by Jan Powell
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24, NIV)
I’ve learned that any day can offer a fresh start, a time to release the past, and embrace the future. I can reboot, not once in a while, but over and over. Following seasons of celebration, health issues, or personal distractions, I can refocus. I take a symbolic deep breath, reexamine my goals, and adjust my routines.
We can find great benefit in evaluating our current patterns. This proves even more important for us as writers since we work for ourselves. Without the external discipline of a boss and office routine, bad habits slip into our routines all too easily. We can get discouraged and avoid writing meetings because we have nothing to critique. This practice diminishes our focus on the call to write and urges us to quit. In this battle, we can fight back by embracing the Savior’s call to start anew.
The Lord invites us to start over as part of our identity in Christ. Daily images of refreshing can remind us of his renewal—a shower and a change of clothes, our favorite breakfast, a call of encouragement, or a clear morning with sunshine and a breeze. Picture a fresh start.
What writing routines need renewal? Holidays and unexpected events turn schedules upside down. To reverse writing inertia, we can rely on scripture and pray. Spiritual reconnection energizes and inspires us for computer time. We then face the important step of tapping the keyboard in obedience. Inspiration may follow our key strokes, rather than igniting them.
Agent and author Cyle Young challenges us to start each day right and “eat a frog.” After that, nothing is difficult. As writers, we can tackle our biggest challenge first. Getting the least desirable task out of the way smooths the circuits in our hearts and minds so we can write with passion.
How will we tackle our most difficult tasks? We’ll do the hard things now, not later. We’re called to “put off our old way of life and put on the righteousness of Christ.” By analogy, we can put off bad writing habits and put on new ones.
Every time we start a day, a week, a new project, or a rewrite, we do so in the robes of righteousness from Jesus. Let his energy and focus fill our creativity and as we go forth and write.
Dear Lord of words, give us discipline and desire to pursue new starts with you. Amen.