by Patti Jo Moore
Like many people, the Christmas season is my very favorite time of year. I love the music, the lights, and most of all remembering the Reason for this holiday season. Even though my life isn’t quite as hectic as it was when my children were little, I still find myself getting caught up in the flurry of Christmas preparations. In addition, now that I’m a writer I strive to continue a somewhat regular routine of writing during the holidays.
However, despite my good intentions and numerous to-do lists, there are many days during December that I don’t come close to my writing goal for that day. And I have a confession to make: Until recently, I’d silently scold myself and think negative thoughts, such as My kiddos are grown, so why can’t I accomplish more each day? Why do I think I can write? Of course, talking down to oneself isn’t good for creativity at all, not to mention self-esteem.
Not long ago I felt a nudging from the Lord to stop being so hard on myself and instead focus on the most important activities in each day. First and foremost, I need to spend even more time in His word. It’s amazing how much more smoothly my day flows when I begin it with some quiet time-not only reading my Bible and devotional books, but sitting still and gathering my thoughts (yes, I still make my trusty to-do lists!). As I’m spending this time, I can clearly analyze what absolutely must be accomplished that day-and what can wait. When I allow those less-important tasks to wait, then I have more time for my writing. For me personally, this results in less stress-which means it’s likely I’ll be productive and more creative!
The common-sense reminders to eat healthy and get fresh air and exercise are also important, even though many of us tend to fall short in the “healthy-eating” area during the holidays. I’ll be the first to admit I’m doing my part to keep the chocolate companies in business.
Something else that has helped me is to write some Bible verses on index cards and post them around my writing area. Encouraging and comforting verses, such as Philippians 4:13 (I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me) are great and uplifting reminders. Seeing those helps to keep the negative thoughts away-or at least at a distance.
I simply cannot do my best writing if I’m feeling “crazy” (stressed and frazzled), and since I’m writing for the Lord, I need and want to give Him my creative best-all the time.
Patti Jo Moore is a wife, mom, and a “catmom” to numerous kitties. A former first-grade and kindergarten teacher, Patti Jo now writes historical and contemporary romance. When not spending family time, writing, or doing needlepoint, Patti Jo can be found feeding all the cats in her neighborhood.