Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Step in the Write Direction--September 10, 2012

A Step in the Write Direction
September 10, 2012

I was listening to an interview a week ago with Detroit Tiger pitcher Justin Verlander. He mentioned what a disappointment this season was, that the team was “on again, off again.” I told a friend on Facebook I hoped that didn’t describe my Christian experience. It reminded me of a police car I saw one day with a sign on it “Out of Service.” I want to be in service every day for the Lord, don’t you?

It was a busy, but enjoyable week. Proofread three books for a publisher, then ended the week editing a 340-page novel. A really good story. Wish I were a novel writer. (Maybe I should put all my short stories together!)

Thought for the Day:

"Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life" (Ralph Waldo Emerson).

Laugh for the Day:

The Sunday school teacher had on a beautiful new dress and her students immediately noticed it. Mary Jane sat quietly for a while, and then she said, "I suppose it cost a awful lot. But after we've been bringing you money every Sunday morning, I guess you could afford it."


Please send in any writing questions you may have, or even any experiences you would like to share. This is your blog!

Time Management (this one is a little longer, but it’s the last of 12 hints; hope they’ve helped you!)

12. Prioritize Your Life

This isn’t the same as prioritizing your tasks. Now we must determine where writing fits into our life and realize that, at times, we may have to place some things ahead of our writing. These things include:

Friends: A writer friend has a sign above her typewriter that says, “Writing can wait; relationships can’t.” This lady is an excellent writer and has sold many articles. She is also a compassionate person, and people often knock at her door for counseling and prayer. I’m not saying that you should allow others to constantly interrupt your writing time for trivial reasons. You need to be firm and tell them you are working. However, when a friend or loved one has a need that can’t wait, your writing can.

Family: I’ve heard many speakers in seminars say to write two hours a day…or an hour or day…or even fifteen minutes. And you go home feeling guilty because you can’t find
that time. One summer I was in a situation where I wanted to desperately write, but our family was experiencing numerous family illnesses. My husband—who already had nine
diseases—added two more that year. Our youngest daughter was diagnosed with diabetes, and our oldest daughter and her husband—who had multiple sclerosis—were in a car accident resulting in my daughter’s second miscarriage of the year. I literally could not find time to write.

That summer I taught at a Midwest writers’ conference. The first evening a friend asked about my family, knowing some of their medical problems. I gave her an update, then she asked, “How is your writing?” “I’m really frustrated,” I told her. “I just haven’t had time to write. I’ve been busy taking care of my family.” This friend said just four words that entirely changed my attitude and gave me a new perspective on my situation. She said, “God will honor that.”

The next morning I shared this experience with another friend. She began to cry.
“Thanks for telling me that,” she said. “My dad’s been real sick. He lives forty-five miles
away. Every time I sit down to write, he calls and says he needs me. I was beginning to
resent it. He was interrupting my writing and I feel I’m called to write.” Later, in the plenary session, the speaker reminded us that “Families are more important than writing.”

Yes, we may be called to write, but we’re also called to be a wife, a husband, a mother,
a father, a son, a daughter. One of our family’s favorite songs is “We Have This Moment
Today.” In the chorus, Bill Gaither reminds us that yesterday is gone and tomorrow may
never come. Your children are only young once; your parents are aging; your spouse
needs you. Allow room for them.

If your situation permits, it is good discipline to set aside a specific time each day or week. But when your mate needs to talk or your son or daughter comes to you with a problem, take a break. You can always come back to writing; the family won’t always be there. This was vividly brought home to me one day when I was again complaining that I didn’t have time to write (I don’t always learn lessons right away!). The sobering thought came to me: Someday you'll have all the time you want, and you won’t want it!

If you’re going through a situation right now and you cannot write, at least try to keep notes. The day will come when you will have the time and that journal will give you the material you need.

I truly believe that if God gives you something to write, He will help you find the
time to write it.

God: In a conference talk entitled, “Keeping the Sparkle in Your Writing,” Sally Stuart warns, “You can’t write from an empty cup.” What sets us apart from secular writers is that we have first touched God. It’s easy to rely solely on our own talent when beginning
a project, without asking for God’s guidance in what we should write, how we should
write it, and where we should send it. Someone once wrote, “Go to your knees before
you go to your typewriter [or keyboard].” Don’t leave God out of your writing.

Prioritize your life and put writing in its proper place.

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