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.
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.
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 1 Kings 19:11 – 12
Elijah—a powerhouse for God—experienced one of the greatest stories of the Old Testament. He was invited to see God. But he had to experience destruction before he heard God’s voice.
Isn’t that how Life turns for us? When life’s winds and storms fill our world, we call out to see the power of God. Somewhere in our heart we hope He’s greater than our current storm.
As a struggling writer myself, there are times when the last thing I want to do is write on something other than my focused work. But also as a newbie writer, I’ve learned the benefit of listening to those who are where I want to be. And they’re saying to make a name for yourself you need to blog.
Check out Heather Kopp’s post that addresses the benefits of blogging as she shares her found Aha! moments. I appreciate her insight almost as much as I appreciate her friendship.
What have been some of your Aha! moments while blogging?