Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Soul Care for the Christian Writer by Katie Ganshert

Katie Ganshert
Whether a portrayal in media, or an actual thing we’ve encountered, we’re all probably familiar with the tortured writer. The neurotic, anti-social novelist who smokes a pack a day, drinks whiskey for breakfast, and swings between mania and depression.

I get it. I do. Because as exhilarating as this writing journey can be, there have been legit times when I’ve resented it.

Friends, we’re in a tough line of work.

We deal daily in things like rejection, waiting, obscurity, criticism, writer’s block, insecurity, comparison, and being misunderstood by the majority of people around us—who don’t get what in the world we are doing with our time or why we had to say no to a seemingly harmless request (like plant-sitting while they are on vacation. Dude, we will kill your plant. Not out of malice or laziness, but out of complete distraction. Trust us when we say, our no is a good thing).

On top of all this, there are deadlines to be met. Inspiration and motivation are not luxuries we can sit and wait around for. If we’re going to meet the deadline, we need to strong-arm them into submission.

And as we deal with all these things, something is happening to our souls.

Maybe so subtly, we don’t even notice the erosion until we look up from our keyboard one day and realize our well has completely run dry.

Throw in a big life event that has nothing at all to do with writing, and the wearing-out process can be a little more dramatic. A little more sudden.

So I’m here to ask you an important question today: Are you taking care of your soul?

Because if you’re not attending to matters of the soul, your writing career (no matter how hard you try) is not going to last. Maybe you’ll get published. Maybe you’ll even have an excellent go at it. But eventually, you will become the picture painted above—burnt-out, disillusioned. With some really horrible hair days to boot.

For the sake of our hair, for the sake of those people around us who have to look at our hair, let’s take care of our souls.

Some of you might be wondering how we do that.

I’m going to get you started by asking three important questions …

First and foremost, we are Christian writers. Life, sustenance, story is found in Christ, and Christ alone. Apart from Him, we can do no good thing, writing especially.

Are you in the Word daily?

How is your prayer life?

Some of you might be thinking, but Katie! I don’t have time! Trust me when I say this. Make the time. It is the best thing you can do for your writing career.

And then third ...

What inspires you?

Is it music? Nature? A good book in a warm bath? Do you even know? Figure this out, friends. Then make time for whatever that thing is. Don’t wait until your soul is all shriveled-up and raisin-like. Step away from your computer and let yourself be inspired.

It will do wonders for your soul.

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We look up from our keyboard and our well has run dry.
Step away from your computer & be inspired.
Writer, are you in the Word daily?
Friends, we're in a tough line of work.
About the Author
A Broken Kind of Beautiful
by Katie Ganshert
Carol Award winner and Christy Award finalist, Katie Ganshert graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a degree in education, and worked as a fifth grade teacher for several years before staying home to write full-time. She was born and raised in the Midwest, where she lives with her husband, their young son, and their goofy black lab, Bubba. When she’s not busy writing or playing or reading or snuggling, she is obsessing over the paperwork and the waiting that comes with adoption. You can visit her on her website at katieganshert.com.

A Broken Kind of Beautiful
Attempting to revive her modeling career, Ivy Clark heads to Greenbrier, South Carolina, to model wedding dresses. Her future rests with mysterious photographer Davis Knight, who gave up his New York studio to work maintenance at a local church. His decision calls into question everything Ivy has ever wanted. Could there be another meaning to the word "beauty"?