Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Writer's Paralysis By Katie Powner

All of us authors have faced writer’s block at some point. We’ve hit a wall in the middle of our story, or lost focus, or maybe we received some feedback that stopped us in our tracks and we struggled to continue.

But what about writer’s paralysis? Writer’s paralysis is like writer’s block except with a global pandemic, national unrest, record unemployment, social upheaval, and weeks of isolation piled on top of it.

Anybody have any tips for that one?

I’m not going to lie. For the past couple months, I’ve been struggling. Struggling to post on my blog. Struggling to finish my WIP. Struggling to even write a tweet without paralyzing self-doubt and over-analysis.

Is it too funny? Will people think I’m not taking the trials our country is facing seriously? Is it tone deaf? Is it ignorant? Is it…pointless?

Writer’s paralysis.

The apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 1:6 that “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” My mind has returned often to this verse over the past few weeks as I’ve wondered if anything I’m working on right now will matter in a year. And I keep hearing God tell me that it does. It matters. Because it’s part of His good work that He is completing in me.

Each chapter I struggle through, each post I agonize over, each tweet I delete and rewrite a hundred times is part of the process. Even the minutes or hours or days I spend staring at a blank screen waging a losing battle against writer’s paralysis are part of the process of completion, not of a manuscript but of the good work God is carrying out in me.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say the words I write will be published, or be "Liked" on social media, or receive a flood of comments. Nowhere does it promise the words will do what I want them to do. But God’s Word is clear that He has a purpose for me, for each of us, and that—while we have a part in it—it is God Himself who carries it out.

When I meditate on that, I find maybe I’m not so paralyzed after all.

All of us authors have faced writer’s block at some point…But what about writer’s paralysis? @katie_powner @MaryAFelkins #amwriting #SeriouslyWrite #writerslife

Nowhere in the Bible does it say the words I write will be published, or be Liked, or receive a flood of comments…But God’s Word is clear that He has a purpose for me. @katie_powner @MaryAFelkins #amwriting #SeriouslyWrite #writerslife

Katie Powner is an award-winning author who lives in Montana, where cows still outnumber people. She loves Jesus, red shoes, and candy. Katie is a mom to the third power (biological, adoptive, and foster) who believes every child deserves a loving place to call home. Her debut novel The Sowing Season is now available for pre-order and releases Oct. 13, 2020.

After he's forced to sell the family farm he's labored on his whole life, 63-year-old Gerrit Laninga doesn't know what to do with himself. He sacrificed everything for the land--his time, his health, his family--with nothing to show for it but bitterness, regret, and two grown children who want nothing to do with him.

Fifteen-year-old Rae Walters has growing doubts and fears about The Plan--the detailed blueprint for high school that will help her follow in her lawyer father's footsteps. She's always been committed to The Plan, but now that the pressure to succeed is building, what was supposed to unite her family in purpose, may end up tearing it apart.

When their paths cross just as they each need a friend the most, Gerrit's and Rae's lives begin to change in unexpected ways. Can they discover together what really matters in life and learn it's never too late for a second chance?

Connect with Katie:
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6 comments:

  1. "Nowhere in the Bible does it say the words I write..." What a great paragraph and true words, Katie!

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  2. When I pause and remember I am writing for Him, I relax and feel His comfort. Great message.

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    1. Yes, Melissa, all the other things that crowd in my mind lead to the paralysis, but meditating on God and His Word leads to peace. Thank you for your comment!

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  3. Very relatable, Katie! It's so important to keep Jesus in front of us, the Author and perfecter of our faith, as we write. Glad to host you here on Seriously Write today.

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    1. Thanks for having me! And you're right, when Jesus is in the right place in our lives, other things fall into the right place as well.

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