January 15, 2014

Do The Hard Work

I was putting off writing the other day, procrastinating something fierce. I don't know why it's so hard for me to get started sometimes, to find the words to put to paper, so to speak. I enjoy writing and by nature, am quite expressive. Typically, words come easily for me. But my goodness, sometimes putting my thoughts to the page just feels like WORK.

I sit down at my kitchen table or in my little writing corner and instead of writing, I catch myself checking Facebook, perusing my Instagram feed, and browsing through various blogs. I read a few articles on the craft of writing and make a mental note of all the tips I find that pertain to blogging and publishing and social networking and building platforms and so forth, while all the while, I'm putting off the very thing I'm reading about, the thing I need to be doing, and that is WRITING.

I've been praying and asking Jesus about this and what I'm hearing, what I'm learning, is this… 

I have to be willing to do the hard work. 

photo credit: 7mileredio.com

There's something about the craft of writing that makes it seem completely effortless, like somehow the words just magically put themselves on the page. I read other authors and bloggers and their words and sentences seem to flow so freely and beautifully that it leaves me wondering how they do it. But I know better than to believe it's a piece of cake for anyone, especially for those who share their hearts and lives so vulnerably and with great transparency. That kind of writing is an act of love, I tell you. It's like pulling teeth or giving birth, time and again. Not necessarily the prettiest metaphors, but true just the same.

And maybe that's why I find writing so incredibly hard at times. Not only am I searching for the perfect words to express my heart, but I'm also looking for the courage to do so, the strength to share my life once again… my story and journey, the day in and day out, where I'm struggling, what I'm learning, what I'm experiencing. It's hard work and yet it's work that I'm completely drawn to and committed to with all my heart.

In the year ahead, I sense God calling me to put forth more effort, to rise up in bigger ways, yet keep my head down and do the hard work. He's inviting me to stay small, to remove distractions, and to simply trust my heart and his voice there. More is being required of me, but the more is really good. It's deepening my character, forging a new and different strength in me, and a fresh wind of freedom is breezing in through the process. The words are flowing more easily and effortlessly than ever before. Grace upon grace. I'm incredibly grateful.

So, I don't need more writing tips and better techniques. I don't need to build a strong platform, network more and increase my followers. I just need to do the work that God is calling me to, the work I love, and I need to be willing to put in the extra effort and do it well.

I find Jesus in this place. Here on these pages as I type the keys and pour out my heart in the quiet of my home. And often, when I write, I pause to cry a few tears, or laugh and pray, and simply enjoy his presence. He's in these pages and they are an offering, a gift from my heart to him.

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might."
~Ecclesiastes 9:10

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, and not for men."
~Colossians 3:23

"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at the typewriter and bleed."
~Ernest Hemingway

"Inspiration is for the amateurs-the rest of us just show up and get to work."
~Painter Chuck Close

Is God calling you as well to be willing to do the hard work this year? If so, in what areas do you sense the need to put forth more effort, to rise up in bigger ways? I would love to hear in the comments below.


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