The writer was drowning in syllables, metaphors, apostrophes, commas and phrases. Arms swung crazily. Legs splashed faster and faster as she fought to stay afloat. Mountainous waves of words just kept rising up and dumping on her. This was desperate stuff.
What had caused this frightening tsunami of overwhelming paragraphs, unedited sentences and putrid punctuation to surge with such ferocity? It must have been an earthquake that moved her out of her writer contentment and control. The one time mistress of the household and writing schedules now struggled to stay afloat.
The picture of author bliss had been shattered. The daily order usually managed by detailed list making began to fall apart. She had already checked blogs she followed, shared on those important social media sites where she just had to let readers know about her published books. Next were dozens of emails, some still unread from the previous busy day. Only half way through them –and wham! An urgent one. A very important workshop she was presenting at a conference had problems. It needed an answer immediately before getting back to creating her characters and their story.
The filing cabinet drawer refused to open smoothly to find the information needed. The phone rang. A fellow writer needed help - or just to connect with another writer at a difficult time after receiving a rejection for her latest manuscript. While at last typing her response to the urgent email, the door bell rang. A new neighbour had taken up her offer of a visit. By the time she left after tea and scones, the mistress of her world was foundering, but at last the house was quiet. The emails were dealt with, peace reigned so work started on that neglected new manuscript. The “To Do” list was now only in slight disarray, the schedule almost under control again.
Another earthquake viciously shook her world of words. This time a simple thing. A severe headache. The “To Do” list fell apart. The schedule became a millstone. House to clean, family to feed, reviews to write and another book under contract needing final editing surged over her. She struggled to swim in the ocean of despair. She forgot to save her hard work. The computer crashed. The waves pounded her brain harder. Tears flowed. Anxiety rose. Uncertainty swept over her.
Arms and legs weakened. The tide started to drag her out into deeper water. What was going to happen to all those urgent things she still had to do?
The alarm sounded.
I sprang upright. My lungs gasped for the morning air. Only a dream -a nightmare.
Or was it?
Could it have been a portent of an impending floodtide in my writing and family life?
Was my heart telling me something about priorities and the authority to say “no?”
Am I my own worst enemy when it comes to fulfilling my God given calling?
Does my enjoyment in doing so many “important” things rob me of achieving the very best I can in fewer things God wants me to be involved with?
I have to ask myself, “Am I riding the waves of my life or being drowned in a tsunami of ‘busyness’ over my soul?”
I need to make a new list. At the very top has to be, “Spend more time alone in the scriptures and prayer to let God make the list, show me His priorities and strengthen me to do His will. That will most likely mean putting a line through even things loveable, likeable as well as lousy activities which create a tsunami capable of swallowing the time I have to fulfil His gift of my Minister of Writing.
“O Lord Save me! Deliver me from those out of control activities that take me from doing what You have planned for me.
Help me to master them through priority and wisdom, authority and grace.
I want to be the best I can be in the ‘ocean’ of life you have given me to swim in.
Let me honour you in that which I am and what I do, whether it is much or little in the eyes of others.”
P.S. “Thanks for the dream, Lord!”
Mary Hawkins is a best-selling inspirational romance author who for many years has enjoyed being a minister’s wife in
Australia, two years in England and on three short term mission teams to Africa. Her first novel was released in 1993 by Barbour Publishing in their Heartsong Presents imprint. She is delighted that all her Barbour Publishing backlist are available again as e-books through their Truly Yours Digital Editions. And yes, she is still working on other manuscripts - as time permits.
SO, HOW ARE YOU SWIMMING AND SURFING THE WAVES OF LIFE TODAY. DO SHARE IT WITH US ON A COMMENT.