Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Today Ray and I went with our adult children here for Christmas holidays from the Australian mainland to see the movie, Tin-Tin. It was a most enjoyable family film. Our children began reading Tin-Tin when they were quite young and have a number of those comics still on their shelves. In a couple of scenes the comment was made, “when you come to a wall, you’ve got to break through it!”

For this writer, those words accompanied me home in the car. Having this blog to write made the statement even more relevant. Why? Because over the last couple of weeks a number of invisible yet very real walls have appeared across my pathway to writing my next book! Breaking through them has required more than one type of “hammer.”

There has been the Wall of Sickness and now whooping cough which has infected our grand-children. We have six youngsters under ten years. The youngest is 10 weeks. By the grace of God and wise management by parents she has so far escaped its ravages. Prayer is sustaining the family as sleep has been in short supply. Christmas Day this year was certainly “different.” We did join them all in the open air for far too brief a time to give and receive gifts but no hugs, no kisses! I am a “hugger” so that was particularly difficult!

Over the years, the Wall of Distraction has often come to taunt me day in and day out. Before long my writing schedule is derailed and I become frustrated, even despondent. Fortunately I have a wonderful husband who prods me along. So many times he not only helps with tasks that should be my responsibility, but picks up the “axe” of priorities and helps me break through. I have to remember to let some things in the house and garden remain untidy, to delegate some responsibilities and try harder to ignore others. Having dealt with those levels of self-discipline, I still have to put seat on this chair, read back over some of what I’ve already written until I’ve crept back into the heads and hearts of the characters in my latest story.

At last! Fingers poise for a moment over the keyboard. A deep breathe, and off they go trying to keep up with those characters’ fears and problems, tears and triumphs. I am writing again at last!

None of this is easy. My having a perfectionist nature makes that very evident and something about myself I’ve had to come to grips with many times over the years. God sure knew how much I needed the help of a sympathetic “close enough is wonderful” husband to get me back on track to crash through that “Wall”.

Unfortunately, as in that Tin Tin story today, there are too many times series of Walls to break through when actually working on a manuscript.

Sometimes plots and characters just won’t “behave” as I thought they would or should in certain situations. This is the Wall of Disappointment when things don’t work out in the story. The encouragement of fellow writers through face to face contact at meetings, conferences, reading other writer’s blogs, tips on many aspects of writing help tear the walls down plank by plank or even brick by brick.

The Wall of Aging becomes an excuse as I find it takes more and more time to assemble fresh and stimulating words and plots. I can’t do much about the years but accepting a slower work rate allows for escape holes to appear in the barrier between me and my final edit.

There are all kinds of Walls of course that can slow or even stall the writing process. But my final one I’d like to mention here is the Wall of Criticism, especially from family and close friends. This is a hurtful barrier which I can only really conquer with the sense of conviction I’m doing what is pleasing to the Lord. I may not be a “World Winner”, but God will use what I’ve framed and had accepted by editors and publishers to be a blessing to someone somewhere.

Essentially, this is the best “Wall Breaker” I know. Nothing you do for the Lord, with the Lord and according to the Lord’s purposes will ever be contained by the “Walls” of the world, the Flesh or the Darkness. In fact, when all is said and done it has only been because HE is the one who has been my strength to break through the walls that would stop me writing – and being – what HE wants me to do and be.

What about your world – whether it is also that of the writer or some other tasks?
What kind of Walls do you discover may block the road you know you should be faithfully travelling on?

Ray and Mary with 2011
CALEB Award certificates.
 Mary Hawkins is a best-selling inspirational romance author. A Queensland farmer’s daughter, she became a registered nurse before going to Bible College. She and her minister husband have three adult children and five grandchildren, enjoyed over 46 years of ministry including church planting in Australia, two years in England, three short term mission trips to Africa and now live in Tasmania, Australia's island state. Her 19th title, Justice at Baragula was released May, 2011
Read more about her books, her husband Ray and his devotional books on their blog from the website: http://www.mary-hawkins.com/


  1. Great post, Marcia. I think I'll use your "walls" in my New Year's reflections this year.

  2. Those look like huge walls, Mary, and some many of us share. I think identifying them is a huge step in finding the motivation and determination to keep on writing. In fact, they make they books we all keep coming up with seem even more precious when we reflect on the walls we must scale in the writing of them. They don't come easy but are the products of inspiration, determination and divine anointing.

  3. Thank you, Alice and trust your reflections go well.
    Paula, you wrote that comment so well and have to confess had not thought of our books as being even more precious. Wonderful thought!

  4. I can relate to those walls. My biggest wall is time-management. I work part-time and when I get home it is hard to take the time to write. I am a morning person when it comes to inspiration. So, on work days I have so many things to do when I come home that take away from writing. Frankly, after work as the evening wears on fatigue takes over. On my days off my time can be robbed by so many things. I feel I have had a good writing day if I can get through a morning without interruption. Like all of us we have life responsibilities that have to be addressed. I find setting a realistic schedule(I am a list maker-mine resembles Superwoman)to balance what has to get done both in writing and life and leave the rest for another day.

  5. I so agree about time management! Also being a list maker I so agree with your post. Thank you so much for sharing jubileewriter!
    Certainly now our children are adults and I am no longer doing that nursing work you would think I could manage time better. Perhaps in some ways, yes, but now there are other responsibilitites that make the balancing act even harder most days. Self-discipline and the ability to be tough enough at times to say "NO!" is my biggest problem. And so I've discovered that if we are writers we just have to grasp hold of every opportunity to simply WRITE. Easy to write that but at times so very hard to do. But one thing I have learnt is that even when I'm weary, suffering interruptions etc and the thoughts won't come as I want them to I still have to write because, as others have said, I know I can later edit it but I "can't edit a blank page."

  6. I guess that many of us slam into those walls, Mary. My post on Thursday has similar ideas. The absolute frustration of managing time!!!I actually have no trouble getting my derriere onto my seat, it's what I DO when I'm there.

    I believe only the Lord can enable us to break through.

  7. I can relate to your walls and especially the first one this year, though others have reared their heads as well as I tried to write a particualr project.In the end it had to be put aside. But hopefully 2012 will be a better year and it might just get finished. Thanks for sharing your walls, Mary.

  8. Dale, you reminded me that everything GOD wants us to do still has to be accomplished in HIS timing. Perhaps there are times we have to wait for the right time to smash through the wall - in HIS strength of course.

  9. Mary, sorry it has taken me so long to get here - I was with my family over Christmas and for once left the wall of the internet behind me!
    I struggle with many of the same walls, but I find sometimes just turning around and pretending they aren't there helps. Not so easy with the wall of sickness, I admit...
    I hope all the little ones are better by now - then you can have your hugs back!
    cheers, Imelda