Thursday, June 29, 2017

To Write, or Not to Write: Is That a Legit Question? ~ by Patricia Beal

Do you ever wonder if you should still be writing? Do you wonder if you should be writing right now?

I do. Both.

Being a big fan of Allen Arnold's The Story of With, I've already discovered that, for me, writing is a way of being one with God. So I never entertain the idea of quitting forever very seriously.

But with the debut now almost two months old, two kids in elementary school (one autistic), a full-time job the family depends on right now, and enough fiery darts to overwhelm my shield and shake my faith, the thought of putting the writing on the back burner until the empty-nest years seemed good and right.

I was already picturing life in 2027: I could have a ten-year anniversary edition/re-launch of A Season to Dance to get my name out there again and then sell/release The Song of the Desert Willow. I wouldn't miss time with the kids as they grow and wouldn't have to hear them say, "You're writingagain?!" I wouldn't miss time with my husband, wouldn't feel guilty about below average housekeeping efforts, would sleep more, and stress less. Be more, do less. Isn't that the goal?

Perfect solution, right?

The problem is, it's not working. I'm around everyone and available more, but I'm not very fun to be with. Could it be that not writing is killing me?

This Paulo Coelho quote comes to mind:

Now what? Do I have to write and send my agent the next proposal to be emotionally healthy? Really? It's not an approval thing. I'm out of that desert.

If I do have to write, how do I make it work again? It needs to be fun, not drive the family crazy, and fit in the schedule.

I spend a lot of time on social media. I love it, and it moves books. Could I trust God with sales and scale back? I know I should, but it's so hard! Do you stay away from social media? How? I know about scheduling things. I do that. But I like to show up and interact. 

Showing up is sucking too much time out of my day though... The Story of With covers that too. Can't let being social online consume our days.

Easier said than done :/

Do you see something I'm not seeing? Where are you with time management, dreams, kids, and choices?

I'm wide open to thoughts and ideas. The struggle is real!


Patricia Beal writes contemporary Christian fiction and is represented by Leslie Stobbe of the Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency. Her debut novel, A Season to Dance, is out now (Bling! / Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas 2017). Order here!

She’s a 2015 Genesis semi-finalist and First Impressions finalist. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Cincinnati in 1998 with a B.A. in English Literature and then worked as a public affairs officer for the U.S. Army for seven years. Now, after a 10-year break in service, she is an Army editor. She and her husband live in El Paso, Texas, with their two children.


  1. Great post, Patricia. You express what many of us constantly reflect upon.

    We can get too caught up in the publishing maze and frankly, social media often stimulates our desires to be going harder at the next book, the next bunch of followers, the next bunch of reviews ... and hustling as Emilie H outlined on FB the other day.

    But as Allen's book so readily reminds us is like all things in life it's the journey that matters to the Lord. It's the "doing it" together that He wants. And this may for a season involve little writing but more time helping your daughter with her ballet (Because I understand her mum is fabulous at it) or whatever. But "writers write" as that old saying goes.

    But that may be 200 words a day, 2000 words a day, or 2 paragraphs ... so long as the doing it hand in hand with the Lord.

    My ramblings probably don't make much sense but kept your heart tender towards the Lord and turn up when you can to the blank screen and see what magic happens when you're writing together.

    Funny, my post next week will be along similar lines, well, kinda...

    Bless ...

    1. Well said... I will keep an eye out for your post :) I'm right now at one page a day with The Song of the Desert Willow edits and enjoying it. There are two more stories in my head (to follow The Song in a series) + one brand new story, also in my head. They will be on paper one day, but for now they are there, simmering. I can't focus on fiction reading, so I'm now an audiobook monster. I'm loving it. I'm "reading" more than ever. It's working beautifully. And I am doing two studies that are helping a great deal - one on Psalm 90 and one on Psalm 73. Growing pains. But growing. Curious to see what happens next :)

    2. Bravo, Patricia. Love that.