Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Making Time to Write When It Feels You Have None to Give by Jennifer Slattery

Do you often find yourself overloaded and out of time? Do you feel an urge to write, feel God’s Spirit sparking stories within you, but can’t fathom how to snatch a few moments to put those ideas to paper? Or maybe you consistently give so much of yourself to everyone else, when you do sit down to write, there’s nothing left. You’ve got nothing else to give.

Perhaps, trying to juggle your schedule and commitments, you’ve even begun to get frustrated at God. Surely if He called you to this writing thing, He’d finagle a way to give you time to actually, well, write.

Maybe He has.

Could it be that you’ve taken on things you were never meant to?

God doesn’t intend for us to live stressed out and frustrated, therefore, when those angst-filled feelings arise, chances are, we’ve ventured away from His will. We’ve either veered off course somewhere, are trying to do things on our own, or we’ve allowed our pride, our fears, or a host of other negative emotions to get in our way.

Some of you know instantly what I’m talking about and can already envision what, precisely, is robbing you of your writing time. For the rest of us, I suggest we prayerfully consider if our true struggle lies with one of the following:

People pleasing.

This seems like an innocent weakness, if not a “likeable” one—at least, for all those whom we’re pleasing, but Paul made it clear in Galatians 1:10 that we cannot be people pleasers if we want to be servants of Christ. In other words, don’t put someone else’s opinions, feelings, or expectations above God’s.

Lack of prioritizing.

Each day, we’re bombarded with countless opportunities. It’s easy to jump on those things that squeal the loudest or perhaps that are most easily engaged in. Other times, we simply haven’t evaluated and then prioritized all of the activities we engage in. We can do a lot of really great things, but if God’s not calling us to them, they’re likely hindering our obedience.

In order to make time for writing, we may have to let something else go.

Negative thinking.

Writing is tough, and the journey for even the most talented is filled with setbacks, rejections, and steep uphill climbs. Negative thinking is counterproductive and a complete waste of time. Every moment that we’re feeding our fears, insecurities, and doubts, we’re taking precious time we could be using to write. More than that, negativity is a muse killer, while joy and peace causes creativity to soar. If we want to be successful, we’ll take full control of our thoughts.

I believe God will hold us accountable for how we use our time and the gifts and talents He’s given us. Regardless of the outcome, regardless of what He chooses to do with the words we type, our role is simple—to obey and offer all we have to Him, the One who gave His all for us for us, trusting He’s working all things, even rejections and setbacks, for our good and His glory.

Are you having trouble finding that time? Do you have any tips to add to the above?



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Author, speaker, and ministry leader Jennifer Slattery writes for Crosswalk.com and is the managing and acquiring editor for Guiding Light Women’s Fiction, an imprint with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She believes fiction has the power to transform lives and change the culture. Healing Love is her sixth novel, and it was birthed during a trip she and her family took to El Salvador that opened her eyes to the reality of generational poverty and sparked a love for orphans and all who’ve experienced loss.

Her deepest passion is to help women experience God’s love and discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she travels with her team to various churches to speak to women and help them experience the love and freedom only Christ can offer. When not writing, editing, or speaking, you’ll likely find her chatting with her friends or husband in a quiet, cozy coffeehouse. Visit her online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her and her Wholly Loved team at WhollyLoved.com,

Healing Love
Genre: Women’s fiction with a strong romantic thread
Dual setting—Southern California, and El Salvador

Blurb: A news anchor intern has it all planned out, and love isn't on the agenda.

Brooke Endress is on the cusp of her lifelong dream when her younger sister persuades her to chaperone a mission trip to El Salvador. Packing enough hand sanitizer and bug spray to single-handedly wipe out malaria, she embarks on what she hopes will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
But Brooke is blindsided by the desperation for hope and love she sees in the orphans’ eyes. And no less by the connection she feels with her handsome translator. As newfound passion blooms, Brooke wrestles with its implications for her career dreams.
Ubaldo Chavez, teacher and translator, knows the struggle that comes with generational poverty. But he found the way out – education – and is determined to help his students rise above.
When he agrees to translate for a mission team from the United States he expects to encounter a bunch of "missional tourists" full of empty promises. Yet an American news anchor defies his expectations, and he finds himself falling in love. But what does he have to offer someone with everything?

Find it on Amazon in mid-July and on Goodreads now.

11 comments:

  1. I agree, Jennifer! "Negativity is a muse killer." Great advice.

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    1. Hi, Gail! I'm so glad you found today's post encouraging! Keep writing! :)

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  2. Great post, Jennifer! Could it be you've taken on things you were never meant to. This pricked my heart. Going to spend some time thinking about it!

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    1. Hi, Sally! It's so easy to do that, isn't it? I'm constantly having to evaluate and re-evaluate my schedule and commitments.

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  3. Good reminders, Jennifer! I struggle with 1-3 at different times. The most difficult thing for me is telling people "no" or I don't have time right now because I don't want to let people down when it appears they need me - my help, my time, or listening ear.

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    1. I can so relate, Dawn! And I think it can be hard for nonwriters to understand a writer's need to prioritize their writing time. So that can make it harder. I've found this only gets harder, unfortunately, as God expands one's reach, and more people start emailing, texting, etc., looking for time. If only we had an endless supply! :)

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  4. I learned to say no years ago after a period of taking on too much. My biggest issue is with the negative thinking, so this statement is something to remember: "Every moment that we’re feeding our fears, insecurities, and doubts, we’re taking precious time we could be using to write." Thanks, Jennifer!

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    1. I find I still need to actively work on each of the points I mentioned, as I can easily allow them to steal my time. :)

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  5. of those, i think i've conquered people pleased the most - but for me, the pressure TO write sometimes crushed the flow of words... possibly related to so much to do and so little time / stamina to do it. great post, Jennifer, thanks so much

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    1. Ah. I understand that. One thing that I started doing, mainly out of necessity, is I gave up on word count goals and instead started having writing time goals. That has helped me release some of the pressure I used to (and at times, still do) feel to produce. I try to remind myself that God knows my schedule, my availability, my skills, and what He has assigned me.

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  6. I loved this Jennifer. It hit right where I've been struggling this week. Especially "when those angst-filled feelings arise, chances are, we’ve ventured away from His will." It's so easy to forget this. Thanks you!

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