I’m not an inspirational author, but I do find that there is a large amount of room in my writing for inspiration. Most specifically, I’m looking for the kind of inspiration that comes from giving my writing life over to God.
Recently, I’ve been discouraged with trying to balance my non-writing life with my writing life. Writing became a chore, and I lost the joy of creating. Still, I pushed myself to write because I believed I absolutely had to. Or maybe I didn’t.
There are a lot of people in life who will gladly define for you what it means to be a real writer. I’m tired of trying to force myself into their labels and definitions much the same as I’m tired of trying to force my writing into their preferred methods and styles. I needed to find what worked best for my life and my writing.
When I stepped back and prayed, the miraculous occurred. The return of my happiness was the first, most noticeable change. Second was the disappearance of the guilt I experienced for not writing and/or maintaining my author platform every minute of the day. In fact, I haven’t written for two days, and I finally spied my writing muse peeking around the corner to see if it’s safe for her and my enthusiasm to return. Keep in mind I’m no quitter; I just needed a break.
Then I reprioritized my life into God first, family second, work third which led to harmony. I reduced the real distraction of social media and welcomed back my responsibilities of homemaking. That last point may sound old fashioned to some people, but by completing my family duties, I cleared my mind to focus when I needed to write.
Lastly, I’m working on ridding my mindset of the lie that I’m racing against some unknown, unseen deadline to be successful or die in unfulfilled misery. When I did that, my overbearing sense of competitiveness and envy withered. I realized that success and happiness are not the same things, and they rarely go hand in hand.
By allowing myself to step away, I’ve gained a new perspective on writing and life in general. I already am a successful writer, even if I just write for myself, because I am a happy writer. How do I know I’m on the right track? Since these revelations came to me over the past few days, I received encouragement in the form of Tweets, posts, and blog articles such as the one by Jennifer Slattery, When Discouragement Swallows Your Strength, via Castle Gate Press.
It could be a coincidence, but coincidence is God’s way of letting us know He’s still in charge.