Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Art of Writing Through by Kimberley Woodhouse

In the movie Finding Nemo, Dory is my favorite. But I’ll come back to her in a minute.

I’m going to say it out loud. “Sometimes life just stinks.”

Let’s face it. We all have junk in our lives. Even if we’re good at keeping up the fa├žade of having everything under control. We need to be honest and admit that life is hard.

Everyone has trials. Mountains and valleys, the roller-coaster ride, falling-on-your-face-in-the-mud-puddle moments. It’s part of life. The Lord never told us it would be easy. In fact, He’s pretty good at letting us know through His Word that there will be suffering and lots of it. But He’s also pretty amazing at instructing us how to deal with the suffering.

Now, this is not meant to be a negative post. I’m not encouraging you to whine and complain. So, if you thought you could do the “woe is me” because I brought up the stinkage of life thing here, turn your brain around into the direction of positivity and say this with me, “It’s my choice to grab onto joy.”

I teach at several writing conferences and there’s one particular question that jumps out at me the most. It’s not on the craft or on marketing or social media.

The basic question is: “How do you write through __________?” I’ve heard a bunch of different questions. How do you write through raising kids, how do you write through raising teens, how do you write through medical crises and emergencies, how do you write through family crises, how do you write through life exploding, how do you write through life when it overwhelms you… the list goes on and on.

Apparently, life’s propensity to stink is common. To young and old, rich and poor, experienced and newbie, men and women, etc. It touches us all.

But I think the real question is this: how do we continue to write—to stoke the creative embers—during the storms of life when a figurative gully-washer tries to quench the flame?

I know you know what I’m talking about. Those times when life overwhelms you and you want to quit. Personally, I’ve been through the wringer. But you have too. My trials aren’t any more difficult than the trials you face. And my purpose here is to encourage you.

So back to the question. How do you write through (fill in the blank)?

There’s not a magical formula or list of what to do. But I do believe that with lots of prayer and laying down our writing as a sacrifice of praise, there is comfort and relief. And yes, joy. It’s our job to grab onto it. Daily. Not just when things are going well. In First Peter we’re encouraged to rejoice greatly even though we are distressed by various trials!

That’s a high bar. And quite a challenge, but yes, it is possible.

By giving our talents back over to the One who gave us the gift of story in the first place. By praising through the junk. And by grabbing onto His joy.

It’s not easy. Sometimes it takes a lot of time and effort. Sometimes it takes a period of rest. Sometimes it’s picking ourselves up by our boot straps—out of the muck and mire and snorting through the mud that’s up our nose.

Sometimes we just need the reminder to keep going. To keep writing. Like Dory encourages her pal in the movie. Maybe we need to sing along with her silly little ditty and just keep swimming.

If you need encouragement, shoot me an email through my website. I don’t have all the answers, and I might be swimming through the mud myself, but I can encourage you to keep going.

I choose joy. How about you?


Kimberley Woodhouse is a CBA and ECPA best-selling author of more than fifteen books which have earned her many accolades including Christian Retailing’s Top Pick and Publisher’s Weekly starred review. A popular speaker and teacher, she’s shared her theme of “Joy through Trials” with more than 800,000 people across the country at more than 2,000 events. Kim and her incredible husband of twenty-five-plus years have two adult children. She’s passionate about music, cooking, and loves the gift of story. You can connect with Kimberley at: and