the sake of offering encouragement to your readers.

Thanks for sharing your prayers. This was a beautiful post to read.

Karen Lange said...

I can be an all or nothing kind of person at times, but mostly I look to do as much as I can when I can. This helps me, especially on a day with constant interruptions, or weeks when family in another state are going through challenges and I spend a good part of the day on the phone.

I like what Jeanette shared that her husband says about doing something. I try to follow this b/c I do feel better after I get something done. Trusting for the balance and wisdom all the way around!

Blessings for the weekend:)

Jessica said...

I do struggle with this. I'm not an all or nothing type of person, but I definitely hope God wants me to write. I love it so much. At the same time, I know that I need to lay my writing on the altar and let God do with it what He will. So I write for now, because that's what I have time for, but if God ever wants me to do something else, I hope I'll hear Him.

Thanks for sharing Eileen!

Jody Hedlund said...

I definitely question myself. I have self-doubts often and wonder what I'm really doing! I don't think those doubts ever go away. I guess we need to continually be seeking what God wants for us and just be walking in obedience to that.

Journaling Woman said...

I am a firm believer that God is NOT a God of chaos, but the world is chaotic and we often feel pulled in many directions. So where do we go and what do we do?

I pray. I fight the urge to hurry. I check things with scripture and I consult Christian people who I believe are wise for advice. Most of all I must have daily time with God. He can turn the chaotic into peace.

Great post.

Anita said...

What comes to my mind as I read your post, is a concern that I have so many interests and try to fulfull all of them, which means that I'm not very good at any of them. I would love to devote whole days to writing, but then I wonder where it will lead me. Do I have to make money from doing it to justify the time spent doing it? Is money the measurement of success? A man would certainly say yes to that. Or is getting published the ultimate, regardless of a paycheck?
Currently, I can't spend whole days writing, so I just go with the flow and get some fulfillment out of each day. It could be playing, working, cleaning, writing, etc.
I hope God will continue to lead all of us. :) He will...we just have to listen and follow.

LittleWomen21 said...

Oh, thank you for sharing. I struggle with this too, wondering if my writing is just for selfish reasons because it probably won't ever get published to bless others, and it's taking away time I could spend with my family. I love you answer your own questions with prayer. That is the answer, isn't it? Take all things to prayer.

Natalie said...

Being decisive is a talent sometimes isn't it? Whenever I start to question what I should be doing or how I should be spending my time I take a hard look at myself, come up with a solution that I think is right and then I pray for confirmation. I find it's a lot easier to recieve answers when it's a yes or no question. If I ask "Should I be doing this?" I either feel peaceful and happy so I know my decision is right, or I feel confused and unsettled and then I go back to the drawing board. Does that make any sense?

I feel really good about writing right now, but I know I've got to keep things balanced because my family still needs to be #1.

Krista Phillips said...

I totally get this! Somedays I wonder the same thing... am I doing this for naught?

But then I remember that God has called me to do it. I don't know the end result... maybe it's NOT publication. But obedience is what God calls us to.

Anna said...

A beautiful post! Love and prayers are sent to you... :)))

Georgiana said...

Oh wow--I'm an all or nothing person too. It's hard to continue devoting so much time when a growing family needs my time. I get right where you're at. Let's keep praying...and writing, as we feel led.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Eileen -

As writers, we hear a lot about the "inciting incident" in a story. When I'm having doubts, I go back to the inciting incident in my life when I knew God called me to write.

Until God gives me further instructions or a different assignment, I continue in obedience.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Terri Tiffany said...

Good morning!
Oh yes, I question that quite often. Especially now knowing I am headed back to work full-time and wondering where I will find the energy or time to persue it. But writing is in our hearts. Do you really believe we could let it go?

Julie Dao said...

I am forever questioning the same thing. Some days I am uncertain about taking this road and other days I feel that it's my calling, but always I come back to it. It's a game of patience and perseverance, I think. If we really want something and do everything in our power to progress on the road towards it, even if we don't get the result we wanted originally - something good will come of it, I'm sure!

Stephanie Faris said...

Writing is tough...it's easy to put it off for "another day." Believe me, I know! But the truth is, if you're really feeling called to write, you'll always come back to it. That doesn't mean if you take a little time off here and there it's not your passion...we ALL need some time off sometimes to recharge.

Rosslyn Elliott said...

Eileen, thanks for this post. I've been challenged lately by confusion about purpose and priorities. It's good to know that I'm not alone.

Sarah Forgrave said...

I've found that often my fear of change is actually a fear of failure. That's been my struggle with the whole conference debate. I feel like I'm afraid to go because it could mean people would tell me my story ideas are dumb (in much nicer terms) or that I discover I'm not cut out for a future as a writer.

Tamika: said...

Whenever I know I'm operating in the will of God I expect to see every viable obstacle soring up in my path.

The enemy's job is to seperate me from the work of God to deter people from receiving God's message.

Keep praying- and I will to!

Tabitha Bird said...

Awesome. very encourgaing. I think God and I have had some of those same conversations. My latest one revloves around me asking him if anyone will ever care about my memoir and why am I bothering writing it...but I know that is my frustration talking :)

Carla Gade said...

I really appreciated this post today.

Anita said...

I love your prayer at the end. So much said in just a few words. I receive it, and may you receive it too.

Emma Michaels said...

You may want to try a publisher like Bokheim Publishing who are just starting out but searching for Christian literature in all genres. I just sent out a new batch of queries and so my fiance and I prayed. I have to say that I love to write and will try to get published because I want to be able to help others and in my opinion that is something that a good book can do. So I think most individuals question but always remember that there is a reason for everything and I hope you will check out Bokheim. I have heard a lot about them and you seem like just what they are looking for. Even if they may not be big right now they are definitely legitimate and I feel they will be able to grow very quickly. Good Luck!

Lily Robinson said...

I've been away from blog reading for a while and am trying to catch up. Your post about your week off spoke to me. Yes, I've been using my laptop time in other places. I too am an all-or-nothing type. I tend to take up a habit and do it all day, every day!

Our pastor has been preaching on knowing when it's God's voice and not another or our own. I believe He wants us to invest our gifts, not bury them in the ground for safe keeping.

kanishk said...

I totally relate with this post. I'm just thrilled to have Godly writers like you in my life to encourage me!

Work from home India