Friday, June 6, 2014

Are You Being Robbed of Your Joy? by Dawn Kinzer



A boy enjoying a cherry Popsicle on a hot summer day ...

Think back to those simple moments in childhood that brought so much joy to summer …

It’s a hot July afternoon. Rivulets of perspiration slide down your heated cheek. Your best friend sits next to you on the back porch while you both lick Popsicles. The cool, grape ice slides down your throat. You stick out a purple tongue and she displays her orange one. The two of you break into uncontrollable giggles.

***

The garden hose has been lying in the hot sun all afternoon. So when Mom says it’s okay to run through the sprinkler, the first few passes are like taking a warm shower. Then the water turns cold, refreshing, stimulating, breath-snatching. Fun.

***

Standing in front of the plate you grasp and swing the bat into position. The pitcher winds up, releases the ball, and it speeds toward you. The bat makes contact and the ball sails into the air. Your heart pounds, your team cheers, and your legs push a fast as they can. The base is ahead. You slide in just ahead of the ball. Your first home run! A grin spreads across your father’s face, and he stops clapping to give you two thumbs up. It’s the best day of your life.

***

Child-like joy. Honest. Carefree. Bubbling up from beneath the surface. When was the last time you experienced it?

We take precautions so no one robs us of our identity . . . our possessions . . . our time. Why are we willing to let things or people rob us of our joy? Sometimes we even make it easy. We hand it over without a fight.

When it comes to your writing life, are you still experiencing the joy you once felt at putting to paper the stories that flow from your imagination?

If we take writing seriously, of course we work at it. But has the process become only just that—work! Are word counts merely to be conquered? Do we worry about meeting deadlines, rejections, or who is drawing more attention? Has the writing life become a frustrating, vicious cycle of trying to do it all—submitting, networking, promoting, writing, social media—with little time left over for writing?

Add to that self-doubt, unmet expectations from family or friends, discouraging feedback from critique members . . .

Pursuing writing goals is like any other career in the arts. The competition is stiff, rejection is common, and the path in general is difficult. Yet, we can’t give it up, can we? Something inside us still stirs as we stroke the keyboard and our thoughts and emotions pour out.

Our joy shouldn’t be dependent on our circumstances or how well our writing pursuits are going. God took care of that when he sent the Holy Spirit. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22 NIV).

Is anyone . . . or anything . . . threatening to steal your joy of writing today?

If you’ve lost your joy, what can you do to reclaim it?

Your challenge: This summer, take time to embrace carefree and joyful moments, and bring those exhilarating feelings to your writing.



Tweetables:

Child-like joy. Honest. Carefree. Bubbling up from beneath the surface. When was the last time you experienced it? Click to tweet.

Why are we willing to let things or people rob us of our joy? Sometimes we even make it easy. We hand it over without a fight. Click to tweet.

Are you still experiencing the joy you once felt at putting to paper the stories that flow from your imagination? Click to tweet.

This summer, take time to embrace carefree and joyful moments and bring those exhilarating feelings to your writing. Click to tweet.






Dawn Kinzer
Dawn Kinzer is a full-time freelance editor. Her own work has been published in the Christian Fiction Online Magazine, Backyard Friends, The One Year Life Verse Devotional (Tyndale), A Joyful Heart: Experiencing the Light of His Love (Guideposts), and featured on the radio ministry, The Heartbeat of the Home.

A mother with two married daughters and one grown stepdaughter, she lives with her husband in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. With great joy, they recently welcomed their first grandchild into the family. Her favorite things include dark chocolate, popcorn, the mountains, family time, and Masterpiece Theater.

You can learn more and connect with Dawn at these sites:









12 comments:

  1. I wish I could schedule this post to come to my Inbox at least once a month. Thank you so much for reminding me "why" I write.

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    1. I'm so glad it spoke to you, Angie! We often write about things we're struggling with or learning ourselves. ;-)

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  2. Oooh, I sure needed this reminder, Dawn. In the last month, I've attended 3 funerals and rec'd the dreaded cancer news for two extended family members, so my joy level has taken a hit. Thankfully, we have a couple trips planned with our family this summer. Thanks for the sunshine today, Dawn. Praying for renewed JOY! :)

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    1. Dora, my heart goes out to you ... No wonder you've struggled with "joy" these past months. Events and news like that can certainly take a toll on us. Yay for trips and family time--things to look forward to! May you embrace that time and soak it in!

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  3. So sorry for the troubling events and news you've had lately, Dora. Great post, Dawn!

    "Has the writing life become a frustrating, vicious cycle of trying to do it all—submitting, networking, promoting, writing, social media—with little time left over for writing?"

    This is the one that gets me. While I love interacting with other writers, all the peripheral things can make cranking out that story stressful.

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    1. I hear you, Sandra! I'm really struggling with that same thing right now. I set a word goal for each week, starting this week, and I haven't written one word for Chapter 1 of the book I finished researching and outlining two months ago! Like most of us, I've been pulled in many directions.

      Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to go away alone to a cabin with no Internet or responsibilities and just write for a week. We could probably get a lot done, couldn't we? But that's not reality - at least not for me - so, we push on! :-D

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  4. This post is such a good reminder, thanks for sharing it!

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    1. I'm glad it was helpful, Candice. :-D

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  5. This is the second blog today where Google has eaten my comment, grrr. Sorry I can't repeat it, it's too long. So maybe it got eaten because it wasn't supposed to show up, I don't know. Anyway, Dawn, thanks for the very meaningful post.

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    1. Oh, frustrating technology! Tanya, thanks for all your efforts in leaving a comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :-D

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  6. Thank you for a much needed breath of fresh air. My heart is leaping with joy! I am definitely pinning this to remind me to seize all the joy I can and let it release some inspiration!

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    1. Kelly, thanks for letting me know the post was helpful. And thanks also for "pinning" the article! Here's to a day full of joy. :D

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