I recently heard from a fellow writer who is going through a season of feeling scattered. She's a seasoned writer and author, but life has taken its toll. I can't tell you how much I related to this. And it got me thinking about the early days. The days of excitement and that thrilling anticipation of what could be. Also the numbing fear. The what am I thinking that inevitably follows.
I talk about those days in my book, For Christian Writer Moms. This week I'd like to share a chapter with you. Perhaps you're just starting out, and you need to be reminded of the value in following God's leading in this endeavor. Maybe you're overwhelmed and need help getting perspective. Wherever you are, I pray this helps.
It all started young for me. Perhaps your story is the same. Perhaps you, too, were that kid buying paper and pens with your dollar store money, bypassing figurines of cats or the cheap toy aisle.
Or maybe the desire came later. You developed a voracious appetite for books in your twenties or thirties and just knew you could do this. You could write a story.
As for me, I excelled in Creative Writing in high school. Please don’t be impressed. It was the only area in which I excelled. That, I suppose, is what we call having an aptitude for something. Everything else crumbles away to dust, and this one pillar stands strong before you. The gifting. The natural talent.
That’s not to say you can’t excel through hard work and determination. Discipline and persistence win out over talent.
I’d go as far as to say that Sally, with no natural talent for writing but a fierce drive to succeed, will far surpass Sue, with her born ability in eloquent, intelligent wordsmithing...if Sue is not disciplined. If Sue does not care enough to try.
Regardless of when it started or what work was or was not required to attain it, the fact remains: writing has moved beyond the mundane. You now see the power in words, and you’ve felt that tug in your gut. That swell and shift in your heart. You must do this thing, whatever comes.
Then your gaze moves to the toddler tearing his coloring book to shreds, spreading it confetti style across the carpet you just vacuumed.
Your teenager needs help studying for a college entrance exam.
Your mother is in the hospital again.
Your boss picked you for another project, and the deadline is yesterday.
Slowly you close the laptop. And with it, your dream.
Who would care anyway? What could you possibly write about? Diapers? Stringing spaghetti through hotdogs?
We lose ourselves a bit in motherhood, don’t we? And I think for most of us, we’re glad to do so. Our children are gifts. Raising them is the most important, meaningful responsibility of our lives. And honestly, those first few years are incredibly challenging.
I had my children eleven months apart. I look back on the years that followed and see a whirlwind of diapers and milestones. Playdates and playdoh. Screaming, teething babies and sweet, bedtime songs.
I was happy to get lost in the chaos.
But a day came when I emerged from that lavender scented bubble and remembered a few things about myself.
I remembered that words empower me. That I love writing and sharing them. I remembered that stories make my heart swell, and that I’m teeming with them...they’d just been set back on the priority list. I discovered that over the years I’d changed, and new stories were forming.
It wasn’t easy transitioning to become a WRITER MOM. I struggled with everything from imposter syndrome to guilt...and still do at times. But as I sat at the dining room table one evening, hunched over a legal pad, scratching words at breakneck speed...I knew there was no going back. I was transfixed. Finding my voice. A voice I’d suppressed under years of insecurity and exhaustion, all the way back in first grade, standing before Ms. Ingham with a note asking to use the bathroom. Lips sealed tight. Heart thumping.
Hear me on this.
Close your eyes, block out the chaos for a moment and accept this truth.
We are all given gifts and passions to serve a purpose. (Ephesians 2:10) It matters that you love to write. It matters that you have something to say. Someone needs to hear the words trapped inside of you. To be a mom is to be a world-changer...but it’s okay if you’re called to do even more.
In fact, it’s more than okay. It’s important.
Repeat that out loud.
I won’t say give yourself permission because that’s not your place. If God has placed writing on your heart, be it as a child or in adulthood, giving yourself permission has nothing to do with it. It’s not about you. It’s about His work through you. Likewise, if He’s instructed you to hold off for a season, I would urge you toward obedience.
Doesn’t that resonate so much louder than self-permission? In a world rife with selfish ambition and inward obsession, it may not be the popular view. But it’s the difference between a voice echoed in a tin can and a shout into a cavern. Depth comes from knowing God and walking under His leading. We are too limited, too shallow, on our own.
Laura Frances grew up a shy thing, always daydreaming. She is now the author of the Slave series, a clean, dystopian story. Residing in midwest America as a wife, mother, homeschool teacher, and writer, Frances strives to convince others through the art of storytelling that they can do the things they think they can't.
You can follow her at www.laurafranceswriter.com