Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Writer's Avoidance, Part 2 by Jerusha Agen

Last week, we looked at the symptoms to diagnose Writer’s Avoidance in ourselves. If you missed them, check out last week’s post here.

Though you may not go as crazy for chocolate as I do, I’m guessing I’m not alone in some of the avoidance symptoms or in my tendency to do anything but write when the going gets tough. I’m actually in the throes of an avoidance phase like this right now (guess I should’ve added writing blog posts to the list of symptoms). I’d like to think that my case isn’t hopeless, and that I might be able to find a way to end this unproductive cycle. In an effort to find a solution, I’ve started to examine why I fall into this avoidance. The reason isn’t pretty.

In my Bible reading lately, I’ve been working my way through Exodus. Pretty sad how much I have in common with the Israelites. Yep, they were avoiders, too. After God saved them and provided for them in miraculous ways time and time again, they reached the Promised Land and discovered that the inhabitants there were awfully big. And scary. So what did they do? They rejected God’s gift to them, choosing instead to avoid potential danger.

Our situation as writers isn’t much different. God gives us stories to tell and promises great results when we follow His call and write for Him. But as soon as I come to some big and scary obstacles, I start avoiding my God-given task. Why? Because I don’t want to feel the failure and frustration that goes with trying to write and not succeeding at the pace I think I should. That’s the key, though, isn’t it? My fear of the failure and frustration come from my preconceived notions about the rate and course that the progression of my novel should take.

Yet, I tell people all the time that God gives me the ability, ideas, and words to write. I say that I’m writing for His glory alone. If that’s truly the case, then why should I care when God has a different deadline in mind than I do for finishing my plot outline? Shouldn’t I want to write my novels in His time and His way? God promised His people, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

I want His future and His hope for my writing and life. So when I wrap up this blog post, I think I’ll put on the Armor of God and face the looming giant of my yet-to-be-plotted novel. By His grace, I’ll face my setbacks and difficulties with trust and patience as I watch His perfect timing unfold. As long as I’m doing my best to work with excellence on the task He’s given me, then the roadblocks He intends to slow me down or show me a different route aren’t worries at all.

But I think I’ll still bring some chocolate along for the journey.

What keeps you from writing your novel? Do you have a favorite verse that you lean into before you write? Share your thoughts with us below.

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Jerusha Agen is a lifelong lover of story--a passion that has led her to a B.A. in English and a highly varied career. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Jerusha is the author of the Sisters Redeemed Series, which includes the titles This Dance, This Shadow, and This Redeemer. Jerusha co-authored the e-books A Ruby Christmas and A Dozen Apologies from Write Integrity Press. Jerusha is also a screenwriter, and several of her original scripts have been produced as films. In addition, Jerusha is a film critic, with reviews featured at the website, www.RedeemerReviews.com

Website: www.SDGwords.com
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Not all prisons have bars. Charlotte Davis should know—she’s lived in one for years. She can handle getting slapped around by her boyfriend, Tommy, and even being forced to do things she would never choose, but when Tommy turns on her 10-year-old daughter, Charlotte must try to escape. With nowhere else to turn, Charlotte runs to the stranger her dying mother believed would help her. Looking only for shelter or cash, Charlotte finds a family she longs to call her own and a gentle man she could learn to love. But if Tommy catches up with Charlotte, these strangers could discover the truth about her. 

Will they send her back to Tommy? Or can a Father’s love set her free?