Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Tuning Out Distractions

Ever feel like you keep chasing down the time to write? Just whenever you get a brilliant idea, your toddler interrupts, or maybe you glance up at the clock and realize you're late for something.

There's probably little you can do about the amount of time you currently have available for writing. But there's probably a lot you can do about the quality of that time. Let me explain.

I've got a Lularoe addition. 😀  I'm kidding... erm... sort of. 😀   But for real, I was just telling the Alley Cats the other day that whenever I get free time, I'm so bad about consignment shopping on apps like Poshmark. Leggings and secondhand Anthropologie are my weakness, y'all! And while there's nothing wrong with the occasional distraction, if I'm not careful, browsing pretty things can become my go-to stress reliever.

Distractions can take on some really surprising forms. Maybe for you, it's sports. Or a television show. The Design Home app (can I get an "amen"?). I don't mean "distractions" in the nefarious super sinful sense here... although those clearly apply as well. I mean distractions that are just that. Distractions. From our calling.

We get pulled in so many directions on a daily basis. We wake up daily to a new promise of God's grace and provision for our day, but everything from news headlines to dead car batteries can pull from our emotional reserves. And before we know it, we may find ourselves with the time to write but with nothing to actually write about.

Can I just encourage you today to guard your heart? As Proverbs says, it's the wellspring of life. If you've allowed yourself to become depleted by the distractions that abound, it's time for a tuneup. Are you giving your emotional resources to the things that matter, or are you waisting your energy on time-suckers and Facebook headlines?

But you guys-- may God give us a vision to see how meaningful, and how vast, and how holy the call to write really is. May we take it seriously, even in its ministry to ourselves. Maybe you've been asking God for emotional healing or hope or a promise from Him... have you considered investing that energy into your story? I know I've written some books that were solely for God to teach me what the heroine was discovering.

The Lord has a tendency to whisper. Have you noticed it? Let me ask you... how loud is the rest of your life? If you practice tuning out those other voices clamoring for your attention, you may just find what you've been looking for... a new sense of depth in your story, and in your life.


Ashley Clark writes romance with southern grace. She's dreamed of being a writer ever since the thumbprint-cookie-days of library story hour. Ashley has an M.A. in English and enjoys teaching literature courses at her local university. She's an active member of ACFW and runs their newcomer's loop. When she's not writing, Ashley's usually busy rescuing stray animals and finding charming new towns. You can find Ashley on her personal blog, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. She is represented by Karen Solem.