I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

When Life Derails Your Writing Path


By Paula Boire

Feeling overwhelmed by commitments? No time to write even though you know God’s called you to do this? Maybe your writing time has dwindled, or disappeared altogether because of unexpected health crises, and the ability to put words on paper has become a monumental effort. Perhaps you’ve become a caregiver for a family member and your plans to submit that burnished manuscript to editors and agents at writing conferences seem like a plot from Mission Impossible.
And now you wonder how you’ll get back on track−or if you can.
The good news is that God is still in control. None of these derailments caught Him by surprise. Now I don’t know about you, but that’s a huge comfort to me.
In May, when I moved across country to become the live-in caregiver for my parents, I envisioned carving out time for writing and attending writing conferences. But when my father suffered a life-threatening injury that left both parents in wheel chairs and so many midnight visits to the ER, the staff recognized us as EMS wheeled in the stretcher, my writing time vanished and a writing career seemed further away than ever.
But God allows those trials in our lives to strengthen us. Yep. Strengthen us. Now it may not seem like a strengthening exercise at the time; setting an alarm clock 24/7 to turn an adult in bed, changing his/her briefs every three hours, or whatever trials you are facing, but when it’s over, YOU ARE STRONGER.
And God has plans to use that strength. Of course I can’t tell you how He’ll use those events in your life, but He is eagerly waiting to reveal His special plan for you. Maybe it will surface in renewed discipline in your writing life. Or deepen your characterizations. Maybe it will thread through your novels as scintillating subplots.
And if the Enemy’s working overtime to convince you it’s too late to fulfill those writing dreams, FEAR NOT. If God planted that dream in your heart, He will fulfill His promise to you. But He asks that we BELIEVE. So hop back in the writing saddle, clinging to the promises in His Word and watch God work on your behalf.
Isn’t it awesome that our Abba/Father is the GOD OF THE IMPOSSIBLE?
Now, your turn. How has God strengthened your writing muscles?


Book Therapy Winner: We have selected a winner for the book therapy with author Rachel Hauck. The winner has asked to be anonymous, and the therapy will be posted on Monday. 

27 comments:

  1. God is strengthening my writing muscle by giving me a ve-ery short deadline. In effect, he gave me a yes (Hurrah!) but not as soon as I hoped.
    But I'm embracing the yes and not panicking about the high word count and low days before deadline count. (At least I'm trying not to.) I'm learning I can write a fast draft ... faster than I ever thought.

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  2. Welcome, Paula. So glad to have you here. We hope you become a regular.
    God is strengthening my writing muscles by giving me more college students (good for my income) and more time with grandchildren (better yet), which means I need to fine-tune the time I have for priorities. My best writing seems to happen early mornings when I'm fresh--other things can be done later.

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  3. Great post, Paula. God has strengthened my writing muscles by letting me sit under two great writing coaches--Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck! An like Dee, my best writing comes early in the morning, too.

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  4. Paula, you're post so hit the spot for me! I finally decided to focus on the writing career that I had "always wanted" about the time I became caregiver for my mom. I thank God every day that I still have my mom and that I can be here now for her as she's always been there for me. As you pointed out, though, caregiving disrupts anything akin to time management! I'm afraid my writing muscles are quite flabby. I'm working on strengthening them by keeping my self-imposed deadlines on my blog and by reading and listening to other writers, including those in ACFW! Thanks for this timely post!

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  5. I was so happy to see your name at the top of this post, Paula. Sure been thinking of and praying for you!

    I think God has been strengthening my writing muscles through discipline lately. It's like exercise...I have to get into just. do. it. mode. And it's not only disciplining myself to write every day, to have forward motion every day, BUT to spend time with God every day. If He's not the one filling me, then what comes out of me isn't going to be good.

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  6. Agree...Agree...Agree. One IS stronger because of any strengthening exercise. I wouldn't trade those years of parental caregiving for anything, where I met God face-to-face. God used every moment of that time period for His glory and for my good.

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  7. Nice post, Paula. You ladies do such a great job here. I usually don't participate in blog awards, but have given your blog one if you care to check it out. Blessings.
    www.deborahvogts.blogspot.com

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  8. It seems like my writing muscles had to be almost torn apart before they could slowly be built back up. Short term memory issues have ripped into my writing, but it has made me rely on the Lord even more. But I'm a lover of words at heart and cannot leave it alone. I know better than ever how I need the God of the Impossible!

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  9. I think I'm being strengthened because I have to fight for my writing time. If I don't fight for it, it's too easy to start sitting down and watching TV, or distracting myself on the Internet, etc. My muscles can easily atrophy from disuse, so I have to plan in "exercise," just like I do with physical exercise. It can be hard with a full-time job, ministry, and wifehood, but I know it's worth it in the end.

