by Katie Powner
As an author, I spend a lot of hours on writing-related endeavors. And I do mean A LOT. Not only working on stories—brainstorming, outlining, researching, drafting, editing, REPEAT—but also on social media, marketing, interviews, newsletters, and other similar activities.
I can start to think that’s all pretty darn important some days. Pretty darn…real. But then a day comes along to remind me of the truth.
A couple months ago, I had a day like that.
On this particular day, my line edits for an upcoming book were due. A meeting to determine whether another writing project could take the next step toward a contract was scheduled to occur. The little brother of our 16-month-old foster son, whom we had agreed to also take in, was due to be born. And the biopsy results of a family member’s suspicious lump came back positive for cancer.
What a day.
Of those four things, which do you think I viewed as the most important? Which did I spend the most time praying about? It was definitely not my line edits or my potential book contract. As big of a deal as those things are, as seriously as I take my writing career, I have to admit neither of those things crossed my mind for more than a fleeting moment that day.
Instead, I was consumed with thoughts about the new baby: Was I prepared to parent two kids under the age of two in addition to my own three children? Did I have all the supplies I needed? Was he going to be safe until I could pick him up?
And thoughts about the cancer diagnosis: What were the treatment options? What was the prognosis? Was this person going to be okay? What could I do to help them? What would I ever do without them?
The day was long and stressful, but it was also a good reminder about perspective. As an author, I tend to get wrapped up in fictional worlds, character arcs, and contracts. Revisions and reviews. Sales and marketing. It can start to feel like my world revolves around books. But none of that stuff is real life. It’s a way to make a living—or try to, anyway. But it’s not my life.
In the Bible, in 1 Timothy, Paul exhorts his young protégé to teach others how to “take hold of the life that is truly life.” Wow. The life that is truly life. How was Timothy supposed to do that? By teaching people to put their hope in God instead of wealth (or sales or contracts), to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In other words, Paul wanted Timothy to remind others to keep the right perspective about what matters most. About what real life is. (1 Timothy 6:17-19 NIV)
So what about all those hours I spend on writing-related endeavors? Are they a waste of time? I don’t believe so. I believe I can use them as part of the way I “take hold of the life that is truly life.” But days like the one I had a couple months ago remind me not to make writing more important than it is. It’s not true life.
I will continue to work hard on my writing career because I believe it’s my calling and that’s important. I will continue to seek God’s guidance with regard to my writing and pray that my words will touch people’s hearts and bring them hope. But when I think about the “life that is truly life,” it’s not books that come to mind.I can start to think my writing career is pretty darn important some days. But then a day comes along that reminds me of the truth. @katie_powner #ACFWBlogs #writetip #critiques #ACFWCommunity Click To Tweet When I think about the “life that is truly life,” it’s not books that come to mind. @katie_powner #ACFWBlogs #writetip #critiques #ACFWCommunity Click To Tweet
Katie Powner lives in rural Montana and is a mom to the third power (biological, adoptive, and foster). She loves Jesus, red shoes, and candy. Her debut novel The Sowing Season released last year, and her second book, A Flicker of Light, releases this October. Learn more at www.katiepowner.com.