(My first post for the ACFW blog. Originally posted 7/10/2020)
I’m going to say something that goes against the grain. Something that is deeply contrary to our Western culture. It might feel more than a little uncomfortable and some may even take offense. But I’m going to say it anyway.
It’s okay if you are not able to write right now.
One more time for those in the back.
It’s okay if you are not writing right now.
Really! It is! The Earth will not slip from its axis. A huge chasm will not open underneath you and swallow you whole. You are not “missing” your opportunity. God is not condemning you for being “unproductive” with your writing. So, stop beating yourself up! Breathe my friend.
Maybe … just maybe, this seeming inability to find your way into the creative current is His way of telling you that He needs your attention.
Maybe … just maybe, He is asking you to sit at His feet like Mary and lean into His rhythm.
And, maybe, He is wanting you to let Him hold you through this crisis.
Let’s face it, our world feels more broken than ever. Normal is being re-defined. Many days, it feels like nothing will ever be “normal” again. As a society, and as a world, we are suffering from lack of face-to-face contact, touch, smiles that can’t be seen from behind a mask, and so much more! We are hurting from the break in essential community for which we were designed. Science confirms that the loss we feel is a real physiological issue. I highly recommend that you read Curt Thompson’s post “A Body of Work”. You can find it HERE. Dr. Thompson explains it much better than I.
What I’m getting at here is boiled down to a theme you most certainly have heard over the past several months.
Be kind to yourself.
Allow yourself to grieve the change. Lean into Scripture. Talk with a trusted friend about how you’re feeling. Rest.
Find joy in a new creative outlet. Something that doesn’t scream deadline. Paint, color, sew, learn to crochet, or knit, sing, or learn a new instrument (God inhabits our praise!), dance (like David did!), ride a bike again, go fishing! And if you desire to write, try something outside of the usual. If you write non-fiction, try a fictional short story. If you normally write westerns, why not try contemporary or fantasy? Sometimes, all it takes is a little “priming the pump”. Once your joy is renewed in the creative process, your writing too will take on new life.
So, if you’re still looking for permission, here it is.
It’s okay if you are not writing right now. Rest.
Most of all dear sisters and brothers, know that you are being held – Held in prayer and held in the Father’s arms. You cannot undo your God given calling, nor upset God’s perfect timeline for you. He will bring you along. Tune yourself to Him and Him alone. He will give you rest. And He will give you the inspiration and the words in His time.