Christian Living Desiring God On Writing Personal , , , , , ,

Putting God First

number_1_godBecause writing is such a time consuming thing to do, I do it every spare moment I get. I have tight (self-inflicted) deadlines this year. I wasn’t going to share what I’m trying to do, but I’ve decided to just say. A book a month. That’s what 2015 is about. Whether I publish a book a month or not is another matter, but I just want to write a book a month.

Anyway, with that kind of schedule I have to push a lot of other things out of my life, but I have to be careful not to push out important things. Something that helped me is not writing on Sundays. I didn’t think this would help, but it was just an idea I had a few weeks ago. I decided that having a day to recuperate each week would be helpful. I figured I’d give it a try and see how it goes, so for a few weeks I’ve not written on Sunday. Instead I’ve spent the time that I would have spent writing praying.

You won’t believe how much this has helped me. I’m the kind of person that finds it hard to get back on track if I take a break, but I’ve been totally fine. In fact, after spending Sunday in prayer, including praying about my word count goals for the week, I’ve surpassed my goals.

I don’t want to be a spoiled Christian, so I didn’t go into it saying, ‘God if I give Sundays to You, then You have to do this or do that.’ I guess it would have been fine to do that, but I didn’t want to ask for anything in return. I don’t feel like the time I spend with Him on weekdays is really *quality* time, so I wanted to give Him Sundays out of love, out of wanting to be with Him because He’s awesome. So I went into it saying, “God I want to just spend quality time with You whether it helps or harms my word count.” I didn’t even want to care about my word count. But, guess what? I wrote a book in two weeks when I started setting Sunday aside for God.

I’m sure I will write on some Sundays in future, but I’m in the process of letting God change my plans if He wills. If I write a book a month and stray away from God because I’m not spending time with Him, that will be no good. I’d rather spend time with God and not meet my goal. As a Christian author it’s so important to me that I stay connected to God so that I please Him with my writing, and so that we’re just tight.

Life is so busy these days. When I was in my late teens and early twenties I was busy but my time was mine to spend as I pleased so I could plan my day without having anyone else to consider. I could pray, write, study, and sleep when I wanted. Now, time for morning prayers has to be balanced with the time it takes to get kids dressed and fed. Evening prayers have to be balanced with a husband that wants to tell me about his day. Writing used to come after God. Now it comes after God, the husband, and the kids.

But that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Have you ever struggled with putting God first?

On Writing Personal , ,

Passion

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life – Steve Jobs.

This morning I finished writing Unrest (Crystal 5). I managed it in two weeks and two days, although I initially gave myself a deadline of 28th February. I have literally been writing early in the morning and at every spare moment. This morning I asked myself why. Seriously, where does this drive come from? People have all kinds of passions. For some people it’s music, or art, or sports, or acting. But where does the passion come from? What compels us to do it?

Nobody has to tell me to write. I’m completely self motivated and I could do it all day, every day. My husband was talking to a friend last week lamenting about how he didn’t get any work done in the house because of our kids. His friend asked how I manage to write with the kids around, and my husband said ‘my wife can write even if there’s a hurricane tearing the house to bits.’ It made me laugh, but it wasn’t far from the truth. I’d probably hold on to my laptop and let the hurricane take the rest of my possessions.

The only explanation I can give for the overwhelming drive that motivates us and pushes us to do the things we love is that God builds it into us. I feel like writing is as much a part of me as anything else in my make up. God wires us all up for something.

When I was younger my parents tried to get me into science so that I could get a good science job ‘when I grow up’. I studied the sciences in school and did molecular biology with genetics at university, but it was a tug of war. Each day was a struggle. I got to a point where I actually became depressed. I felt like I was drifting. I hated it. To cope I would take a notebook to university with me and write stories while everyone else was taking notes about Nucleic Acids and Ribonuclease.

It wasn’t my passion. I was a square peg in a round hole. Just as you are if you’re making yourself do something you don’t want to do. Yes, we need to be responsible and sometimes we have to do things we don’t enjoy. But if all you do is things you don’t enjoy, you’re wasting your time. Like the Steve Jobs quote above says, your time is limited. Don’t waste it. Use it for what God created you to do.

God has given everyone a passion. Dig deep and explore yours. Writing novels takes time. It means I don’t have time to watch TV. I have to weigh up everything I do. I can write 1500 to 2000 words in an hour, so if I have the option of doing activity A for an hour I weigh it. Would I rather do activity A or add 2000 words to my work in progress? It might sound boring, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s what happens when your passion takes over.

God has a unique purpose for each of us. We just need to find it.

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).

P.S. Happy Valentines Day!