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  10. This was such an encouraging post! God has been strengthening my writing muscles by making me think out of the box. I have a ms that needs re-working and it's been tough. But...He is faithful. :)

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  11. Oh,Beth, I'll be praying for you! For peace and not panic, for the river of words and thoughts to flow steadily, for strength and energy. Thank you for taking the time to post when you are sooo swamped!

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  12. Hi Delores, thank you so much for your post and all your other help. SO glad He's blessing you with extra students. Like you, I do best writing in the morning. Today I am getting a slow start because of late night hours working on taxes due to the accountant days ago. :-)

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  13. Hi Pat,
    Yes. We are so blessed to have Susie and Rachel as mentors. They've made a huge difference in my life too! Thanks for posting!

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  14. Hi Sylvia, your post really touched my heart. I am so glad you have the blessing of being your mom's caregiver. For me, it was a precious, precious gift too. It's neat that the Lord is showing you ways to "strengthen those writing muscles" during this season of your life. I'll be praying for you today.

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  15. Hi Melissa. Thanks for your post. Boy, can I relate to your comments. I so struggle with "feeling" like doing something. I guess I just want to enjoy every task. And you're so right about the balance in it all and putting God first. :-)

    Thank you so much for all your prayers. They kept the heavenly arms beneath us all during those difficult months.

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  16. Hi Cheryl,
    Thanks for your post. Returning even a small portion of our parents' gift to us is a privilege. Thanks for understanding. :-)

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  17. Hi Teri,
    Yes, you are a living testimony to the God of the Impossible. I still get chills down my spine whenever I consider the events of your life and God's beautiful restoration of His dreams and plans for you!

    Thank you for posting. :-)

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  18. Hi Lindsay,
    Thank you for posting. Your life sounds like mine before I quit my job to be a caregiver. And I still struggle with those issues. :-)

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  19. Paula, I so appreciate your post. It sounds like you learned to live in the moment in caring for your parents. I think God is stretching my writing muscle by helping me to establish discipline with early morning writing times. It's the only time I can guarantee myself time to write. I am also seeking God more diligently, because like Melissa said, if He doesn't give me the inspiration and direction, then what's the point? Thanks for your encouraging words today!

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  20. Hi Jessica,
    Thanks for your post! I can relate to your comments about reworking a manuscript as I'm in the same boat. Your comments encouraged me. :-)

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  21. Hi Deborah,
    Thank you for dropping in and for your post. You make me miss Kansas so much!

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  22. Welcome to the blog finally, Paula. So good to see you writing here.

    Of course the post hit home with me as I too was a caregiver for my Mother-in-law for a short time. I gave up writing for over a year really, as I could not concentrate on anything but getting her better.

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  23. Hi Jeanne,
    Thanks for sharing with us! I appreciated your comments about establishing discipline with an early morning writing time and seeking the Lord. You are so right about that. Otherwise, we might be seated in the writer's saddle but the horse is going backward. :-)
    Your words pricked my spirit that I should be seeking to move the writing time to the early morning hours. Thank you!

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  24. Thanks, Ginger. I so understand what you went through.

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  25. Oh Paula, I miss you SO much!!

    I love your heart. I appreciate all the care and love and encouragement you showed me in Seattle, and now, again, here on the blog. It's like you've been listening to my prayers. (And, because I know you, I know you've been listening to God, who has been listening to my prayers.) Thank you for this beautiful word. It means more to me than I can even begin to express here in the comment section. I know it was not easy to find the time to write this, in obedience to our Father, but I thank you for whatever it took. You have blessed me, and I feel refreshed by your message.

    I love and miss you...and look forward to catching up with you as soon as God sees fit to reunite us.

    Hugs, my friend!! =)

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  26. Oh Heidi, what a beautiful message to read this morning when I got up. I miss you too, very much. I've been so out of the loop (no pun intended)with life's events so I just read your procrastination post yesterday. Heidi, you are SUCH a gifted writer. As a serious procrastinator, I was blessed by your humor and charm in the post. And awed by your writing style.

    I'm chomping at the bit, waiting for God's green light to be with my Ponderer sisters again!!! If He sends you to Tucson, you have a room waiting. :-)

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  27. Paula, It's great to read this post because it's encouraging to others, but I'm also encouraged to know that God doesn't waste our talents. Since he's strengthening your writing muscles, He's going to give you the opportunity to use them. I'm having some challenges now too, but people keep hearing my story and ask when they can read the book. It makes me believe He might just want it published. I hope you'll keep in touch!

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