Tuesday, October 18, 2011
OK, so I'm going to get gut-level honest here.
Some of us need a good kick in the pants when it comes to our writing life. Yours truly is one of them.
I regularly struggle with the "mommy martyr" syndrome. Oh, some of you know this all too well. My life revolved around homeschooling. I convinced myself that my writing was a selfish outlet.
Only God had shown me all along the way that for whatever purpose he wanted me to write. I was ignoring part of my calling. Because no one sees my writing except my critique partners I convinced myself that it wasn't ministry. Not like teaching Sunday school...or homeschooling...or serving in my local homeschool group.
I forgot something important. God had been changing my own life through writing. Writing keeps me in check and keeps me real. Writing is therapeutic, touching my life in new ways. Showing me things about myself as I glimpse myself in the weaknesses of my characters.
As I researched and wrote a little bit, God began to bring members of a certain religious group into my life in some strange and interesting ways. I had an opportunity to share my research unexpectedly. Not only is this exciting, but it let me know even if my story is never published...God has a purpose for it.
As I listened to the ACFW convention banquet I must admit I was struggling with the green-eyed monster Pepper talked about yesterday. It was exciting to receive phone messages from the gals at Writer's Alley and really neat to be able to talk to fellow Alley Cat Sherrinda from our homes during the banquet! But I was still struggling.
My world's best supporter, AKA my husband Chris, gave me a big hug. Then he told me he was going to buy me the CDs, but he was making a bargain with me. "I want you to go after this wholeheartedly." He made me promise to write for an hour at least three times a week.
Then one of the Alley Cats upped the ante for me in a phone call. She challenged me to a 1K duel. She offered to join me and help me reach my goal!! What a gift!!
Are you failing to reach for all God is calling you to as a writer?
If you don't schedule it, it won't happen. This sounds elementary, only it wasn't to me. I somehow convinced myself that the writing time would ooze out of my busy mom schedule. Are you convincing yourself that your writing time will come like magic?
Get accountability. This is where my fellow Alley Cat has helped out. Find someone who will hold your feet to the fire. Your spouse might be a perfect choice if he is supportive of your writing time. Also having your spouse on your side sure helps make it happen if you have kids. My husband was willing to take up the slack so that I can write for a set amount of time on certain days.
Play the numbers game. Know what's realistic for you. I used to think it was great to reach 800 words in an hour, now I've discovered its not that difficult to hit 12K or 13K if I'm on a roll. The times I am writing more regularly my numbers go higher. Now, I'm not saying you have to become obsessed with the numbers...but its important to set a goal.
Small rewards. I love to light a nice smelling candle while I write, this may be TMI but since my cat's litter box is hidden in the corner of the room where I write, it can also prevent unpleasant odious distractions. I also love to have a cup of hot tea or cider and a fire going on these Fall days in the snowbelt.
Write your goals on the calendar. I can almost smell victory as I look at the numbers on the calendar. It's very encouraging.
Do you have any tips that have helped you to get motivated and finish that story? I would love to hear them.