This week’s COMPEL Blog post was written by Encouragement for Today writer Laura Bailey.
“Writing is so much more than putting words on a page. I was so naive, having absolutely no idea about the amount of work to get a piece published,” I lamented one day to a friend. “Between reading the Bible, studying, outlining, pre-writing, editing, uploading to the blog, creating a graphic, and keeping up with social media, how does one find time to do it all?”
Perhaps you’ve asked the same questions.
In today’s digital age, writing is evermore a time-consuming production. Unless we P.A.C.E. ourselves, we will crash and burn trying “to do it all,” especially if we want “to do it all” really well.
Prioritize God’s Word
When we meet with God everyday to pray and meditate on His Word, we fill our spiritual tanks with knowledge and wisdom from above. Hearts and minds immersed in Truth are far better attuned to God’s leading whenever we sit down to “put pen to paper.”
Acknowledge Your Season of Life
Writing well takes time, so set realistic goals for this pursuit; trying to publish a book while rocking babies or starting a new career is probably not the best time for this venture. Acknowledge responsibilities associated with the season of life you are in presently. Ignoring them will ultimately lead to discouragement, even a sense of failure, especially if you compare your writing productivity with that of others. Fight the urge to set unreasonable goals. Instead, focus on what you’re able to accomplish within the time constraints of your daily schedule. Maybe, for now, that looks like managing one blog post a quarter or quick microblogging or simply jotting thoughts in your journal before bedtime. Your writing journey is unique. Examine your current responsibilities and set priorities.Then develop a writing plan that best suits your season of life.
How many times have you sat down to write and suddenly remembered that you needed to pay a bill or felt thirsty for a large glass of water? Or—DING—a message. So, forty minutes later, while googling how to make guacamole, you realize that you only have twenty minutes left to write. Guilty. It’s essential to use the gift of spare time effectively. Set up a distraction-free work zone. I recommend blocking off time (like you would for “quiet time” or exercise) to write. Before turning on my computer, I turn off my phone, go to the bathroom, grab my coffee, notebook and Bible. If I absolutely must use the internet, I close the screen after completing my research because the temptation to surf is just too great!
Excel at One Thing
Blogging, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and YouTube. With so many platforms to promote writing these days, which one do you choose? Confession: last year, I was so overwhelmed by trying to engage and keep up on all of these platforms that I almost gave up writing altogether. Realistically, unless you have a writing team, there is not enough time in the day to grow numerous platforms like writers today are expected to do.
That said, how are the majority of us who don’t have a writing team going to land our work into the hands of readers? Answer: select one platform and focus our efforts on making that great. Before choosing a social media outlet to launch your writing, ask yourself the following: Who and where is my audience? What type of media are they consuming? Can I consistently engage them by using this platform?
As in times past, the digital age also requires more than talent from a writer; it requires commitment. Much time and effort goes into publishing and promoting one’s work. Nevertheless, be encouraged by great writers who did not always have the latest technology at their fingertips. Like them, inspired ideas, fresh paper and a good writing utensil will serve us well.
About Laura Bailey
Laura Bailey is deeply burdened for Christian women who, like herself, juggle marriage, motherhood, careers, church and community. Laura candidly shares her daily struggles and lessons learned to encourage others to live fully and abundantly in Christ. Trading in her power pumps and successful career in sales for yoga pants and her role as a full-time mom, Laura is learning to embrace small-town, rural life on 25 acres that she never envisioned for herself. She and her husband live in Gaffney, South Carolina with their three young girls. At any given time, you can find her sipping strong, black coffee, frying homegrown okra, or playing with Barbies.
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