Monday, May 19, 2014

A Writer's Heart Experience

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The valleys. The mountains. The small (and sometimes, few) peaks of victory. Just like an athlete or marathon runner must check her heart's condition physically to be sure health won't hold them back on the next venture, we as writers must continually check our hearts to be sure we aren't wrongly motivated by expectations, that we are fully expressing our heart, and that we are using it for what it was created in the first place.

EXPECTATION- Yours or Others?? Are you driven by the constant questions from family and
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friends: Are you published yet? How's your book going? Why aren't you published yet? Sometimes, I realize all my anxiety at any given moment is because of the latest “Well, I loved your story, I can't believe it's not published yet,” or “Why is it taking so long?” It gives me a little nudge down the road of make-something-happen...and then I usually find myself striving for something that's out of my control.

Remember to always check your expectations against those of your well-meaning friends and family. If you've been around here long enough, YOU know that it is a long road...that it has lots of silent intermissions...that you can only do so much and then just brush your hands clean and start on the next book. It's okay to expect, but be sure your expecting isn't weighing your heart down along the way.

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EXPRESSION- What's really in your heart?? Get those emotions out. Write to Emote! Sometimes, you might not get to express the truth of your heart's condition at the moment depending on the particular project you are working on. You might not always write something like the “book of your heart”...and that's okay...EVERYTHING you write is a stepping stone to something greater. So if you are writing something less heart-tugging to you, be sure you are pouring your heart out somewhere...blog, journal, start your next heart story on the side. I find that when I pour my heart out somewhere...EVERYTHING I am writing is better for it!

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EXULTATION-Give it to God. Daily!! Hey, your heart was created to praise HIM first and foremost! How can you be sure your heart is in the right place when you sit down to write, if you haven't connected with the One who is planting those story seeds in your soul? Connecting with God has always given me fertile ground to create my stories with a fresh breath of His Spirit. And that is by far one of the greatest things to experience on this heart journey!

Straighten out those expectations, pour out your emotions, and fill up with Him who gifted you with this calling!


What do you struggle with most? Expectation, Expression, or Exultation? How do you handle it when you feel unbalanced?
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Angie Dicken first began writing fiction as a creative outlet during the monotonous days of diapers and temper tantrums. She is passionate to impress God's love on women regardless of their background or belief. This desire serves as a catalyst for Angie's fiction, which weaves salvation and grace themes across cultures. She is an ACFW member and is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency.


9 comments:

Melissa Tagg said...

I think it's definitely the "expectation" part I most struggle with. Little confession: I like to impress people. I want to impress readers and my editors and fellow writers who have invested so much in me. More than anything, I think I struggle to live up to my own expectations...and you're right, it's so easy to get weighed down when we find ourselves trying to live up to those kinds of expectations.

As I'm typing this, it's hitting me the only expectation I really need to live up to is God's. And his expectation is so much lighter than the ones I place on myself. He wants my heart.

Angie said...

So true, Melissa! His expectations are the most important. And the most worth fulfilling! Thanks for your honesty. Have a great week!

Sally Ferguson said...

After awhile, it's the question of why. If I am writing to express myself, that's good, but if I am writing to share what God has put on my heart, that's even better.

Glynis said...

I struggle most with expression. I am realizing (at 40+) that I have closed myself off to a lot of emotion over my life and I've been asking God to break me down. I need to be in touch with my own emotions before I can touch anyone else's with my writing. God has a plan, I'm sure, and I'm excited to see where it leads.

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Great post, Angie!

Expectations are sneaky little buggers. They sometimes creep in and set up residence before I even identify they're there. You're right; it's always good to spot them in my heart and line them up with what God is showing me regarding His plans and timing for my writing. When I take my eyes off of Him, I struggle more with expectations. Thanks for the encouragement to keep my eyes on Jesus!

Angie said...

Great point, Sally! Thanks for stopping by:)

Angie said...

Have you done the Beth Moore study, Breaking Free? That is a great way to surface those emotions that might be buried....not always fun but so freeing! Thanks for your honesty, Glynis!

Angie said...

Yes! I always go down that road of eating to please when I take my eyes off of Him. Without fail. Thanks for the input, Jeanne!

Julia M. Reffner said...

Oh, man, yes, expectations for sure. I really struggle with pleasing others and my own perfectionism. I was talking about this with another writer over coffee just yesterday. I am the type of person who is very all or nothing and it is to my detriment in my writing life. I'm trying to teach myself to enjoy the journey and allow god to grow me in his time.