Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Write or Retreat

Chatting with my son over a scratchy phone connection, I told him about a recent writer retreat.

"So which did you do?" he asked.


"You said you were going to write or retreat."

"Not write-OR retreat, writER retreat." I laughed.

Later, the words lingered ... a great theme for me to consider.

Write or retreat.

Which will I choose each day?

Writers face new challenges and questions. Traditional publisher, small press, self publish? How much time to spend engaging with readers and doing activities other than writing to build a following? And the one that makes my fingers pause each time I sit at my keyboard: Now that everyone has an easy-to-publish voice through social media, ebooks, and print-on-demand, there are oceans of voices sharing their words - is there really a need for my stories in the mix?

Every voice matters. Each life, each perspective has value. But perhaps my stories are best shared in quiet conversations with family or a letter to a friend. 

I sit at my desk to work on another scene for a novel, uncertain if any publisher will want this genre, unsure if my skill is strong enough to captivate readers, unconvinced the ideas are unique enough to bother adding this story to the zillions already out there.

Write or retreat?

As a follower of Christ, I ask Him. Will my efforts to craft a story help me know You more? Will it bring You joy? Can You possibly bless or encourage someone through this work?

No clarion angel chorus answers, but His Spirit nudges me forward.

So today, I write, entrusting my uncertainties to Him.

Where are you today? Is it a time to share your thoughts, your gifts, your skills, or is it a time to retreat (perhaps to rest and regroup--retreating isn't always a bad thing)? May He grant you courage for either calling!

Sharon Hinck


Stacy said...

A good question to consider, Sharon. The world is full of noise - am I just adding to it or will what I write/say/sing/teach be heard? We have to leave it in God's hands whether we're heard or not (otherwise I'll make myself crazy wondering/worrying/comparing!).

Thanks for a lovely reminder.

Sharon Hinck said...

You're so right (and I confess that the worrying/comparing thing can really stall me sometimes).

I love that we can trust that the God who can use a widow's mite, or a few fish and loaves, can do whatever His purpose is with our humble words.

Write On!

Gail Helgeson said...

I needed this today as I contemplate pushing SEND on a writing contest. Does this all really matter? I think this post came just when I needed it. It matters to God and that is all that counts. Thanks...

Sharon Hinck said...

Oh, Gail, thanks for commenting. I'm so glad this encouraged you on a day you needed.YES IT MATTERS!

(Hee hee! It's so easy for me to say that for someone else!)

Blessings on your contest entry, and congrats on your courage to write and offer what you've written!!!!!

Renee S said...

Write,write,write! Your words and books are such a blessing to us readers! They do matter!

Eagerly awaiting your next book,


Sharon Hinck said...

Renee, thank you for those kind words of encouragement. I have these mental grappling sessions from time to time - and it's important that I not get mired in all the uncertainty.
Today I will write on. :-)

cj said...

Considering you and Francine Rivers are my favorite authors, definitely know that you have a unique, inspired voice that stands out from the rest. Watch out for self publishing. There is another Christian fiction author I respect who has started self publishing some kindle books, and the quality of the editing really tanked. When you mentioned your blog on Facebook, I was thrilled to know there was a place I could get more of your writing.

Sharon Hinck said...

Thank you so much, cj.

I've been so busy working on my fourth Restorer book, I neglected my blog. But now that the book is edited (with a top-notch editor, by the way :-) ) I'm able to come up for air and do some blogging again.

Sharon Hinck said...
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