In February, I was inspired by Brenda J Wood's post on InScribe's Blog on Writing. Ain't You Tired, Ms. Hilly?* offers wisdom and insight into the chaos we can find ourselves in when we become more focused on building our platform than doing the work of writing.
She states, "You see, for a while, I lost my focus as a Christian writer. I spent all my time chasing the dream, building my platform with methods offered in the barrage of blogs and emails, but I spent very little of my time actually being a Christian who writes."
These words resonated with me and shook me to my core. You see, last year I jumped on the writing as business platform in a big way. I started my own business, Red Raincoat Creations Inc. I have big dreams for this little company, and I believe they are God-driven dreams, ones that He will help me bring to fruition. Even so, I've learned it's easy to get bogged down in doing a lot of busy work without being the slightest bit productive.
Currently I offer professional writing and editing services. It is my goal to build a business that allows me the flexibility to do my own writing full-time. The ultimate goal: be a published author with the ability to live and work anywhere (My preferred location: a desk overlooking the ocean situated in an open-air beach house in Costa Rica. I will write while sipping freshly juiced mangoes and pineapples. Ahhh.) I mean, Jesus told us "with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26, Mark 10:27 NIV). A girl should dream big, right?!
|Ocean View courtesy of Pinterest |
The Benefit of a Good Inventory
All tropical daydreams aside, once I recognized that I was lost in the business of writing, and was quickly forgetting what it means to be a Christian who writes, I did what made the most sense as a Christ-follower. I prayed to Jesus:
Help me clearly see and identify what I need to prioritize/press into, and what I need to let go of.
Below is a snapshot of the inventory that followed that prayer. First, I wrote down everything God brought to mind: every opportunity for work, money, volunteering, service, spiritual growth, physical health. Everything! Then I added any additional notes and circled each "entry" in my inventory. Next, I asked God to point out what needed to stay and what needed to go. Within minutes I had clarity around my life, my priorities and even the order in which I needed to approach each task. God laid the foundation for me, and offered many helpful insights along the way.
If the look of my inventory is too messy for your personal tastes - I mean, really, it looks like a mind map that exploded - I would suggest using another approach. Perhaps you are an orderly list type of person, or prefer the handy columns of a spreadsheet? Whatever your method, I'd encourage you to take some time to ask Jesus for clarity on what to press into and what to let go of. You may be surprised and encouraged by the answer!
I will still build a platform using social media, blog posts, newsletters and other tools. Now I have a better understanding of what that work flow looks like and where it falls in relation to the bigger plan. I have stopped striving and trying to do it all. Instead I will rest in God's presence, and allow Him to guide my writing, my business and my life.
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