Friday, May 20, 2011

When your writing stops

I’ve been travelling in circles lately. Both with my writing and with my life. Back and forth, deciding and praying about what the best options are for my future. I leave no stone unturned. Trust me.

But sometimes you come up against a wall. We’re talking huge wall, here. That’s when I’ve prayed God will show me an open door, an open window, anything to get me past it.

Well it isn’t happening.

I’m stuck. We’re stuck.

When I think about the amount of time I’ve invested not only in my writing but in my life and career choices, I want to crawl in a hole and give up.

Right now, I don’t know what genre I should write in, whether I should go back to articles only, clean up old work or start something new. That’s how confused I am. I’ve been averaging about two rejections a week from my queries and I can take that, but along with job rejections for both my husband and I, it tends to add up—draining a lot of emotion, energy and hope.

So as I started to say, I’m travelling in circles now—waiting on God and His wisdom and His plan because I’m about done with all my own.

So for the time being, my writing has come to a halt. Not sure if that is for a day, a week or a month but certainly until I get a clearer idea of a direction.

I know—it goes against all the rules, doesn’t it? Not writing every day.  But so have my circumstances.

If I ask any question on this post it would be this: Please, will you have patience with me as I sort out my life? Thank you.


48 comments:

Jessica R. Patch said...

Terri, I am praying for that clear direction in your job and in your writing and when you know what that is, you'll be back stronger than ever!

Julie Jarnagin said...

I gave up writing for awhile after my son was born. As much as I dreamed of being a writer, I felt like I needed to put it in God's hands. For me, the only way I could do that was to stop writing. I worried that other people would think I had given up, but it was about something much bigger than that. Sometimes when we stop like this, God uses that time to really move in our lives. Hang in there. There's a plan for you!

Laura Pauling said...

Querying is an emotionally exhausting process. There is nothing wrong with re evaluating and figuring out where to go from here. It's okay to take a break. Writing is an ebb and flow process. And so is hearing from God. And sometimes we don't get a clear answer.

Take that much needed break. Let the emotionally choppy waters settle until you can see clearly the reflection in the water. And you'll know what to do.

Melissa Marsh said...

Oh Terri, I've been at this point - where I just wanted to stop writing. And I did, for awhile. Maybe it was only a few weeks or whatever, but it was long enough to get things sorted out and for God to give me the direction to get back to it.

Trust in Him, as I know you do, and He will reveal all in good time. I will pray for patience for you.

And BTW, DON'T feel guilty for not "writing every day." Be kind to yourself on this one. :-)

Linda Glaz said...

Terry, 19 years ago when I started writing, (am just getting pubbed) I rememeber as plain as day what God kept showing me, sometimes from total strangers, one word and one word only!
PERSEVERE! Don't let any bit of rain drown your dreams, if writing is, in fact, your dream.
PERSEVERE! Like the ant who moves mountains.
PERSEVERE!
The race isn't always to the fastest runner, but to the one who never quits!
MY SERMON FOR THE DAY, YOU CAN SEND ME THE TWO CENTS LATER.Be blessed my friend and persevere!

Lin Floyd said...

write an article about your situation-I bet it will sell as many go through periods like this. What have you tried, why didn't it work...what unexpected blessings or opportunities has or will it open for you? Don't give up, follow the story.

Sarah Forgrave said...

Have no fear on the patience front. :) I think we've all faced this point at one time or another. Only you know what is best and what God is calling you to do. And if it means to step away for a time, I'll still be your friend and wave at you across cyberland. :)

Stacy Henrie said...

So sorry, Terri! Sometimes life demands we do things at a little different pace or amount than in the past - and that's okay. I hope you'll keep blogging, if you feel that's right, because I love your posts and have been inspired many times with your honesty and insight!

ginny said...

Oh Terri, I feel so bad for you. Maybe a slight absence from writing may be what you need. Keep blogging, you definitely have talent. I feel as if we have been friends for a long time.
Take it to the Lord and trust that your answers will come. Praying.

Diane said...

Even though you are circling the "mountain" I am thankful that you are taking it all to God in prayer. He will send answers in His timing, which believe me I know is never quick enough to my liking. Hugs :O)

Rhonda Schrock said...

Ditto the lovely Ms. Sarah F. just above. What I was thinking is, "Well, now maybe she's in the absolutely perfect spot for God to start opening doors." Doesn't that often happen at the darkest, most unlikely times? How about just resting for awhile, no trying to figure it out, and just 'sit,' so to speak. God has a lovely way of giving us light for the next step.

I'll be praying for you.

Rhonda

Heidi Willis said...

