August 01, 2014

What if We Could Write All Year? By Sandi Somers

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So often as writers we feel we don’t have enough time to develop our craft.

We may dream of giving up a job to write, buying a cabin to escape family responsibilities, or miraculously coming into ideal conditions.

Our prompt this month asks us to describe our writing life if we had a whole year free to focus on just our craft. How would it change how/what we write?


Fantasy Meets Reality


Over the last months while thinking of this topic, I experimented with full-time writing, taking home-grown retreats. I chose frigid snowy days of winter and then again June days as rains poured down.

I accomplished more writing, and knew that in a year of concentrated effort I could finish my book of devotionals and shape my memoir into a better draft. I could attend several conferences and take a two-week writing retreat in the company of other writers and …and…and…

However, by the end of my retreats, my house looked neglected: papers lay all over my table and office, and a number of errands remained undone. I’d need a housekeeper/office clerk/shopper.

And I hadn’t contacted friends and family.

What stared me in the face was that writing would become my only priority.

I would have to block out the rest of my life.

I’d have to miss summer days outdoors. I’d miss time with my extended family. I’d have to say, “No, thanks,” to refreshing walks or coffee with friends. And I’d have to give up so much quilting and working in my garden.

Not so good!

The reality is that life enriches my work. People and activities enrich my life, just as I enrich theirs.

As a result, my question turned around 180 degrees: “What am I doing with the time God is giving me to write?”

I began praying to make more effective use of time I DO have, rather than wishing for more.

As I surrender my writing to God each day, I pray the Holy Spirit will infuse me with his presence, energy and ideas.

I will trust him to multiply my efforts, just as Jesus multiplied the five loaves and two fishes to feed the huge crowd.

I may be surprised by what God will do.

You may be surprised by what God will do.

He waits for you to ask him.

My prayer as you write in less-than-ideal conditions is that God will “strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9 (NIV).





13 comments:

Bobbi Junior said...

Sandi, you caught me totally off guard with your 180 turn. I hadn't considered the fact that we need 'life' to feed our writing. Perhaps I can even consider my various roles and activities as ideal, rather than less-than-ideal conditions.

Definitely food for thought.

Sandra Somers said...

Hi, Bobbi, we definitely need "another life." I'm glad my blog post was helpful.

Melanie Fischer said...

I am so glad that you wrote about this Sandra and shed some light on the realities of writing full time. I have been blessed with more writing time in this past year than I have ever had before, but have certainly faced almost to a tee what you have explained in this post. It is funny how we dream of having an "empty plate" so we can do more writing...but an empty plate just leaves us hungry. You said it Bobbi "we need 'life' to feed our writing"

Tracy Krauss said...

I left a lengthy comment and now I don;t see it here... I don;t want to repeat myself but I just thought I'd add - once again - that we really should be focusing on the time we DO have rather than lamenting the time we don;t

Sandra Somers said...

Thanks, Tracy, for your comment. Your long comment I'm sure would have been invaluable from an experienced author to one with fewer credits. Focusing on the time we do have is part of a grateful attitude.

Sandra Somers said...

Thanks, Melanie. God bless you as you fill your plate with other good nutritious things to balance out your life.

Loretta Bouillon said...

I think we are kindred spirits! Well said... Thanks for sharing!

Sandra Somers said...

Thanks, Loretta. Glad my writing touched a common chord!

carolf said...

Time is interesting. I no longer have to cut wood, haul water or keep the fire going in the cook stove and I'm still short of time for writing. Something is wrong with this picture.

Sandra Somers said...

Hi, Carolf, You've touched on another key point. I've heard the expression, "Work expands to take up the allotted time." Making focused time for writing might be a key for you. I pray that God will guide you in your writing endeavors.

Connie Mae Inglis said...

Thanks for enriching my life by writing this post, Sandi. It is true that we need each other...and then you never know what kind of surprises await those that are completely surrendered to God. Thanks for the reminder.

Ramona Heikel said...

After a while of frustration, I too came to the conclusion that I cannot write "full time" because I love being around my friends and family too much, and will not give that up. And think of how much our relationships fuel our joy and provide such an interesting background for our writing! Nice thoughts here, Sandi.

Sandra Somers said...

Thanks for your comments, Ramona. Much of my writing, too, comes as a result of my relationships.