As a Christian writer, my writing is a gift to be used by the Lord, so when times of writer’s block come, I feel like my stories are useless and I’ve wasted my time on the parts I’ve already completed. But in these cases, I’m learning to use certain tools in order to overcome writer’s block and continue to press on, to write for His glory.
Tool Number One – Taking Action
When I think about taking action, I envision a knight wielding his sword and climbing atop his horse. Or a farmer hoeing his dry crops as he sees gray clouds in the distance; a baseball player gripping his bat and stepping up to the plate.
All of these men prepared for their task using their different tools, expecting that the tools they used will bring them success in the goal of their task. The knight wielded his sword for battle; the farmer hoed his field before the rain; the baseball player gripped his bat to wait for a good pitch. That’s taking action.
Taking action as writers means you‘re preparing to not let writer’s block get the best of you; instead you’re picking up a tool and working towards the success of your goal; overcoming writer’s block.
Tool Number Two- Yielding
What if taking action meant yielding; yielding our ideas, words, and writer’s block to the Author of the universe? Writer’s block won’t get the better of me if I yield my writings to His hands.
I am His tool, being used to bring Him glory however He pleases, whether it is by writing at this time or not. With this tool in the forefront of my mind, I can rest at peace when I’m faced with writer’s block, because I know that the Lord will use my writings in His perfect time and in His timing, I’ll overcome.
Tool Number Three – Prayer
I have a good writing friend who once told me this, “I find my books always go better when I pray about them.”
I found that as I began to pray for guidance and help concerning writing, a deeper desire to share His truths grew; thus, I gained excitement to come up with ideas to portray His truths through stories.
Isn’t it amazing that Christians are the only writers who have this incredible tool for our writings? Like the world, we can try following a list of steps to do in order to overcome writer’s block (some of which may or may not work) but unlike the world, we have a sure source where we can take all of our problems, including writer’s block.
Phil. 4:6-7 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
When the Lord has me in a writing season, there will still be times where I am just out of ideas and well…stuck. Now if God was giving us direct revelation today, I probably wouldn’t be stuck, (I’m positive God’s never had writer’s block) but instead He’s given me creativeness and a passion to tell stories, both of which at some point or another will run dry of inspiration.
Tool Number Four – The 3 R’s
When out of inspiration, this is the “list of steps” that has helped get my creative juices flowing again.
The first R is for Review.
Where is this story heading? What is the end goal? If I know where I’m heading, I have an easier time knowing how I need to get there. I also like to go back over the past few scenes leading up to the one I’m stuck on. This usually fuels enough questions to get my brain chugging again.
Questions such as: What should the purpose of this scene be? What needs to take place as a result of the previous scenes? Where should this scene lead my characters and how can it show the theme?
It’s also been incredibly helpful for me to do a review of my characters. Sometimes even going back to the basics with questions such as: Why is this character in this story? What is their personality? Who are they? How will they change over the course of the story?
These questions usually get me excited about my characters and their story, bringing some sort of idea to mind, but if it still doesn’t seem to be inspiring me, it’s time to pick up another R tool.
The second R is for Research
If you can’t think of any ideas to write, it gives you plenty of time to do some research!
As Christian authors there is always more we can be learning about God’s truths that we can apply to our writings. Read His Word to gain more understanding so that we will rightfully discern and portray His truth and characteristics in our stories.
2 Tim. 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
The third R is for Resources.
There are so many ways to come in contact with other authors who’ve fought the same writing battles that we’re experiencing. And maybe you have a sibling in your home who you can discuss the plot or character issues that you’re stuck on.
I have a sister whom got so used to me discussing my story problems with her that she named herself my “official story advisor” and has been so helpful in listening to my problems and helping inspire me with new ideas by coming up with her own resolutions, or causing me to think of them while we talk.
Tool Number Five- Honor God
This tool is the heartbeat of our writings. It’s also a command for our lives. So don’t let writer’s block get the better of you: it too even has its purpose. Take action, because God may still use your gift of writing! Start with the most important tools; yielding your work to Him and praying for guidance.
So whether the Lord has you in a season of writing or allows a season of writer’s block, rest assured in His grace, that He will use your gifts and talents in His timing. And when He brings us to a season of writing, may we overcome writer’s block in His name.