August 01, 2022

How to Fight the Distractions ~ Wendy L. Macdonald



 

A recent nudge from God I received during a worship service goes well with this month’s topic. But first, let’s talk about the writing prompt Sandi Somers gave us for August. It has the potential to propel us forward in our projects if we tap into what works well for our writing journey. 

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Here’s the prompt by Sandi Somers: 

“August: Fight the Distractions 

Our world is filled with distractions—technological, commercial, and more—that keep us from focusing on our writing and the important things in life. 

How have you dealt with (or currently are) taming the frenzy of distractions? 

How do you pay attention to what’s important, being attentive and engaged?

How do the Lord’s nudgings propel your writing and life forward?”

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Today I’m sharing my worst weakness and my greatest strength as a writer. Maybe you can relate. However, writers—like all people—are unique individuals. Work habits that work for one writer may not work well for another.

Each writer also has unique strengths and weaknesses. My weakness is that I’m easily distracted at the beginning of a writing session. To curb distractions, I usually write in the early hours of the morning. My phone is muted and turned over so that it can’t interrupt me. I use my laptop offline and keep a paperback dictionary nearby, so I have no reason to Google anything. I’m prone to wander down information trails. 

In fact, before I started the first draft of this article, I researched stuff about the Royal Family because I was intrigued by the youngest member’s adorable antics. The reason I fell down that rabbit hole was that I was researching osteoarthritis due to a flare-up of pain that woke me several hours sooner than my alarm was set to go. YouTube has more rabbit trails than the Queen has Corgis. (The suggested videos are cleverly devised to distract.)

My strength is that once I’m onto a project I can stay at it for hours. I can easily ignore hunger pains, nature calls, and whoever walks into my writing room.    

Each writer is also unique in how they determine what’s important in their writing journey. Most of my life choices are sifted through the sieve of quiet time and journaling. Writing out prayers helps me focus on what matters most. My prayers are prompted by what I’ve read in the Word each morning. God’s word is perfect for purifying motives. The why behind our writing matters. My why is to inspire faith that overrides fear. 

When I submit my fear to God, He gives me power, love, and serenity to overcome hard stuff. The wisdom and comfort given to me aren’t for hoarding, they’re for sharing. I share them through writing. Living in a state of submission to God’s will makes it easier to hear and heed His nudges. Sometimes a simple suggestion to take a break and go outside and enjoy some fresh air ends up being the source of a perfect prompt needed for a new project. 

Falling out of submission can also be a writing prompt—as was the case for a recent newsletter I sent out. Sometimes readers are more encouraged by how we rallied after a derailment then if we avoided sharing our weaknesses. I’m regularly thankful for the Apostle Paul’s humble and honest transparency.  We each have a thorn or two to contend with. 

The writing life, like the Christian walk, doesn’t just happen in allocated places either. We can worship God in a garden as deeply as we do in a church sanctuary. We can also compose sentences and plots outside the writing room: in the shower, in the woods, and at the dinner table when someone says something funny, poignant, or profound.

Being attentive to the words of God, others, and ourselves leads us to write deeply and bravely. Fearless writing that’s written from a place of vulnerability makes readers feel less alone. If we fear looking less in the eyes of others, our words will have less impact too. When we worry about our pride less, we’ll build others up more. In this age where there are so many words being published and launched into the world each day, the best reward is most likely the only recompense we’ll receive amid all the competition out there—the reward of having someone say, “Thank you, I needed that.”      

If we can tame distraction, harness what’s important, and heed God’s promptings often, we’ll be fruitful Kingdom writers for His glory. And others will be thankful for the words He wrote through us.

We’re never going to attain perfection on this side of heaven. But if we aim for it, our work will be better. And our readers will be better for it too. 

Now it’s time to share the God nudge I recently received during a worship service at church. He gently but clearly told me that He opened a door for my writing so that I would minister to His people. I was not to belittle nor neglect my calling. God reminded me I was to serve Him first. And the way He has for me to do so right now is through writing.  

For inspirational writers, to write is to serve.

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14 NIV

Bold writing blessings ~ Wendy Mac

P.S. I’m nosy-to-know what your greatest strength as a writer is? (Continuing to do what works is as important as discontinuing what doesn’t work.) 

Wendy L. Macdonald is an inspirational blogger and podcaster who loves to photograph nature on Vancouver Island. Her byline is: “My faith is not shallow because I’ve been rescued from the deep.” Her main website is where she enjoys interacting with readers.


8 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing some of your tips and focus points for staying on the writing track, Wendy. We all develop our own habits, finding out what works for us, but it is helpful to have a glimpse into how others manage their writing life and avoid distractions.
    These sentences resonated with me, "If we can tame distraction, harness what’s important, and heed God’s promptings often, we’ll be fruitful Kingdom writers for His glory. And others will be thankful for the words He wrote through us."

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    1. Thank you, dear Valerie. Yes, I also find it "helpful to have a glimpse into how others manage their writing life and avoid distractions."
      I don't doubt the things that work for me are tidbits I picked up from other writers.
      Blessings ~ Wendy Mac

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  2. Christine Smith5:36 pm GMT-7

    Thanks for your insightful words, Wendy. I love the idea of sharing through writing the wisdom and comfort God has given us, rather than hoarding it. I also love the line "fruitful Kingdom writers for His glory". Thanks for modeling a servant heart for us.

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    1. Thank you for your encouraging words, dear Christine. Blessings as you continue to write fruitful words for His glory.

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  3. What a prompt we have this month! I must say my life is full of distractions at the moment so it seems appropriate. Thanks for sharing. i am looking forward to seeing what others say about this topic.

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    1. I know what you mean about distractions. Juggling too many balls in the air is best left to circus clowns. Even as I text this, one of my cats is begging attention. ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ˜น๐Ÿ’Œ

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  4. This introduction to the our theme was superb, Wendy. You have so many good thoughts. I especially noted, "Sometimes readers are more encouraged by how we rallied after a derailment than if we avoided sharing our weaknesses." There's lots to ponder here.

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    1. Thank you, dear Sandi, for giving us prompts that enable us to encourage each other. Dealing with distractions is an important topic. I look forward to learning more coping strategies. ✍️๐Ÿ’Œ๐Ÿ“–

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