Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Grace for the Writer

 Being a writer isn't easy. At least not for me and this is why:

 1. I am the kind of writer who only wants to write when I am inspired- when I have an image burning in my mind that I am dying to put on paper, or when a piece of dialogue comes into my head. This is hard because most of the time I don't feel that inspiration and therefore feel like I am forcing myself to write, leading to feeling stupid that I am a writer who hardly writes.

 2. Most people consider my writing to be more of a hobby. They think it's cool and sound impressed and say that they could never be a writer. But then when I share that I majored in creative writing and hope to make it my career, suddenly, even if they don't say anything, I feel judged at times, like what I want to so is unimportant, I'm being lazy, and that I wasted money on a major that will get me nowhere in the world. 

 3. I consider my writing to be one of the most important things in my life, but no one else in the world seems to acknowledge that. It doesn't seem productive. It doesn't make good money, so sometimes I struggle to think of my writing as worthwhile. 

 4. I have doubts. I doubt that I will ever finish my novel, that I will ever be able to make money from my writing. I worry that though I don't regret studying creative writing, I will now spend the next ten years paying for that decision by working at random jobs to pay for loans.

 But that's where my writing group has been such a blessing to me. I have been blessed with two friends that I made in college that are as serious about their writing as I am, and we have formed an informal writing group. Currently, we report to each other every so often on how we are doing with our writing and we offer each other advice and mostly encouragement. A few weeks ago I shared how I was struggling with my writing lately, especially with starting my part time job, and something one of my friends wrote to me has stuck with me. He said, "You must give yourself grace during this time of transitioning into your job."

 Grace for my writing? Strangely, I have never thought of that. But of course I need to give myself grace. As I am adjusting to my new job, it may take a while to figure things out, establish new patterns, and get back to normal. I need to give myself grace just like Jesus has given me grace for all of my sins.

 And then I realized that I need to give myself grace for all other aspects of my writing, too. There are many times I need to push myself and make myself write even when I don't want to. I need to ignore people who think my major in college was a bad decision. I need to trust God and faithfully do what I believe He has called me to do. But I need to also give myself grace for the times when I do struggle, when I do doubt, when I can't make time to write, when no words are pouring out of me because that happens to every writer. 

 So if you are a writer, give yourself grace just as our Father in Heaven gives us grace. 

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