This post was written for an online discussion group over at Kate Motaung’s place. We are working our way through On Being a Writer by Ann Kroeker & Charity Singleton Craig. This post was prompted by the last chapter of the book:
Chapter 12: LIMIT— Because I write, I let some things go
Limited. Yes, I know this word very well. Not sure if I’m using it as an excuse or if it’s really just the reality of the season I’m in— raising both small and not-so-small children— but “limit” feels like the theme of my life ever since these adorable munchkins came into my life.
There is only so much time in a day, as we all now. And only so much emotional and mental and physical energy to expend during the limited time we all have. And for me: keeping my daredevil toddler alive and helping my big kids with homework and coaching them through their emotional, pre-teen drama, and trying to be there for my police officer husband who is constantly seeing trauma and chaos at work every day, and being a support to my friends who are going through challenging times, and taking care of all the normal life stuff (like laundry and cooking and dishes and vacuuming and yard work, etc.)… it is tiresome. And time-consuming. It is hard to find and make time to do so many of the things my soul wishes it could do— including writing.
So yes— prioritizing my time is a must.
As a matter of fact, I recently read Lysa TerKeurst’s The Best Yes and I found it to be tremendously helpful in giving me practical tools and scripturally-based truths regarding how to discern where my time and efforts can be best spent.
“Because I write, I let some things go” is the subtitle of this chapter. As a matter of fact, I just had to “let something go” this past summer. After a few years of making jewelry with/for a dear friend’s Etsy business, I finally had to say goodbye to that beautiful work.
Although it was ridiculously hard for me to finally settle down and make a decision, once I faced the fact that I simply did not have the bandwidth to be able to do everything I wanted (and even enjoyed!) doing (if I wanted to follow God’s lead deeper into this writing path I felt Him taking me on), I felt an immense level of relief and peace when I finally chose to stop working for my friend.
I was beyond max capacity. Something had to give. And that time commitment was the only thing that offered any wiggle room in my life.
It was rough, though. Because I actually really enjoyed the work and I enjoyed spending time with my friend at her home once a week. I didn’t really want to say goodbye to it.
But the fact of the matter was that writing was helping me come alive in a way I hadn’t felt in fifteen years. The more I wrote, the more I wanted to write. And the more I wanted to write, the more I planned my time around it. And the more I did that, the more I heard back from readers regarding how much my story was encouraging or inspiring them… which made me want to do it even more.
And I just didn’t have any margin of time left to be able to give any good energy towards my friend’s beautiful jewelry-making business.
It was a hard decision, but I know it was the right one— at least for this season of my life. I realize that as my kids grow and as seasons change, I may have the time or energy to dabble in some of the things that I am currently having to say no to. But for now… I and my family are enjoying benefitting from the fruit of the “best yes” decisions I have recently been making.
What about you?
In what ways have you had to limit yourself from other activities in order to dive deeper into the writing life? Do you feel a sense of guilt for this?
Please feel free to share your comments or your own journey in the comment section below.