I am the type of person that wants to know what’s coming. I want to be able to plan everything ahead of time. I have been learning that this is often a characteristic of the way I deal with fresh revelation from God: He teaches me something but I immediately want to know everything to do with that and how it will pan out in my life over the coming months and years.
But often God deals with me gently by reminding me that this life is a journey – I may have just realised something new but that doesn’t mean I have it all wrapped up. He longs for me to explore, to delve deeper and just enjoy the whole experience of learning rather than having to be an instant expert.
I often have a similar experience with my writing. I have a sense of trepidation when I start tackling the planning stages of a new book or Bible study notes. I can procrastinate for a little while but then, when an idea starts to form, I can feel frustration that I don’t know how the whole concept will look like once finished.
I may get a bit of inspiration about particular chapters or days’ readings, but feel lost and impatient that there seems to be a gap in part of the overall writing scheme. I feel like I must be in control of it all, must have a plan, otherwise it won’t work.
Do you ever feel that way?
Perhaps God wants us to go on a journey with our writing processes too. We take the reader on a journey through our writing; surely it makes sense that we need to embark on one ourselves first too?
Yes it can be difficult to slow down and allow ourselves the space to do this. We may be writing to a deadline, fitting writing around other work or be very conscious of the fact that we are only paid for each piece of writing we finish and submit.
Perhaps there is something more to all of this. Perhaps being a writer is supposed to open me up to much more than meeting deadlines and producing words. Perhaps I am supposed to open up and grow throughout the process.
So I am just starting to learn to enjoy the moments of inspiration, and not focus on the frustrating times when I don’t feel like I know where things are headed.
I am learning to ask questions too, both for my own life and my writing, such as: God what is the one specific thing you are wanting to say to me right now? What is it that you want me to share with others?
Claire is a freelance writer and editor, mum to two gorgeous young children, pastor’s wife, worship leader and school governor. Claire’s desire is to help others draw closer to God through her writing, which focuses on marriage, parenting, worship, discipleship, issues facing women today etc. Her books include Taking your Spiritual Pulse, CWR’s Insight Guide: Managing Conflict and BRF Foundations21 study guides on Prayer and Jesus. She also writes a regular column for Christian Today. To find out more about her, please visit www.clairemusters.com and @CMusters on Twitter.