Friday, December 26, 2014

This Writing Thing? Maybe It's Not About You

It’s a burning idea.

A passion that can’t be quenched.

A germ of a story that won’t go away.

You’re a writer. It’s who you are. Ingrained in your DNA. Found in your identity.

Words are your joy.

But sometimes those same words become your greatest enemy. Maybe you’re not conscious of this happening. Maybe it’s been a slow fade down what is now becoming an even sloppier slope. And suddenly you’re at the end and you don’t want to put words on the page.

Or maybe you do want to put words on the page, but the right words aren’t there. You’re drawing 
from an empty well.

God does not call us to be perfect vessels for His work. He does not expect you to be all together all of the time. And yet so often, we put that pressure on ourselves, don’t we? We expect that we should always be able to sit down at the computer, slit a vein and write as though the words will always be there.

In that moment, we are relying on our own strength for this thing we call writing.

We become obsessed with our words. We become caught up in the euphoric high of stringing 90,000 words together into a manuscript. And we forget the Orator of those words. Whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction, these are not your words. This is not just your passion.   

And in that moment, we are relying on our own strength for this thing we call writing.

It’s not our strength that gives us these ideas we turn into stories. It’s not our strength that gives us the words to write these stories. And it’s not our strength that carries us through the times of intense burnout. While we might not consciously think that it is, or make the decision that it is our passion, our drive, our ability putting these words on the screen, when we remove our focus from the true Source, we begin to falter.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Do you believe that?

Do you believe that God is carrying you through? This isn’t on your own strength. We remember that in our daily lives a little bit better than we do in our writing lives. We get caught up. Focused. Driven. Forget God’s timing. God’s way. God’s provision.

That sometimes we have to take a backseat to our dreams, remain faithful to the calling He has laid on our heart and let Him direct everything else.

It’s surrender. It’s release. It’s not giving up. It’s not giving in. It’s giving over. Remembering where this true fount of word-joy has come from. Whom it has come from.

Do you take time to hit your knees before you write? Because this isn’t about you and what you can do. It’s about what God can do through you as His vessel. Do you dedicate your writing time—no matter how small or large that might be—to your Creator? Without Him, there would be no you. No you to write these words and stories only you can write…though the power and grace of your Savior.

This writing thing isn’t meant to be done alone. Are you trying to? Are you mustering through without realizing this?

Maybe it’s time to stop and start over again. 

Casey Herringshaw is a homeschool graduate and has been writing since high school, currently serving as the ACFW Carol Awards Coordinator. She is a country girl now living in a metropolis of Denver, Colorado.


kaybee said...

Casey, this is so helpful, especially for the day after Christmas. My writing schedule was blown to the proverbial smithereens that last week before the holiday and I was pushing this morning to catch up. Like it's up to me...LOL and ha ha, of course it isn't, and I need to be reined in OFTEN to remind me of that. Thanks and hope you had a wonderful Christmas. We lived in Colorado Springs for four years. It is an interesting part of the country.
Kathy Bailey

Mary Vee Writer said...

Inspirational words, Casey. Thanks!!!

Kathy! Hope you're having a Merry Christmas. So nice to see you here!

Kelly Blackwell @ Heres My Take On It said...

Casey, I simply cannot express how grateful I am for this post today. These are inspired words. Thank you for reminding us all the importance of where this call comes from and who we are glorifying and serving in all things. You blessed me today. Thank you. :)