Dear Brave, Weary Writer: Press On.
Somewhere in creation, the Author of Life set words into motion and has used them ever since as the tiniest, most unlikely of tools to regularly move entire mountains. Messengers sent to mend, bridge, inspire, redeem…to point hearts toward Him.
It’s breathtaking, really—and what a thing! That we get to be some small part such a work.
And if we’re being honest, like any calling, we can find the road difficult at times. Beautiful, absolutely worth every step, yet difficult and sometimes requiring more than we feel we have in us.
If you are looking at the terrain of this writing road, feeling tired after the mountains you’ve climbed, or discouraged at the mountain ahead, or perhaps those whispers of doubt are flocking:
Do these words matter?
Is it worth it?
Should I keep going?
Weary sojourner, rest a while. Breathe deep, turn your face toward the sun, and before you go, gather a few tools for the journey ahead: three ways to press on.
Turn from the lists, the reviews, the ratings and sales numbers that clamor for attention. They all have their place, but they aren’t the ones who have the power to equip us with strength, keep us going, breathe life into the weariest places within.
Or when the headlines in the world make you wonder if these words you’re hammering out even matter—fix your eyes on Him. Did He give you this story? Write it. You don’t know whose life it may change, offer hope to.
Press in to Him, and let Him decide what to do with those words. Be filled, refreshed, ignited—and write on.
Perhaps it’s ironic, even contradictory—how can one “press on” by pressing pause? Isn’t that the opposite? But with the ebb and flow of the writing life and schedule, there may come times when our logic tries to tell us that we have no time. We can’t afford to pause. When our minds are at beyond capacity and there isn’t a speck of whitespace in our planners and all we can think of is “If I can just get through this…”
And yes, absolutely—there are times where the “ebb and flow” is more of a waterfall of gargantuan force. But even—and perhaps especially?—in those times, a crucial part of making it through is by pressing pause.
You may not have time for a day trip, but could you carve out 10 minutes for a cup of tea in a spot of sunshine? To read a Psalm, to refuel and remember Whose story this is, and what He created you for—communion with Him.
Perhaps you’ve had to say “no” to more things than you care to in this season, but could you buck against the schedule, step out on the front porch, and send a friend a quick text or write them a card, pop it in the mail? “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones” (Proverbs 16:24). Such life to be found in such a simple gesture, even in the midst of a crazy schedule.
Your laptop may be calling, and the choke of short time ushering in anxiety—but could you stop for 5 minutes at the mailbox cluster to ask your neighbor how they’re doing? Could you kneel to look the little ones in your home in the eye, hold them close and read them a story of their own for 15 minutes? For if we can’t touch lives with the story we’re living, then what’s the use of a story we’re writing?
You no doubt have already mastered all of these things, and many more. It took some time for me to learn all of this, by His grace and patience—and I still have so much to learn.
But one thing I know: that in pressing “pause”, He equips us to be able to press on.
Maybe the project you’re working on feels bigger than you. Deeper than you expected. Too out-of-the-box or weighty or outside your comfort zones. Just too much, plain and simple.
Timid me doesn’t like to think it, but also thrills at the truth of this: this is a good thing.
We have a God who is always, always summoning us closer, deeper, farther. Asking us to step outside the comfort zone. To Press Out.
And we can only, only find the strength and wisdom for such a task by first Pressing In, and by often Pressing Pause.
In the 1300’s, these were the first uses of this verb, “Press”:
- “to clasp, embrace”
- “push against”
Let’s clasp hold of the calling, embrace the one who has called us and beckons us to pause, and push against those walls around our comfort zone.
Press in. Press pause. Press out.
… and Press on, brave writer. You are His, your words are His, and He is deeply at work.
What about you? What helps you “press on” when the going gets tough or particularly intense? I’d love to glean from your wisdom in the comments! We will choose one lucky comment to win a copy of my newest release, The Message in a Bottle Romance Collection, autographed by all 5 authors! Just leave a comment, and we’ll draw a winner. Thanks for joining us today!)
Amanda Dykes is a drinker of tea, dweller of Truth, and spinner of hope-filled tales. She spends most days chasing wonder and words with her family, who love a good blanket fort and a stack of read-alouds. Give her a rainy day, a candle to read by, an obscure corner of history to dig in, and she’ll be happy for hours. She is the author of the critically acclaimed Bespoke: a Tiny Christmas Tale, a contributing author to the newsly-released Message in a Bottle Romance Collection, and enjoys connecting with her readers. www.AmandaDykes.com