Friday, January 7, 2011

Musings For A New Year

Hello, Dear Friends. What does the New Year mean to you? Sweeping out the old and scooping in the new? Time to re-set goals for the next twelve months? Maybe, it's a season of re-evaluation, a time to pause and contemplate on what you value most or where you will expend your time and energy in 2011.

As a writer, all these questions have threatened to obstruct my muse since January 1. So please, bear with me in hopes that writing down these concerns will help release them.

What do I REALLY want? This should be, "What does God want me to do?" Do my desires coincide with His plan for my life? Do I trust Him enough to believe He wants only the best for me?

You've probably heard the saying, "If you want to see God laugh, make plans." Or, "The best-laid plans of mice and men..." How many times has this proven true? We plan our day/week, satisfied we have everything under control. Then, out of the blue something "throws a cog in the wheel." A family member falls sick, a friend needs your emotional support, or an unexpected emergency raises its ugly head.

My burning desire? To write and publish stories that will not only inspire the reader, but bring laughter along with emotional healing. In the midst of serious soul-searching and a disturbing lack of focus, I ask, "Where do I go from here?" Will an ongoing hermetic lifestyle make me neglect those who love and need me?

Balance is the keyword, but not easy to obtain. My "all or nothing" personality becomes absorbed in creating plots and characters--sometimes to the exclusion of everything around me. Like a woman possessed, I write on and on, fearing the muse will escape flee me if I stop to breathe.

I will strive for balance this year, but will also sail for territory yet unexplored. I have no idea where this journey will take me. But by keeping God at the helm of the ship, no matter how rough the waters, I know I will safely reach the shore.

What are your thoughts, goals, and desires for 2011? Stop and evaluate. Then ask God to guide you every step of the way.


Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Laurie,
What a good post. I agree that trusting God and getting balance is the key. Of course, if one wants to write, something has to go, or it won't happen. I guess either consciously or sub-consciously I've decided it's things, not people. My house needs a good thorough cleaning, my desk needs organizing, and I almost never shop. Cooking suffers too, even though I still come through on that one occasionally.
Happy New Year to you, and best wishes for happiness and much success with your writing in 2011.

Linda Swift said...

I enjoyed this blog, Laurie. I think we as authors have a hard time deciding how much time to live in our heads and how much time in the real world. And if we have husbands, is our division of time fair to them? I am going to strive for equal balance this year and to take my writing chores one at a time and not get frustrated and feel pressured by it all.

Danielle Thorne said...

Hi Laurie. Nice post and so true. Balance is so important to keep in our lives and one of the Adversary's tools in keeping us distracted from what really matters.

I'm so touched by your humility to think about what God wants you to do before what you want to do. That is so hard for me to do--to accept I can only try but I'm not the one in control here. Huh.

Best of luck this new year. I'm looking forward to reading some more of your work!

Anne Patrick said...

Great post, Laurie!
IMHO, as an author, in this day and age it's very hard not to be lured into writing what sells really well instead of what God is leading you to write. My hope and prayer is that I'll continue to listen to that quiet, still, voice and let Him lead the way.

Happy New Year to you, Laurie, may all your hopes and dreams come true in 2011.

Laurean Brooks said...

Hi Gail,

Like you housework suffers, and sometimes cooking. Organization flew out the window at the beginning. LOL.

One of my goals is to become more organized, in hopes other things will flow smoother.

Big mountain for a Pantster to climb.

Thank you for your sound advice. Have a blessed New Year.

Laurean Brooks said...

Thank you, Linda.

I feel better knowing I'm not in the boat alone.

You have a great plan, taking writing "chores" one at a time and not getting frustrated or pressured.

Why does the term writing "chores" bother me? I remember a time (at the beginning) when writing was a pure joy, even an obsession.

That was before I cared if I was published. Every week I wrote a nostalgic story (around 800 words) to add to my collection of family memories, and loved every minute! This bliss continued for about 24 months, then on until I completed chapter 9 of Journey To Forgiveness, another 5 months.

