This post first appeared on Seriously Write.
A couple of months ago, I wrote about God’s smile upon this year’s writing projects. With joy, I’m producing both a novel and a novella in 2019. For some of us, that’s no big deal. Hats off to you!
For others of us, that’s astonishing. (It is for me!) At one time, this was thought to be impossible. After all, Jane Austen only produced six novels in her lifetime. How could dear Jane have even thought of churning out an entire novel and a novella in one year? Of course, she couldn’t.
We have computers. She didn’t. We can research, write, edit, revise, and publish using only our fingertips and our keyboards. Dear Jane wrote in longhand on parchment using quills and India ink.
Now it’s easy. At that notion, we all throw back our heads and laugh, right?
Unfortunately, now we have myriads of distractions every single day. We must man Facebook groups, Twitter accounts, and Instagram. We must constantly chronicle our lives, floating them out there in consumable sound bites and photos, for we are our brand, and we now must do all our own marketing.
We can barely grasp a moment’s silence, let alone hours with no interruptions as we contemplate our next plot twist or search for the perfect word. We don’t have the space for thoughtful reflection, unless we leave our homes, turn off our devices, and go beyond the reach of any Wi-Fi signal. Even then, it takes days to unkink our brains from the short attention spans to which we’ve accustomed them.
What, oh what, is the beleaguered writer to do?
Please, don’t consider this sacrilegious. I’m certain that I’m on solid spiritual ground. Brace yourselves.
We must unplug. We must disconnect. We must shut it down.
I’m sorry. I hear all of your objections. They’re my objections, too.
First a caveat: I don’t mean permanently. Whew! Sigh of relief, right?
The truth is that meeting with the Lord consistently to find the strength and sustenance for the writing journey and for life as a Christian requires quiet and contemplation. This is true of the composition of a novel as well, let alone a novella at the same time. This means that we can’t do both intensive marketing and insightful thinking simultaneously.
There. I said it. What they ask of us is impossible around the clock, every day, all year. It can’t be done with grace.
So, what do we do?
What they ask us to do is impossible around the clock, every day, all year. It can't be done with grace. So, what do we do? #WritingCommunity Click To Tweet
We still take time with the Lord each day, meditating on his Word.
But then, for half of each year, some of us engage in all of our marketing and blogging, securing it all away in blogposts ready to publish and in paid marketing schedules like Buffer. And then, for the remaining months, we write and draft fiction exclusively with no concern for marketing, other than responding and interacting.
Other writers do this same work in smaller bites. We pack our Buffer and our blogpost feed with a month or so of posts and tweets, all ready to go, knowing we can also jump in for ten or fifteen minutes on each platform after our writing work is done each day. And then, with all of that ready for the month, we devote the majority of our time to fiction.
All of us are wired uniquely as writers. None of us can work like anyone but ourselves. So, how do we know which method to use?
We pray. We rely on the Lord. He will show us the plan that works best for our individual brains and our personal work habits and processes. God, our God, is all over in this. He’s our Maker, the Giver of our gifts, the Inspiration for our work, and the Creator of the world of story about which we write.
God, our God, is all over in this. He's our Maker, the Giver of our gifts, the Inspiration for our work, and the Creator of the world of story about which we write. Click To Tweet
Hit your knees. Ask him. Call on him. He’ll provide the plan specifically for you. Follow it by his grace. Walk in his steps.
God bless you, dear writer. Go forth and write!