“I was not encouraged to follow the career of a writer because my parents thought that I was going to starve to death. They thought nobody can make a living from being a writer in Brazil. They were not wrong.”
When I picture it, I see a little switch in my brain that I have to flip. Once I flip that switch, I will be able to access the skills I’ve learned over the years that will allow me to finally finish the three corporate writing assignments I have before me. It won’t take long to complete them. I’ve already done the research. It’s simply a matter of flipping the switch and getting my brain to cooperate.
In some ways, writing corporate, medical or technical pieces are easier. The subject is given to me. The word count is set. The demographics of the readers is clear. I know which Fleisch reading level they want me to reach. I know the tone I should strike. I just have to flip that switch.
But I procrastinate doing the work. The switch is behind a bookcase in my brain. I have to reach my hand into some slim crevice to reach it, feel around a bit. I work up a sweat just thinking about it.
Get to work. Flip the switch. Pay the electric bill.
To date, I have written and have had published, three books. The first was my memoir, Nearly Orthodox, and it was published in 2014. The second, Garden in the East, came two years later. The third, The Wilderness Journal, is due out in a month. I’m proud of the work I’ve produced. I’m grateful to have had the books published. It’s soul writing. It feeds my spirit. Truth is, though, it does not always feed my family. That’s just the reality of it. And that, too, is the struggle.
When writing spiritual non-fiction books, I always lean hard into a quote from Flannery O'Connor, “When a book leaves your hands, it belongs to God. He may use it to save a few souls or to try a few others, but I think that for the writer to worry is to take over God's business.” So, I invest myself into the writing. I wring out my heart and my brain onto the page. And then, I let it go, like sending a kid out into the world and letting them live their own life.
I don’t worry. It’s God’s business.
But there’s still a matter of paying the bills. What of worry over the mortgage, the kids’ dentist bills, groceries for our bellies, gasoline for our cars? A writer still has to live. So, I will reach behind that bookcase, up to my shoulder, to that switch that is just within reach, working up a little bit of a sweat. I’ll flip the switch and write the articles and then send that, too, out into the world and try to let go of the worry.
This too, is God’s business.
We're pleased to be giving away a copy of Angela Doll Carlson's book, The Wilderness Journal: 365 Days with Philokalia (Ancient Faith Publishing), to one of our readers. Write a comment below, and we'll pick a name and notify the winner on Wednesday, January 16.
Congratulations to Eliana who will receive a copy of The Wilderness Journal by Angela Doll Carlson.
Hey, did you see our roundup of the most-read posts in 2018?
Comments will be approved before showing up. We don't allow comments that are disrespectful or personally attack our blog writers.