Month: January 2015

Why Writer’s Block Is Good

The blank page is mocking me.

The blank page is mocking me.

I haven’t written any of my novel since December. This is my third version of this blog post. It was a strain just to write my grocery list this week.

This is the most stuck I’ve been with my creative writing in ages. And I think it’s a good thing.

I got a little worn out by the end of last year. Part of it was because I hadn’t had a holiday in a while. The other part was because I put waaaaaay too much pressure on myself to write a perfect novel. So I took a break, and now I can’t get started again.

But surprisingly, as another week ends with me accomplishing nothing besides going to work and burning through half a season of Castle, God does not seem upset with me. No, He keeps telling me He loves me.

And the longer this goes on, the more I realize the only person upset with me was myself.

Though I’ve written plenty of blog posts about significance and identity in the past 15 months of running this blog, I still got sucked into the trap of associating my creative writing accomplishments with my own sense of purpose. I felt that my writing was the only thing that set me apart. And since I don’t do as much youth work volunteering as I used to, my writing was also my form of ‘volunteering’ for God. I was using my gift for His glory, right?

Well, yeah, you can write for God’s glory. But if you actually write to make yourself feel special, that’s not cool.

This bout of writer’s block has made me face that truth.

But, like I said, God doesn’t seem mad. He just keeps telling me, in a bunch of different ways, that He loves me just as I am. I don’t have to do lots of hard work to make Him happy. I can relax, be still, and be confident in my identity in Him.

So, where to with my writing?

At this point, I don’t plan to give it up. I’m slowly gathering ideas and trying to scoop up enough inspiration to get me back at the keyboard again. But, when I finally get to that point, I’ll be more aware than ever that success as a novelist or as a blogger has nothing to do with my success as a person.

What Does God Think About Fun?

 

Catching some rays at Bondi.

Catching some rays at Bondi.

Did you know that enjoying life can be part of being a good witness for God?

I sure didn’t. If anything, I thought the opposite; that enjoying yourself too much meant you weren’t spending your time and money on more worthy causes.

I was also overly aware of how things in life can go wrong. Even while having regular fun with my family or friends, I would clench up inside and think, “Remember, life won’t always be this good. I will get old, people will die, and things will get tough. Don’t get so used to the good things that you can’t handle the bad.”

Boy, I sound like a bundle of laughs, don’t I?

But I had a lightbulb moment in December as I sat with a friend, discussing whether I should go on a overseas holiday or not.

I expressed a concern that it was a lot of money just to spend on fun. He (a non-Christian) went on to tell me about a family member of his; a religious and very-obligation-driven person. He said he watched the way his family member lived and believed that her ‘religion’ sucked all the joy from her life.

I don’t want to be like that. That is not a good witness.

Since then, I’ve seen and heard little things during my day-to-day life that has reinforced this ‘revolutionary’ thought:

Joyfully embracing God’s gifts on earth brings him glory. Having fun can be part of being a good example of a God-follower. And being a grinch glorifies no-one.

So my one and44020957958040__405x720-ARGB_8888-1545801598 only New Year’s Resolution for 2015 is to live a more joyful life.

I got off to a good start, enjoying a family Christmas at the beach before I travelled to Sydney to spend New Year’s with one of my brothers and some friends. We watched the famous fireworks at Sydney Harbour, tanned on Bondi Beach and ate at Darling Harbour’s Hard Rock Cafe.

Now I’m back at work, enjoying getting back into routine. However, my new routine is going to include a lot less pressure on myself and a little more downtime.

As part of that, I have decided to blog once a fortnight instead of every week. I will still post at the regular time, but it will be every second week starting from today.

I look forward to another year full of growth as we continue our journeys with God.

 

What about you? What did you learn over the holiday period? Share below!