Beautiful in His Time

ACFW Advice, Authors and writing, Encouragement, Friends of ACFW, Procrastination, Time Management, writing 1 Comment

By Cathleen Armstrong

How does it happen so fast? New Year’s Day always dawns with so much promise—365 days, a whole year, lie open like the pristine pages of a brand-new journal. The possibilities are infinite. This is the year we’ll finally finish the novel-that-never-ends. We’ll start a new one. We’ll wrestle social media to the ground and rise victorious with more likes, shares, and followers than we dreamed possible.

But here we are; it’s already January 30. One day we’re vacuuming the dried Douglass fir needles out of the carpet, and the next we’re picking up a box of Valentines to send off to school. And our year is off and running, leaving us farther and farther behind.

Making it even worse is looking around and seeing that other writers are finishing novels, starting new ones—and likely finishing those too. All while posting, tweeting, and blogging with inexhaustible regularity. Rumor has it that everyone on the planet begins each day with the same twenty-four hours. I sometimes doubt that, but if it is true, what makes the difference?

The easiest (and least productive) thing we can do is to compare our busy, hectic lives with those of really productive writers, all of whom have it easier than we do: “Sure, if I could just sit and oversee my five home-schooled kids’ lessons, I’d have time to write, too.” Seriously? No.

So much better, and the only real way to tackle the problem of time, or lack of it, is to take a good, hard look at our own lives. Here are a few things I’ve found helpful to remember:

  1. The longing to write, to create story, is a gift from our Creator. If he gave us the gift, he’ll give us time to enjoy it.
  2. The worst thing we can do is waste time trying to either emulate or rationalize away the productivity of other writers. Their lives are not our lives.
  3. Nothing in our busy lives, either regularly scheduled work or routine-rattling emergencies catches God by surprise. Yet his gifts and his call are unchangeable.
  4. Progress is progress. Try to make a little each week, if not each day. This may be the year that the book-that-never-ends actually ends, or maybe it’s not. But you can see to it that you’re a lot further down the road to completion than you are right now. And one day you’ll write The End.
  5. Watch carefully for time killers. Dropping a post on your FaceBook author page is good. Spending two hours watching cat videos or arguing with strangers, not so much.
  6. Don’t give up, but don’t let up either. If today was a bust, there’s tomorrow.

As a final thought, we need to remember that although January has already shot past us. It’s only January, not the whole of 2019. And if January was filled with doodles and to-do lists, just turn the page. February, and the rest of the year, is waiting.

If today was a bust, there’s always tomorrow @cathleen_arm #ACFWBlogs #Godstiming #amwriting #pubtip Click To Tweet


Cathleen Armstrong is the author Welcome to Last Chance, an ACFW Genesis Award winner and the first volume in the four-book series, A Place to Call Home. She lives in Southern California with her husband and only mildly obnoxious corgi, Leo.




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