Sunday, November 20, 2011

Overcoming the Writing Overwhelm

Life does have a way of happening. As much as I make the effort to control the things around me the truth is, I’m not in control at all. Publishers and professionals tell me, “You must blog. Facebook is an asset to your writing career. And oh, chirp, warble…uh no, it’s tweet, tweet, TWEET .”

When I gazed across my to-do list and see its length, my stomach churned. Worse yet, none of the work is my personal writing. It’s writing for others, reading submissions and editing. In the back of my head my own novel flailed, bobbing up and down through the river of “stuff” that called my hand of attention. My work was floating but I am personally drowning.

How do we manage to write when we’re overwhelmed? It begins when we re-examine the reason we write. The reason we write is from a love, a passion that burns deep inside us—that gift God has placed within us to nurture and develop so He is able to use our talent. When we allow the world to overwhelm us with earthly junk, God won’t work through us. We shove God to the bottom of the slush pile when it’s His calling that has ignited the desire to write.

I sat in front of my computer screen in a fog. Tweets popped up in the corner of the screen and instant messages lined the bottom. Who do I answer first? I slowly inched the cursor over the x and closed out Tweetdeck. One by one, I closed the instant messages and marked myself…off-line in Gmail. My heart knew I needed quiet.

I turned my Bible Isaiah and his words of encouragement…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Just reading these words gave me a renewed strength.

Mental and physical overload is a worldly thing that sends me into a frenzy where the unimportant cloud the words God speaks to me to write.

It seems cliché to say “Pray,” but God wants us to bring every need, every thought to Him. When we offer up our plate filled with “things,” it’s His pleasure to scrap it clean.

Fighting overload begins at the feet of Christ—here we release the unnecessary and regain the necessary.
The work is too much to handle alone. Be quiet. Lift your weariness to the one who can manage it. Give the work to God. Renew your strength. Then, will you find the strength to fight the overwhelming junk of the world.

I get it God, I thought. So I slammed my Bible closed and grinned as a Twitter feather floated to the floor.

You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. Exodus 18:18