As you know from previous posts, I have a heart condition. A serious one. And sometimes it’s tempting to give in to it, to pamper myself, to let it limit my experiences and enjoyment of life. But I don’t. I want to live to the fullest, to enjoy all God has for me. I take care of myself and listen to my wife and the medical team around me so I don’t do stupid. But I won’t let the condition hamper me.
Sometimes, I’ve been tempted to give up on writing because of what seems to be insurmountable obstacles and limitations.
Building a platform, maintaining a presence on social media, being an active marketer seem beyond my reach at times.
Poor sales of my indie books drags at me.
Finding an agent seems to have more hoops than a Hula Hoop factory and they all have to be jumped through just right. And they keep moving the hoops.
Focusing on the writing itself can overwhelm some of us. Limitations on our time, family responsibilities, health concerns, and our finances can all challenge us to give up our writing.
These limitations wear us down and drain our confidence. I’ve seen writers give up in the face of them. I’ve been tempted myself to chuck it all.
So, what do we do about it?
I suggest we make the effort to refocus on our foundation—why do we write? How did we get started on this roller coaster?
REFOCUS on God. He gave us the call to write. Get back in touch with him and his promises for strength. He has promised never to forsake us. There have been times when I’m struggling with my writing and I remind him that this was his idea. And he reminds me not to focus on the external, worldly signs of success, but to focus on obedience to his call. One of the principles we teach in our stewardship classes at church is: If I can, I will. God will do the rest. And he has given each of us the ability to do what he has called us to be.
REFOCUS on the gift he has given us to create with him. This applies to every vocation and occupation.As writers, he wants us to use words to encourage, to enlighten, to comfort and support, to inspire. Trust he will guide, equip and enable us.
REFOCUS on the journey, not the destination, and what God has for us along the way. We grow in our relationship with him. We grow within ourselves into so much more than if we didn’t have him. Writing had made me a different and better person. And I’ve seen it do the same in many other writers. Along the journey, he has brought us friendships and relationships that support us and challenge us. These people come along side and we travel together.
REFOCUS on not giving up, on not stopping until he releases us. Continually seek his wisdom and guidance. Keep working. Keep writing.
Keep touching others through our ministry of writing. Be faithful stewards of the gift he’s given us.
How have you handle being tempted to give up?
How do you refocus?
Thank you, Henry. I really needed that. My temptation is to give in to “maybe later” and “when x, y, and z are just right, I’ll be able to…” Perhaps I need to schedule some out-of-the-house writing time and get some fresh feedback on my strengths and weaknesses in order to refocus.
Thank you, Amelia.
I so appreciate your dedication to the craft.