Writing in the Midst of Chaos, Pandemics, and Life

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by Kimberley Woodhouse

The past few months have been weird. There, I said it. Of course, I don’t think any of us will soon forget COVID-19, coronavirus, stay-at-home orders, masks, church services all moving to online, or any of the other oddities that became normal parts of our everyday life during this pandemic.

And it’s not over.

To be honest, the pandemic hasn’t affected my everyday life a whole lot—other than the facts that I receive a lot more phone calls and texts than usual, the words pandemic and unprecedented seemed to be used in everything, and pretty much every conference, book tour, and speaking engagement for the year has been canceled. Like many of us, I’m a full-time author that works from home. So it was business as usual except it seemed to be twice as busy. My husband is a pastor and I help out with worship, so we still went to church on Sundays to record the livestream for everyone else. Other than teaching on Zoom constantly, I haven’t sensed a big change.

But for others, this has been a grueling, difficult, frustrating, and depressing time. Many of my close friends have struggled.

So how do you write in the middle of all this? Do you feel like your creative juices aren’t flowing? Are you stuck?

I’ll be honest with you—I don’t have the answers. Every single one of us face different circumstances and events, trials and hardships… each day.

There is no judgment here.

But I’ll share with you the biggest lesson I’ve personally needed a refresher course on during this time: My focus has to be in the right place.

It would have been easy to focus on the pandemic and all the news, numbers, and arguments.

It would have been easy to focus on the fact that our massive water-purification system malfunctioned while we were out of state and it flooded our walk-out basement.

It would have been easy to focus on all the negative words and talk on social media.

It would have been easy to focus on the fact that there was a toilet-paper shortage that shocked us all.

And I’ll admit, yes, there were times when my focus was—albeit briefly—on any of the above or any number of 100 million other crazy things.

When I had a hard time with the job at hand—writing—even when the walls and carpet around me were torn up, and life was in upheaval, a favorite passage kept coming to mind.

“…Let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1b-2 NASB)

My focus needs to be on Him. Fixed on Him. Constantly. Because when I take my eyes off of Him, I forget why I do what I do. I get caught up in the other stuff around me. I’m not running my race with endurance. In fact, I’m usually falling flat on my face.

It’s a lesson I feel I’ve had to learn over and over again. Which means I’m either really dense, or I have an amazing Father who loves me unconditionally no matter how many times I take my eyes off the finish line.

I choose to believe the latter.

If you’re struggling with writing in the midst of all… this. Whatever this may be for you, I’m going to leave you with a movie quote, “Your focus needs more focus.”

Fix it on the finish line.

Writing in the midst of chaos,

Kimberley Woodhouse

Chaos and your writing focus. @kimwoodhouse #ACFWBlogs #writetip #ACFWCommunity Click To Tweet

Carol-Award winning Kimberley Woodhouse is a CBA and ECPA best-selling and multi-award-winning author of more than twenty books which have earned her many accolades including Christian Retailing’s Top Pick and Publisher’s Weekly starred reviews. A lover of history and research, she often gets sucked into the past and then her husband has to lure her out with chocolate. Connect with Kimberley: https://kimberleywoodhouse.com





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