by Shirley Gould
Lately, life has been a balancing act as the coronavirus ended life as we know it and we faced major changes. Covid-19 caught us off-balance—totally unprepared. We have quarantined, worked from home, educated our children, and watched businesses close. Now we are social distancing, washing our hands, and wearing masks…and it’s not over yet.
As writers of Christian fiction, we seem to have survived on two ends of the spectrum. Some can’t write at all because they’re anxious or overwhelmed while others are adding to their word counts at break-neck speed. Where are you with your writing during this season? If you’re struggling to put words on the page—step back, take a deep breath, and get your balance.
A trained lion in a circus that focuses on keeping his balance with his four paws on a three-legged stool isn’t living up to his potential. He was created to be a powerful force to be reckoned with—the king of the jungle—but he is distracted by the situation he is in. You’re a writer, influencing others with your words, your stories. Your presence in the lives of the readers is critical as we share our Christian message during these days of struggle. Jesus is the one constant in changing times and readers can find Him in your prose.
Hebrews 13:8 says…Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.
And He brings peace to any situation. Ask Him to give you a special peace today.
I Corinthians 14:33 says…For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.
John 16:33 says…In me, you may have peace…take courage, I have conquered the world.
But how do you regain your balance when your world, your family life, your schedules, and your creative juices have been so completely challenged?
- Ask the Lord for peace and direction.
- Review your writing goals and determine where you need to focus.
- Glean your reactions and the reactions of others and use the varied emotions as content in your work in progress.
- Use the time. If you can’t get words on the page, study the craft, brain-storm another project, or prepare for NaNoWriMo.
- Work on your social media presence, your website, and your email list, etc..
- Don’t waste the crisis. WRITE that novel.
- Attack tomorrow with the heart of a lion.
Paula Danziger said, “Good writing is remembering detail. Most people want to forget. Don’t forget things that were painful or embarrassing or silly. Turn them into a story that tells the truth.”
An author friend of mine, Sally Jo Pitts, worked as a private investigator professionally. Now she is using those experiences in her series of novels. Maybe we should do the same. As our favorite restaurants open at half capacity, and we change out of our pajamas to rejoin society, listen and take good notes. Since our days of quarantine, we all want to share our adventures, both good and bad, and the losses we’ve experienced due to the virus. People have been changed by the experience. Let the writer in you become the investigative reporter harvesting fodder for future novels. Who knows where it will lead…
Shirley Gould is an inspirational speaker, an African missionary, and an author. She’s the founder of Kenya’s Kids Home for Street Children, an orphanage in Kenya. Shirley has written articles and newsletters for thirty years and is presently writing Christian Fiction novels. She lives in the Nashville, Tennessee area.