Sunday, August 04, 2013

When it Gets Hard


In a recent post on her blog, Karen Hancock, author of The Guardian King Series, The Arena and The Enclave, commented on the struggle she’s having as she works on her next book:

 “ ... and this kind of thing, the ideas, the modification, the sudden realization of inconsistencies, the  major readjustments, the refinement – or the dumping as unworkable and starting over... it’s all part of the hard work of building a world for a novel. So… nothing’s wrong here. It’s part of the process and the process is long, hard, confusing, frustrating, exciting, gratifying, rewarding, never easy. Nor simple. Nor fast. It’s been like this before. Many times. I’d forgotten that. Forgotten that I just have to keep plugging along, and be patient, It will come, in time.”

Anyone who has worked hard and long on writing a novel can relate to those words. They are true for all of us and I appreciated the reminder that struggle doesn’t mean something is wrong or broken or out of sync with the writer or the work. It’s just the reality that the process isn’t easy.

And such is life, even a life lived in and through and with Christ. It’s just not easy because we live in a world ruled by forces that are continually at work to cause chaos and disease and pain. We’re in the midst of it, trying to cope with our own particular segment of it, trying to bring sense to it, both for our own peace of mind and that of others. That’s the challenge for writers of faith. Madeleine L’Engle has said, “The discipline of creation, be it to paint, compose, write, is an effort toward wholeness.” Notice the word effort – that implies struggle, the need for perseverance.

There are days when it can seem too hard, when the fatigue and frustration make us just want to lie down and give up. That’s the selfish streak in us, the streak that wants all the struggle to go away and life to be always sweet and full of sunshine. But Christ calls us to a different attitude. One that urges us to keep going, to do the work He has laid out for us. We are assured that there is purpose in all of this process, purpose that affects not only us, but those around us and those who will read our words. And, because of Christ, there is even joy in it all.

So when it gets hard, know that it’s normal. Know you’re not alone. We’re all with you. And so is the One who has given you this work to do. Be encouraged by David’s words to Solomon – “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, My God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until the all the work .... is finished” (1Chronicles 28:20).
****

Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada where she is a pastor's wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone and also has two devotional books in print. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan. Marcia's second novel, A Tumbled Stone was recently short listed in the contemporary fiction category of The Word Awards

Abundant Rain, an ebook devotional for writers can be downloaded here. Visit Marcia's website

6 comments:

Nicole said...

Thank you, Marcia. It's true.

pat jeanne davis said...

Thank you, Marcia, for your reassuring post.

Natalie Monk said...

Working on my first novel and I was starting to think I was the only one struggling in rewrites asking, "Will it EVER be done?" This post is wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing.

Diann Shaddox said...

Thank you Marcia, this hit home today. I'm working on, not one but three new books. My first book was published in March and I feel like I should've had another book ready to be publish. The world is moving way to fast and I need to slow myself down and let the world move on. Again thank you.

faerietaleforest said...

Wow, what an awesome attitude to have toward writing! Thanks for the inspirational words! I'm going to check out that writer's devotional, too :)

Cathy Gohlke said...

Thank you, Marcia. Each time I encounter your devotions and posts I am blessed. The Lord has surely given you a heart to encourage others, and I'm so thankful. May God bless your writing today and give you refreshment!