by Jan Powell
(Proverbs 24:16a, NIV).
I love editing, but sometimes lose my affection for a project in the battle of the fifth and sixth revisions. Particularly if the manuscript has lingered in my computer and mind for a looooong time. Perhaps you can relate.
Satan has perfected the discouraging voice in my head that says, Give up. Nobody will like this story. You don’t even like this story anymore. Trash it. Whoever deluded you into thinking you could write? And so on. You might have heard similar devilish litanies that crush whatever inspiration you’ve struggled to keep alight.
Understanding why I fall into discouragement helps when I’m trying to retrieve the glow of ideas and escape the dark potholes of self-doubt. Various pits can halt our progress: health challenges, unexpected deaths of loved ones, financial troubles, publishing rejections, and relationship fractures. These legitimate reasons for delays cling like burrs on fuzzy socks and their irritation enhances the desire to quit. When in a writing pothole, acknowledging the source of derailment offers the first leverage point to move forward.
Like other writers, friends and family have supported my rise again and again. When we choose who we hear, we determine to rise again.
We silence Satan by hearing God. “My beloved child, I will give you ideas and help you polish your words. Nothing is impossible for me.” That’s the voice to heed.
I find the best way to tune out the devil’s voice is to tune into the Bible, which can brush away the dust of despair and help us return to the keyboard. Proverbs 24:16 lifts me. Like extra wicks in the candle of inspiration, the words “rises again” can provide that little blaze of much-needed hope.
We can always rely on the Lord to help us pursue his creative plan for us. So, we acknowledge our falls. We choose to rise and start again, and we trust God to help us fulfill our calling.
Word of all creation, help me rise again when I fall and write the words you want me to write. Amen.
Jan Powell, a graduate of the University of South Florida has two small businesses. As a writer she has worked with thirty people on forty book projects through Writing with You. Jan edits, coaches, and ghost writes for fiction and non-fiction. She has been published in The Wordsmith Journal, Splickety, and regularly contributes to Inkspirations.