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Flowing with the Ebb

There is a part of writing that sits in my hands and a part that doesn’t. This tends to bug me. I prefer to twine my fingers around everything I can possibly reach. Give me all the strings, let me pull them as I see fit, and all is well. If things are moving slow–or not moving at all–my tendency is to dig in and force something to happen.

And my do I have experience with forcing. When the obstacles come, I vow to slam every single one flat. I will conquer! (she said in battle-cry tone). But here’s the thing, I’m starting to think this isn’t necessarily the right response every single time. That verse about seasons comes to mind… a time to tear down, a time to build up, one for weeping versus laughing… But I thought every season still involved some sort of action.

A few days ago I asked God to help me with the next right step in my writing career. Start outlining a new project? Edit the existing project? Please, God, give me some direction, and I will gladly zoom in with gusto. Huzzah! This forward motion feels good to me, even cathartic. But I sensed a nudge to wait.

That’s right, the next right step for me is to wait. Which felt so much like a non-answer. Let’s move, let’s go! I shouldn’t be completely shocked  by this guidance. He’s led me to wait before, and good, good things happened because of that season of rest. Things that couldn’t have possibly happened without the wait. But… did I mention how much I like to move? Because I really, really do.

So that’s where I’m at. I’m reading. I’m free writing. I’m waiting. And wondering. What do you do when you’re taking a rest from your craft? What has come from such breathers?

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10 thoughts on “Flowing with the Ebb

  1. Loved this. Free writing, in my little experience, has produced better results than when I force myself to get the job done. When I worked for a newspaper, I had a two week turnaround time to interview, research, and complete a project. Since I struggle with dyslexia–a fact I hate admitting–I found when I relaxed and just wrote the words flowed freely. Waiting is a good thing. I pray God continues to give you guidance…because I enjoy reading your style of writing. Hope this made sense. I typed while four little ones ran around asking questions. Lord, help me.

    • sammiebennett on said:

      Thank you so much, Ms. Dabney! This was a huge encouragement to me, and I so appreciate your honesty. I love that you are a fellow free writer. I’m new to that whole thing and am oh-so enjoying it.

  2. Thx for your honesty, Sammie! Although I have not written a manuscript yet, or another big project as you have, God is teaching me a lot though the free writing and trusting Him to go through the “process”. The process of learning how to make writing part of my life, before a career focus. What a mental shift it has been! I know He is doing something awesome with this waiting period in your life. I just know it!

    • sammiebennett on said:

      I love how you take it back to “process.” I don’t know why I have such a block against process versus results. I tend to be results-driven, and I love how God’s teaching you to really lean in to the process. I’d like to do that too. Love you, writer friend.

  3. Heather Ostalkiewicz on said:

    “Give me all the strings, let me pull them as I see fit, and all is well. If things are moving slow–or not moving at all–my tendency is to dig in and force something to happen.” Thank you for writing this. It is such a great encouragement to read honesty and then hope from a fellow artist and God-lover:)

  4. I’m so with you there. I have so many projects looming I’m not sure what to do next. I know what I WANT to do, but I know I need to make sure it’s what I’m SUPPOSED to do! There just aren’t enough hours in the day. Waiting is hard. Very hard.

    • sammiebennett on said:

      “Waiting is hard. Very hard.” Agreed! I sometimes wonder, “What’s the point?” So yes, waiting is very hard for me. Thanks for visiting, Ms. Jan!

  5. This makes me think of the words from an old hymn I know; “God holds the key to all unknown, and I am glad! If other hands should hold the key, or if He trusted it to me, I might be sad” …. every once in a while, we do need a reminder to take a breather and remember Who it is that’s in charge. 🙂
    p.s: waiting is NOT my strong forte either… but its a lesson that’s gotta be learned. just so happens the lesson time is now. 🙂

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