November 26, 2011

My Writing Life Reviewed - Karen Toews

Looking back.

I've never been a prolific writer, but some seasons my efforts have been more consistent than others. One of those "others" has been the last five, six years - a space where my writing life has been an on-again, off-again practise. I wasn't happy that it had come to that wobbly flow of stops and spurts. Topic ideas wasn't the problem - they just seldom landed on the page. The desire and discipline to develop them into something worth reading didn't often happen.

That pattern took a small, but important, shift in 2010 when I started contributing monthly on this Inscribe Writers Online. Sometimes my post has been late or published in spite of my not being completely satisfied with the piece. But having an assignment, a deadline, a readership - that's what I needed to get the groove going.

Coming into 2011, my plan was to support that small momentum. In conjunction with developing my new business in natural nutrition, my goal was to launch a blog: a mission accomplished - with many thanks to my patient and blog-savvy daughter and son-in-law.

The present.

So the "blog-baby" is birthed. Content is "key" so posts have to be written but that's just part of sustaining this needy "child". The small writing momentum I was prepared to nurture has become a pushing and shoving match - manoeuvring through a foreign technical landscape and stretching my creativity for design and formating.

As fellow bloggers know, visiting and commenting on other blogsites helps build your own site and a network of online connections. This is good. What doesn't help is the sense of intimidation I feel, looking at "how professional" these other blogs look and "how come I didn't think to set up my site that way?" Or the most discouraging: "I have no clue how to make my side bar blocks (...or something else) look like that!"

I am gratified - readers are visiting, they're submitting comments. The discipline and challenge are giving me a sense of writing purpose, inspiring me to continue, helping shape other business ideas.

Looking ahead.

In Do the Work, author Steven Pressfield states, "A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor the genius or the madman. It's only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and over think and hesitate." This summer, with three of our grandkids living with us, I was able to observe this "having an idea to do something and just running with it." Whether it was physical play or for designing everything from doll clothes to cardboard castles to painting pictures.

Am I going to be able to "run with the dream" I have for this "child"? Is it really worthwhile, making a difference for someone? What about other writing desires - maybe a longer piece of work, maybe a (whisper) book?

Today I read Philippians 4:6,7. "Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."

I'm not privy to the full picture of my 2012 writing life, but I have an idea. My heart is open to the bigness of God's creative power and design. My resolve is not to compare myself with others. My prayer is that I will know His leading - and His peace - as I do the work and move ahead.


  1. Karen, stick with it! You'll be amazed at how quickly time will pass and with it you'll have learned new things and before you know it, you will be the oldie on the block.

  2. A marathon starts with the first stride ... I'm checking out your new blog now!


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