Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Five Things Writers Forget First – Part 2 – by Angela Breidenbach

Please welcome back Angela Breidenbach as she shares Part 2 in her series “Five Things Writers Forget First.” Enjoy!

During March, on
Writer’s Journey Wednesdays,
Angie will share:

Part 1: I’m using my brain, right?
Part 2: Mental Integrity
Part 3: Emotional Stability
Part 4: Spiritual Sense
Part 5: Courage & Confidence

Five Things Writers Forget First
Ways to write better, faster,
and stronger

Part 2
Mental Integrity

Holy cow! I can’t remember anything today! What’s wrong with me?

Have you ever had a day like that? A month? Oh yes, I’ve had a winter like that. One thing after another piled on as if I’d been in an avalanche in the Swiss Alps. My credit card erred pulling two payments and fritzing out my finances for weeks. I lost track of how many phone calls and bank visits it took to correct it. My horse’s death from a slip on ice into a shallow pond, my cat’s lung cancer and subsequent death, my own illness and injury from trying to help the horse . . .

Almost each day I woke up, another stress filled incident occurred for over six weeks. Not simple worries, drawn out hurting and grieving, complicated issues needing lengthy follow up. I lost track of my schedule. I’d only be interrupted to handle the next emergency! I couldn’t seem to get life back in synch.

My writing screeched to a halt. No memory of the ideas I’d wanted to put on the page. Perfect! Now add writer’s block to the long list.

I’m a certified Stephen Minister, certified life coach, and it took weeks for me to recognize my sense of despair. Writer’s block? What I really had was emotional trauma and a need for mental self-care.

I pulled out my journal and began to shovel the avalanche, the writing only God will see. The waterfall of words like a sudden thaw hit those Swiss Alps. Pages flowed into the river of thoughts between God and me. Not formal prayer, mind you, just words from my soul to His. No, I didn’t have writer’s block! I’d let circumstances become bigger than God. I began to feel hope if I would take my worries to God, He would help me through them. I needed to lean on God’s strength instead of my own.

He gently led me to wisdom. I start with prayer before I even open my eyes. I pray for clarity, memory, and for God to control my to-do list. I clear my mind of ownership and ask for God’s leadership. Mornings that start with handing over “my” problems, are much more productive days. It’s a mystery to me why the Holy Spirit works this way, but who am I to tell God to do it differently?

He’s led me to productivity beyond my capability. I’ve been stunned with the results of starting my day differently. Am I completely successful? Oh no. I consider it mental conditioning. New habits must be practiced until they become second skin, like muscle memory in athletes. We run this race for the ultimate goal. I’m waking up in prayer and reaching for the Bible on my nightstand without conscious thought. I have a sense of purpose directly related to those prayers and mental focus that’s measurable.

I’ve tested it, you know. I race around to get something done quickly end up losing time. Specific dates I didn’t give my mental state over to God for His leadership and direction, I can pinpoint them on the calendar. I felt overwhelmed and unproductive. It’s amazing, this connection of mental well being to prayer and relationship with the Lord. It’s the best mental conditioning to lessen stress and build mental productivity.

Are you feeling frazzled, overwhelmed, and maybe even have writer’s block?

In what ways have you built mental conditioning?

Angela Breidenbach is Mrs. Montana International 2009 working with Hope’s Promise Orphan Ministries, the American Heart Association, the Jadyn Fred Foundation and drawing awareness to Fair Trade practices. Full Spirit Magazine’s president, Angela also teaches online classes in personal growth and powerful living. She’s certified in mentor/peer counseling as a Stephen Minister and Assisting Minister. She serves as the American Christian Fiction Writer's Publicity Officer (2009-2011) and is a multi-award winning inspirational speaker and author, writing freelance and inspirational non-fiction. Not only did she walk the hard line of deciding to donate her mom's brain, but she is also on the brain donation list at the Brain Bank-Harvard McLean Hospital. She is married, has a combined family of six grown children, one grandson.

Purposeful Living Educator & Coach.
Come uncover your gems of wisdom at
Personal growth = Powerful living!

You can interact or learn more about Angela Breidenbach at these sites: on Wednesdays each week.


  1. For me, conditioning comes when I stop trying to press on when I should be resting my spirit, my brain and my body. During those trying times, I never make headway until the confusion has lifted. God knows and provides.

  2. You are so right, as I type this after midnight. ;-) Somehow we get all tied up in pushing out of habit. For many of us, the "real" world invades with work, children, house, hubby, and other duties. We hit a wall and need to remember to slide down it and sit down rather than bang our heads on it over and over. But I am always amazed at how much the practiced of prayer does to clarify my purpose and set me on the right path to productivity.

    Thank you for sharing, Jan :-)


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