Distractions when writing is one of the greatest challenges for a new or struggling author. Pretty colors. Cleaning the oven. Organizing your closets. The strangest distractions can seem important when ideas aren’t flowing. Or perhaps the more visible success of fellow writers has you in a bit of a funk.
Snap out of it!
Regain your focus. Remember what your purpose is. Revisit the reason you decided to sit at the keyboard in the first place.
Take a break if you need it. Read this post if you’d like. But get back to work. You’ll be glad that you did.
Writers tend to play the comparison game. When that happens we lose sight of what’s right before us: we are individuals. Our walks are different from anyone else’s. Our insights are different, too. Experiences. Challenges. Blessings. The sum of these plus others attributes make up the characteristics of who we are. But make no mistake, we are even more–we are Sons and Daughters of the Creator of the Universe.
Stories of people with broken spirits are threaded throughout the scriptures. Elijah wanting to die (1 Kings 19). The widow with the last of her olive oil (2 Kings 4). The woman the issue of blood (Luke 8:40-47). Even Jesus wept, asking His Heavenly Father to take the cup He needed to drink from him (Luke 22:39-45).
Turning to God for help made the difference, and it makes the difference for us. Here’s a short poll for those how have a favorite go to scripture to get them through dark times. I know I have mine own. But I want to hear yours!
Hey friends! I’m speaking in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on November 5th for the 2nd Annual Keystone Christian Fiction Writers’ Conference! If you’re in the area, come and spend the day with us. It’s going to be fun, informative and hopefully inspiring. I would love to have you stop by my class and share some time with me there. Agents from Hartline Agency will be there. Jeanette Windle is the Keynote and other published authors will be there to share their knowledge and support.
I always thought being a Christian fiction writer was the next thing to sainthood. Not only did the author write the most entertaining story possible, but they also left the reader with a message. Their story had a purpose.
When I decided to write fiction I struggled with all the criteria I felt I needed to meet. Would my story be believable? Could I show Christ like I wanted to? Would my words sound preachy? I stressed over my fears for months until I remembered a simple quote from Mark Twain that set me free.
“Write what you know.”
I am a Christian. I live a Christian life because of my love for Christ. I strive to do good, but so often fail. I know what it means to live in a fallen world. I know heartache and other emotions—sorrow, joy, fear, disappointment, struggle with vengeance—all the makings of a great novel.
So I write what I know.
Nowadays my challenge has changed. Writing has taken on a different meaning. I need to be selective in sharing what I know. What experiences do I know that could connect with readers? What emotions can I express on the page that would connect with a reader to pull from them their own emotions? Sorrow? Joy? Disappointment? Struggle with vengeance?
I still read novels by others so I can learn more about my craft. I go to writers conferences to sharpen my skills as well as participate in critique groups to stay connected with like-minded people.
But I always come back to what I know.
I challenge you to do the same. Attend this fall’s writers conference. Connect with fellow writers on Facebook and share your ideas. And write what you know. You’ll be a blessing to others when you do.
Did back-to-school shopping freeze your brain? Has the weather thrown you for a loop?
If you’re looking for topics to stir conversations, check out Edie Melson’s September’s Idea Starters. If you haven’t done so, follow her blog. She never runs short of informative as well as inspirational items for writers.
How many times have we questioned why sand has been kicked in our face on the Beach of Life? Circumstances doesn’t go as planned … we suffer an incredible loss … our words get twisted then used against us. We stomp our foot and scream to God, “This is not fair! Where are you, Father? Why don’t you make this right?”
But we hear nothing back—radio silence from our Heavenly Father. What do we do? We want to roll up our sleeves and fix things. We know exactly what we’d do to fix things. But Scriptures begin to come to mind: “Never will I leave you nor forsake you,” “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” “In all your ways submit to God, and he will make your paths straight.”