When the Going Gets Tough

For the past week, working on my novel has brought a sensation similar to extensive dental work. My 500 word goal, once easy to surpass, has become difficult to come close to.

I stayed up late the other night, just trying to force a few words down, but it was such a struggle. I was exhausted after a hundred words or so. And then something occurred to me that hasn’t yet in the course of writing this novel:

Why don’t I just give up?

What scared me most about the question was not that I asked it, but that it made sense.

Things have gotten hard. Life has gotten busy. My room has become a mess.

I’ve let so many things distract me, fill my time, and take my energy that I have not given myself any space to be creative.

It’s draining.

I have filled my time with good things, things that need to be done. But am I making time to do the work I was called to do?

Probably not.

For me, what does this mean? It means I need to be more intentional about how I spend my time. Working part-time from home, I will have to have set hours for work and set hours for writing, and I can’t take from one to give to the other. I will have to set aside moments for house work while still guarding those moments for creativity.

I also need to stop suppressing creative urges just because they are not convenient. For whatever reason, I have stopped carrying around my beloved notebook and I’m seeing how my creativity is suffering because of it. I am not providing a way to capture my ideas. That’s not fair to my work or my sanity.

So no, I am not giving up. I have made it this far and have too many cheerleaders willing to help me along. I can’t ignore either of those things. This novel will get written, but I need to make that a possibility.

Some re-prioritizing is in order.

What about you? When it gets hard to complete something that you’re passionate about, how do you push onward? I’d love to hear so please comment!


4 thoughts on “When the Going Gets Tough

  1. Oh I loved this. I have a post on “simplicity” coming up on MOHL, and this very thing was crossing my mind as I typed it. Where do we find a place for our creativity in the already crowded world of legitimate responsibility. I seriously don't have time for Pinterest anymore, with all the important things that take up my time and heart. And my creative and spiritual life both suffer for it. But I've found when I commit an affectionate amount of time for the latter (spiritual), there's a miraculous plenty of hours to devote to the rest. If I make time for quiet moments of intentional prayer and Bible reading, my responsibilities and creativity don't suffer! It's amazing. I'm still struggling at this. But knowing the struggle–and the cure–is half my battle here. 🙂

    P.S. Hence the crowded world of responsibility, I've missed you, friend! Your writings and social media fellowship are a blessing to me.


  2. AHHHHH!!!! It's so wonderful to hear from you once again! I've been praying for you and yours as you come to mind.
    Isn't it wild how time spent in quiet with the Lord suddenly brings priorities to order and creates space for all our callings? I love it. It's always a challenge to resist the temptation to ignore the needs of my soul because I “don't have the time.” That's where I struggle.
    God's grace is great and he blesses creativity in beautiful ways.
    I'm looking forward to reading your MOHL post. My life could always use more simplicity.


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