Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Guest Blogger...Jeanette Hanscome
Just Keep Writing
(Tricia here...I hear Dori from Finding Nemo in my head when I read this title...just keep writing, just keep writing...)
Hello from Jeanette’s house in freezing cold Reno, Nevada. Christmas is a week away and I’m a little bummed out. Or at least I was. As the year winds down, I see that I have made very little progress in my writing career. With money tight and medical bills rolling in faster than we care to discuss, writing has been limited to projects that generate income. I’ve written a lot of press releases, book reviews, and promo material singing the praises of other people’s books but sadly, I have no new titles of my own to brag about. This morning as I whined to God about it (I won’t try to be spiritual and say I laid my career at Jesus’ feet; it was a whine fest plain and simple) one phrase started replaying in my mind—just keep writing. Somehow that comforted me. Here is why.
I realized that . . .
· I may not be writing what I want to communicate with the world, but I’m still writing. I’m still using my gift and practicing my craft. In fact, I may be developing skills that will benefit my career in the future. Each day I sit in front of the computer and write or edit something, which keeps me disciplined and creative. These days “creative” usually equals reworking another author’s words or finding a newsy twist for a press release about a book that I had a hard time getting through but I consider it a healthy challenge.
· I’m meeting my family’s needs. Right now my husband and sons don’t need a new book with Mom’s name on it, they need paychecks so we can buy groceries and have little luxuries like electricity and heat. God continually reminds me that dedicating my hours to earning these things honors Him and that’s more important than meeting my personal writing goals. Since He has allowed me to earn an income by doing what I love how can I complain?
· This won’t last forever. I have to believe that God will eventually turn our situation around. Is it possible that He will reward my efforts with an exciting new opportunity when I least expect it? I’m not really a believer in telling God what He ought to do or “claiming” my desires as done deals (in my book that’s just a fancy way of telling God that He owes me). But I do know that He rewards faithfulness so who knows what He has planned. Whatever that is I am hanging on to the now trendy Christian phrase—this is only for a season.
Maybe you are struggling in the same way. Maybe it'll help you to know that you're not the only writer who needs to shift focus from books to articles, promotional material, editing and other assignments that keep the bank account filled and the kids out of the workhouse (oops, wrong century). If you see yourself in this post, be encouraged. It’s not forever. And as I have told a few friends, “I think I’m living material for future projects.” Maybe you are too!