I've been where you are, Terri - at least partly, and I feel for you. There is a season for everything under heaven. We are not born with a career destination in hand: it is a constantly evolving and developing journey, one which you can alter or change or adapt as necessary.

I can honestly say that, although I've been a strong and praying Christian for nearly my whole life, I didn't really believe that God spoke - in words that we could strongly feel. I went through life praying and hoping I was doing the right thing and trusting God to close the door if I chose the wrong one.

BUT two years ago, I was in a very similar place as you, and as I struggled, I heard - like a crazy person - WAIT. So clear it nearly knocked me off the couch. I prayed about what direction to take my writing, what project to choose, what to do next, and every time, like a megaphone: WAIT.

I'm confident God was speaking to me, and I learned not to push and to rest in Him. How hard that was to not do what I initially thought he was calling me to do!!

But the waiting, of course, was a blessing, and necessary, and came with peace.

I'm praying you find your peace, and a clear direction. Nothing is set in stone except to glorify and love God with your heart. The rest... it comes and goes.

Jackee said...

Absolutely! Best of luck, Terri. I will be praying for you, my friend! Hugs!

Joanne Sher said...

Oh, sweetie. Absolutely praying, and for God to lead You where he wants You to go. Hang in there, dearie.

Retired English Teacher said...

I understand. I will pray. I don't want to sound trite, so I will just pray. God bless.

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

Oh my sweet friend, check you FB email!


R

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

I'm praying for you - jobs and direction for your writing.

Big Hug,
Susan

Trisha said...

Hi Terri, just a little thought on the matter. God knows our needs, even before we ask. So what have we to worry about, if we have faith, as a grain of mustard seed, we could move those mountains out of our way. Have a Blessed day.

BeckyJoie said...

I'm kind of in the same place and have been for a while. The fork in the road had too many tines and none of them went anywhere. Still praying. I will add you to my prayers.

Sally said...

Terri, so sorry you are feeling this way. God hears us all as we bring your name before His throne. Be steadfast, remain faithful.

Teresa aka JW said...

Of course take time away from writing if you feel the need. Just don't give up. Christians are not allowed to give up on anything. :) But maybe you need away time.

Prayers.

K.M. Weiland said...

Oh, I am *so* with you right now. This last week has brought the realization of some simultaneously naive and arrogant decisions I've made in writing my last book. It's been a humbling experience that has left me wondering if maybe what I had planned isn't what God had planned, and, if that's so, now what? Saying a prayer for you during this time of waiting and discovery!

Loree Huebner said...

Terri, Hang in there. I believe in the "Be Still and Know..."

Sometimes during difficult times and times of confusion in our writing, we need to unclutter our minds to listen to His direction.

Stop trying to write at this time if you are just going in circles. (The writing gift is always there for you. Remember, you're not giving it up...you're just taking a break)

This might be a moment for you to look around, feel the emotion, taste the sting of rejection...experience the season without any distraction. In His own time, God will reveal His plan.

Who knows? He may want you to write about this confusing time that you are experiencing in your life to help others down the road...OR maybe He's preparing you for a project that only YOU can understand and execute for His glory.

I keep you and yours close in my prayers.

Sending you a warm hug in friendship ~ Loree

Kenda said...

Prayers from over this way, too, Terri, as you rest, regroup, wait. May God pour out his blessing on you. Just looking at your side bar and all the titles you've been published in, it's obvious you've already been a special blessing to others. Take care...

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Remember in the movie The Sound of Music when the mother superior said, When a door closes, a window opens. Or something like that. A window will open.

I can't tell you how many years I worked on my writing. I went to school, had my family, finished my BA, worked, but always I was writing...and then one day I got the call from a publisher.

I don't want to tell you to hang on to something that isn't what you really want. But if writing is what you love, I wouldn't give up on it. Just keep swimming.

I'm just saying...

Michelle Massaro said...

Prayers sent for you, Terri! May He speak to your heart and guide you with His eye.

Linda O'Connell said...

Terri,
Go to your quiet place and think of yourself as on hiatus. My best advice is don't try to make it happen, let it happen. God has a plan. My prayers.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Terri, please don't give up writing. Rejection is a part of a writer's life, we just have to accept it. We Indians believe that when God dumps problems on someone, its to test their strength and also because he troubles his dear ones more than others. Am praying for you. Hugs.

Keli Gwyn said...

Hugs, Terri. May you feel a sense of peace as you step back and listen for the Lord's leading. Sometimes we have to stop pursing what we want in order to learn what His plans for us are. I pray that what He has is store for you will rock your world in a positive way.

Jill said...

