April 14, 2015

From Typecast to Fresh by Bobbi Junior

"How do I keep my writing fresh" is a timely question because I haven't been feeling fresh at all. Static might be a better word, to be honest.  You see, I wrote a book called “The Reluctant Caregiver”. It won an award. It was published. It’s opened up all sorts of opportunities. And all of them are based on caregiving.



But I’m tired of caregiving! After years of caring for my daughter, a quadriplegic (now an independent adult, thank you, Lord!), followed caring for my mother who passed away after several years battling dementia, I’m finally released from the caregiver role. 

And what happens? Everyone wants me to write about it, speak about it, share about it, even sit on an Advisory committee about it.

First I burned out from caregiving!

Now I’m burning out from sharing about the burnout!


“Lord,” I pouted, “I’m tired of this. I feel like an actor who’s been typecast in one role, and no one sees me as anything else.”

I’m not sure how to explain it, but the Lord answered me, loud and clear. “I’ve spent fifteen years teaching you, supporting you, and maturing you through caregiving. Did your prayer to be used by me mean nothing?”

Gulp.

Time for metanoia. (Defn: a change in one's way of life resulting from penitence or spiritual conversion.)

With sincere apologies to the Lord, I did an about-face.

I began to look on these opportunities as a privilege. I made a conscious choice to embrace them.

Still, I need to stay fresh. I need to write on other topics so I don’t feel stagnant.

My blog provides a weekly outlet. There, I can write about any topic I want, and I do. Sometimes the rebel in me rises up and I post words that I know will rub a few folk the wrong way. Other times I don’t feel like dealing with contradictory comments, so I hold back. But those pieces get posted eventually!


The Writer's Cafe in action
Another way I stay fresh is through The Writers’ Cafe, our monthly writing group. There we challenge each other with prompts and suggestions, spend time co-writing and sometimes work on assignments between meetings—none of which, I’m happy to say, have focused on caregiving.

The Lord opened my eyes to the fact that he's put a great deal of time into growing me through this one life-experience. Once I got past my 'self', I realized it's an honour to be able to share what he’s taught me.

He’s given me free rein everywhere else, though, and that’s where my fresh ideas grow. Who knows? Maybe one day the Lord will assign me a new topic. I just hope it doesn’t take fifteen years of intense labour to become an expert in that one, too!


Bobbi Junior writes narrative non-fiction through memoir.  Topics include caregiving and mental health. Bobbi’s passion is to use story to show how the Lord brings about value for our suffering. Visit Bobbi’s blog at www.bobbijunior.com or listen to ‘Not Me, Lord” each Monday on HopeStreamRadio.com

12 comments:

  1. You are truly an inspiration Bobbi - reluctant or not!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The reluctance trumps the inspiration, I'm sure. But thanks for the encouragement, Tracy.

      Delete
  2. Oh Bobbi, He's talking to me through your post today!

    I have my own life experience that was 20 years in the making, wherein He faithfully supported, taught, and groomed me. A book about this experience was started, but I've been stalling and putting off and doing everything else instead, as it seems too hard.

    Yikes.... I'm on my way to my manuscript.

    Hugs to you Bobbi for being so transparent!

    Brenda
    xox



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good to know I'm not the only one, Brenda! Go forth and tackle that past!

      Delete
  3. This is so good, Bobbi! Thank you for being honest about your journey.
    Pam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's easy to be honest with this group. My fellow writers get it!

      Delete
  4. It is an honour to read your journey! Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. These are good lessons for all of us to learn. I can so identify. I love your humour and truthfulness in saying, "Maybe one day the Lord will assign me a new topic. I just hope it doesn’t take fifteen years of intense labour to become an expert in that one, too!"

    ReplyDelete
  6. Metanoia--what a GREAT word. Making that conscious choice to embrace the opportunities God gives us--that's a lesson we all need to learn. Thanks for that reminder.
    And I love your voice. I read this and I say, "Yup, that's Bobbi."
    May God continue to guide you in sharing your story AND in keeping you fresh.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Bobbi,
    Your vulnerability makes your writing so warm and comforting. I'm certain many lives are touched by what you share about your caregiving experiences. I think we're always in training, so when it comes time for a new topic, you will already have graduated the necessary course. God Bless.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh Bobbi, I just love watching you squirm lol I mean that in the nicest way :) Even in your pouting and stomping your feet, you still move forward and the Lord uses you in such big ways! What an honor (and somewhat entertaining) it is to watch and learn from your life journey! Blessings to you dear friend :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh Bobbi, I just love watching you squirm lol I mean that in the nicest way :) Even in your pouting and stomping your feet, you still move forward and the Lord uses you in such big ways! What an honor (and somewhat entertaining) it is to watch and learn from your life journey! Blessings to you dear friend :)

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to join in the conversation. Our writers appreciate receiving your feedback on posts you have found helpful or meaningful in some way.