I think I might have hit on the problem by accident. My muse dwindled when my critique partner and I stopped meeting.

Since a critique partner is also an accountability partner, you know you MUST write in order to have something to READ to her.

Food for thought. MY goal should be to find a face-to-face critique partner to stir my muse.

Linda, you don't know how much your post has helped. Thank you!

Laurean Brooks said...

Danielle, before I wrote Journey To Forgiveness, I dedicated it to God. Not only that, but if it wasn't for Him it might still be on a shelf, half written.

It was He who gave me the words after I hit a wall. I found by asking for words and guidance BEFOREhand, the words flowed.

I've become slack in that area lately. Thank you for reminding me to include Him in the equation BEFORE I write.

Laurean Brooks said...

Anne, great point. I've thought of writing in other genres. But if I do, like you, they will be G-rated.

It seems no matter what I write, the story exudes an inspirational tone. Can't seem to get away from it.

Might be because at the beginning, I promised God I'd write only what He would approve of.

Joyce DiPastena said...

Laurie, what a wonderful post, and something I can so relate to. I don't have a lot of family obligations, since most of my family lives far away now. I do have Church obligations which can be hard to figure out how to balance when you feel the Lord wants you to do both...serve in the non-writing areas he calls you to AND serve with the writing talent he's given you. And one of my biggest challenges if my forever-seeming haunted house. It's not really haunted, of course, but it's getting quite old and something seems to be constantly breaking, and there are so few repair services where I live that it's always so terribly stressful trying to figure out how to "fix" the latest house crisis. It really takes a toll on my peace of mind, and when I can't find that peace, it makes writing extremely difficult. But I do know that prayer is a HUGE key for me. I can't tell you how many times I've sat down in despair and prayed, "Heavenly Father, if you really want me to write this book, I need your help. I need some words to come." And when I do that, the words nearly always come. I think the fact that I have to keep praying the same prayer over and over is His way of keeping me humble and reminding me Who it is I need to depend on.

Laurean Brooks said...

Joyce, those are the exact words I pray when I get stuck on writing! And God always comes through. Too bad I don't always remember to pray BEFORE I attempt writing. LOL.

Yes, I see your dilemma, especially if you are alone. So much can go wrong. Leaky faucets, water freezes in winter and could result in burst pipes. Then there's the car....

Don't know what I'd do without my hubby. Sometimes it's hard to get him to move, but he does before the situation gets too bad.

Thank you for stopping by. May God continue to bless your writing.

Miss Mae said...

Well, I certainly hope I sell more books and I hope I become more of "known".

Now, if I can only figure out a way for both to happen...

Thoughtful post, Laurie. :)

Laurean Brooks said...

Thank you, Miss Mae. I believe you will become more "known." With your incredible plots, all you need is an endorsement from someone who is already there.

Now, we know what to pray for: "Endorsements from well-knowns."

God bless you in this coming year and all those hereafter.

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Wonderful post Laurie! Taking time to refresh yourself spiritually is a good thing too.

Diane Craver said...

Hi Laurie,
You have a lovely blog. I enjoyed your post. I loved what you said about balance and doing what God wants you to do.

I've made goals or resolutions for this year. I feel positive about them so we'll see what happens. :)

Laurean Brooks said...

Pam, I'm sorry to be so late replying.

Regarding taking time to refresh, I find myself unable to focus if I neglect my quiet time with God in the morning. Makes a big difference in how my writing, and my day goes.

Thank you for your stopping by.

Laurean Brooks said...

Diane, I apologize to you, too. Haven't checked the blog in a couple weeks. Bad Girl, me! LOL.

Balance is the key, but hard to obtain. I will try to keep myself in check this year. I tend to over-stress when on a deadline.

But, seriously, taking time to be still before the Lord in the morning, and reading a praise Psalm, really helps me focus. He speaks to me through His written word.

A good author friend decorated my blog. I lack the technical know-how. What would I do without sweet friends?

Thank you for your wonderful support and friendship.