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Hiking Forward

Thank you for your honest sharing yesterday about the obstacles you've encountered on the writing path. I think I can safely summarize all the comments by saying: our lives are FULL of tiredness, sickness, depression, distractions, interruptions, and the unexpected.

To those facing an especially rocky path right now, our prayers are with you.

As writers how do we make any progress forward with so many obstacles tripping us up and slowing us down?

As always, I must refer back to Pilgrim's Progress (the inspiration for one of my novels). The main character, a man named Christian, came upon Worldy Wiseman who offered him age old advice: avoid all wearisomeness, painfulness, hunger and perils; instead seek the way of ease.

Modern culture often gives us the same message: avoid pain, search for the life of comfort and luxury, work the minimum, play the maximum, choose whatever feels good to you.

We're tempted (dare I say somewhat brainwashed?) by the world around us to search for the easy path to success. But the Biblical principle still holds true: our hardships develop perseverance, and that perseverance eventually leads to real joy (I wish I could add that it leads to publication!).

So back to the question. How do we traverse the obstacles? What do you do to keep writing in spite of life's difficulties?

Here's my thought: Keep hiking forward toward the goal, perhaps very slowly (100 words a day is still moving). When we keep our momentum going, we're less likely to stall and get stuck in one spot. And remember we're not alone in the journey. We have each other. And most importantly we have the strength of our ultimate Guide.

When the obstacles become insurmountable, could God be telling us to take a break or to get off the writing path altogether for a while? More on that next time. . .

14 comments:

  1. I think keeping my prioritites straight help. If I know where I should put my time and what's important, I get less frustrated about not getting my way.

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  2. What keeps me going. Honestly, the fact that I've invested so much time already into learning this craft, and that God hasn't asked me to stop. So I obediantly struggle onward. If nothing else, I learn more about myself as I write. Maybe some day others will gain from these stories He leads me to write, maybe not. But for now, I know this is God's desire, so I must obey.

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  3. Hi Jessica,
    So true. We're less likely to get frustrated if we know our priorities!

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  4. Hi Eileen,
    I agree. If we've been writing and investing time and energy into our stories, learning the craft, and building our writing career, then we don't want to give up on all that work too easily!

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  5. I think having momentum, like you mentioned, helps a lot. Once you get into the habit of writing regularly it is easier to stay on track, or get back on the track if you fall off for a bit.

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  6. Hi Kate,
    Momentum for me is SO key. I stopped writing while I prepared my entries for the Genesis contest. Then when I tried to get back into my WIP it was torturous! I wish I'd at least tried to write a little bit a day. Lesson learned!

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  7. If my life were easy and free from sorrow or pain I would never have written the books I did or possibly will. I heard once that our challenge as God's children is to be Holy not necessarily happy. I guess I just rely on Christ to get me through.

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  8. Awesome thought, T. Anne. God wants our holiness, not happiness. That's so counter-culture, isn't it?

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  9. Well, life happens and sometimes I just don't have the time to write every day. Carving out certain days or times that I know is just for my writing time has given me some balance. :)

    There's a really good book by Nancy Demoss (Lies Women Believe)that talks what you said, about our purpose in life not being "happy" but bringing glory to Him--which ultimately gives us joy. Have you read it?

    PS. I kind of do my own thing on WIP Wed--just talking about my progess in writing and what I'm doing. I don't think there's any wrong way to do it, if you want to do it, too. :)

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  10. Hi Jennifer,
    Thanks for taking the time to stop by. I do have Nancy Demoss's book Lies Women Believe. Is a great book!

    And thanks for the info. about WIP Wed.; I like it!

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  11. I'm a firm believer of slow and steady wins the race.

    I also think there is a lot to say about taking a break. God often helps me know when I need a break. Prayer helps there a lot.

    Good thoughts. My answer is to just keep going, even if you only write a sentence a day. At least you're moving forward!

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  12. Hi Lady Glamis,
    I've been thinking about your post about the wave tonight as I write. It's so much more fun to put conflict into our sentences than to our real lives!

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  13. I so agree, you just gotta keep on truckin, hiking, or whatever:-)

    In the end, I think it boils down to obedience to God. Someone asked me a looonnngggg time ago if God cared about every little thing you do, and my answer was YES! God has a plan, he has a purpose, but only HE knows it. We are to walk in obedience to him.

    So, day by day, I seek to obey him, with not only my writing, but how I use my time as well. I admit that I fail daily. It is so easy to do whatever you WANT to do instead of continually seeking what God wants you to do.

    I'd LOVE LOVE LOVE to be published, and God's put that desire in my heart, but only he knows the future. "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a HOPE and a FUTURE." Even if I'm not published, God's plans are so much bigger than mine.

    And if it is his will for me to be published, well, then no obstical is too big right? So... I just keep truckin' away, obeying and listening and writing.

    Ugh, and editing.

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  14. Hi Krista,
    You are so right! If getting published is part of God's plans for us, then nothing will stop that. He'll bring it about eventually in his time and his way.

    I just wish I knew for sure if it was! But even if it isn't, I've already seen many good things coming out of this writing experience. For example, I've grown more flexible. I'm able to let one of my daughters have freedom with the kitchen and with cooking. I'm not sure I would have given her the opportunity to do this as often if I wasn't so busy writing.

    Thanks Krista, for stopping by and sharing. I appreciate your words of wisdom!

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