I'm in the same spot! I gave up writing for lent, hoping for answers from God. I fasted for three days, hoping for answers from God. I've got so much going in my life that I want my path to be clear before me so I don't waste time. God hasn't given me any clear answers, either, except to keep going and be patient. Those are pretty clear. So will I have patience w/ you? How could I not?

Deb Shucka said...

Oh, Terri, I love your openness. I can really relate to where you are right now, and it does my heart good to know I'm in such good company. Sending prayers your way, and traveling with you as you wander in the desert.

Lynda R Young said...

Praying for you to find direction...
I know the feeling. I went through this all last year. (And occsionally it still crops up). I've found it came down to loving the written word. I had to write for me -- not for publication, not for my hubby or anyone else. I love stories, so I write them. The rest will come.

Lynn said...

So many beautiful words here from all who have commented. They are a reflection of the One who loves you, no matter what you decide to do. You are not your accomplishments. Instead you are His creation, every moment. I am also patiently waiting, my words sparse. And I feel I am letting myself, and others, and God down. It is a time to learn to trust this will pass in His perfect timing.

Jeanette Levellie said...

How horrible for you, sweetie. Yes, we will be patient, and pray for clear direction for both you and your husb.

I think you are gifted with both writing talent and a huge, compassionate heart, so I'd hate to see you quit altogether, but perhaps a break for a few weeks would help clear your confusion, and allow you time to seek God more.

BTW, did you know that CS Lewis pitched his work to 40 editors before publishing? And Charles Shultz threw his Peanuts Cartoons in the trash can after so many rejections, then later fished them out to try one more time, and was published?

Love and hugs and chocolates,
Jen

Nancy said...

I will always wait for you, Terri and give you every benefit of any doubt. I have been praying for you and I will be specific about direction for your life and writing. There is a scripture about God being "the Lord of the breakthrough." It is in the Old Testament. I will pray it over your situation. Love you. I'd love to send out a hug as if I were there.

Stephanie Faris said...

I've been writing since I was 26...trying to get published and racking up rejections. It really sucks sometimes, especially when you see others succeeding, but the only difference between the authors who eventually get published and those who don't is whether they gave up or not.

Carmen said...

You're a stronger woman than me, Terri! You amaze me with all you're going through. How can anyone blame you for needing some time to sort things out? Praise God for what you do have, and for the good things. He is the air you breathe. As long as you're still breathing, He has a plan for you. In the meantime, I will remember you in my prayers.

Gina Conroy said...

One thing I've learned on this journey is that there are seasons of writing and seasons of rest. Embrace the season you're in and you might find you're more focused and more refreshed when you pick up that pen again! {HUGS}

Rita Garcia said...

{{{Teri}} Praying for you my dear friend!

Warren Baldwin said...

Writing everyday is the rule for some.

Writing when you can is the rule for others.

I go by the second one. Best approach? Perhaps not, but it's what I can do.

Sometimes we have to set back, relax, and take stock. Sounds like that is what you are doing. Then, listen to the quiet whisper.

Cheryl Klarich said...

Terri, your gift is not going away! And you are gifted... Just look at all of us who follow you- we're not going away either.
Prayers are with you!!

Jessica Nelson said...

Hi girlie! I'll be praying for you, but don't worry too much. Sometimes you just need a break. I know I go through writing times and then non-writing times (usually there's editing, but not always).
I hope you and your hubs can get a good job somewhere though. *hugs*

paulgreci said...

Hi Terri, I hope you find some clarity soon, both with your writing and employment options. Hang in there!!

Jennifer Shirk said...

Aw, Terri, I wish we lived closer because I would come over and give you a hug.
Don't beat yourself up. Take a break. Do some reading. And continue to pray and keep your eyes open for God's sign.

Ginger said...

Hi Terri,
I am so glad I stopped by to read your blog...makes me feel so much better. You are such a talented writer. I haven't posted in almost a year nor have I been reading blogs. Not sure why! Just checked out for a while, but really missed it. Hope you are doing well. Really missed reading your posts. Always inspiring and uplifting. Thank you. Stay strong!

Ginger :)

Julie Musil said...

Terri, of course we'll all be here. And each of us understands your frustration. Real life is hard enough, then add the rejections we experience with writing, well, you're only human. Your heart is open to God's will, and I'm sure it will be revealed in time. Saying a prayer for you.

sarah said...

HEY Terri...I'll be here..in your corner...alwyas listening. You've been there for me....and have given so much of yourself..I know what it is to feel stuck and all I can think is...He's got a plan...He really does. Stay strong out there.....Nikki

Karen Lange said...

Yes, of course, sweet friend! I am sure that with the Lord's help, you will get it all sorted out. I know that writing is in your future, so count me in as cheering you on to whatever is next!

Happy Memorial Day.
Blessings and hugs,
Karen