Thursday, November 2, 2017

Behind the Scenes by Janice L. Dick

Before I became a writer, I thought real writers sat in their ergonomic chairs and wrote every day on their top-of-the-line computers in their creatively designed offices. Then I joined a group of professional Christian writers and found out that life interrupts even the most dedicated. None of us lives outside the interruptions of illness, family dysfunction, financial stress, and so many other things that are common to those of us who live on this planet.

Everyone finds trials difficult. Our responses show what we’re made of. They reveal what’s most important to us.

For example, one writer I know wrote a young adult novel—about a teenage girl whose mother was dying of cancer—while sitting in the hospital with her husband who was dying of the same disease.

Another writer spent his time in the emergency room trying to imprint on his brain what he was going through so he could use it in his writing.

Many writers use personal crises as fodder for their stories.

I’m facing my own personal test right now. My mom, who came to live with us seven months ago, suffered a heart attack recently and has been fading ever since. As I write these words, I’m sitting beside her bed in the Palliative Care room of our local hospital. My routine has been completely derailed. My brain is mush. I almost missed this deadline. I know I could have asked someone else to step into this spot for me, but I thought there might be something I could share that would encourage you either as a reader or as a writer.

During this challenging time, I have kept up the bare minimum of blogging for my website, because I made a commitment to myself and to my readers to do so. Other than that, I am taking a sabbatical from my writing to care for Mom.

Writers are real people who face daily challenges like everyone else. We differ in personality, commitment, values, energy level. We must all respond as we can in the situations that come our way, and I do not judge anyone for the decisions they make. I didn’t expect to be sitting in the hospital with a loved one. I certainly didn’t think I had the strength or cared enough to write this blog at this time.

We often don’t know ourselves until we are faced with the test. The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Our God is a great God and He gives grace as we need it.

Has your life been interrupted?


  1. Thanks for sharing this, Janice. It ties in with the post I have to write for tomorrow because - like you - time ran away with me, and I haven't done the devotional post yet. In my case, it's not illness but just time. How can it be the weekend again? It was the weekend yesterday! Wasn't it? Wishing you strength from the Lord as you sit with your mom.

    1. I know, Shirley. Time flies. Thanks for your support.

  2. So sorry to hear about your mother, Janice. I used to think the same things. That writers somehow lived charmed lives. :-) Then I realized the reality that life still goes on around you. Sometimes finding that emotional energy is so hard. Sometimes it just has to be put aside for the moment. Right now we are traveling in the US while our family goes through some major changes (good changes, but still a challenge) Writing is there, but it's hard. Praying for you and your family right now!

    1. Thanks for your prayers, Lisa. And I hope you enjoy your travels.