God's Business

God's Business

by Angela Doll Carlson January 08, 2019 8 Comments

“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.”

Paulo Coelho

 

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?

 

 

Photo by Franz Schekolin on Unsplash




Angela Doll Carlson
Angela Doll Carlson

Author

Angela Doll Carlson is a poet, fiction writer, and essayist whose work has appeared in Thin Air Magazine, Eastern Iowa Review, Apeiron Review, Relief Journal Magazine, St. Katherine Review, Rock & Sling and Ruminate Magazine, among others. She has published two books, “Nearly Orthodox” and “Garden in the East.”



8 Responses

Traci
Traci

January 15, 2019

We have to release the idea that writing our heart’s cry will pay the bills, or give us the identity we are seeking. Yet, God plants those stories in us. They will be rewarded. Keep writing.

Nellie
Nellie

January 14, 2019

Hello Angela! I heard you speak at Festival of Faith and Writing.
Philokalia. I had to search what it means.
I’m curious about 365 days of it.

Eliana
Eliana

January 14, 2019

Your thoughts are insightful. Thank you for sharing them. I love that quote from Flannery O’Connor. With faith, a book leaving your hands can be a delight rather than a nightmare. I have copied that quote into the online document where I keep up a daily writing habit. I want to be reminded to not take over God’s business and empowered to take over my own. You have given me something to think about and I hope it will keep popping up and “bothering” me like a popcorn kernel in my teeth.

Madeline Twooney
Madeline Twooney

January 10, 2019

Angela, first of all, congratulations on your writing achievements and l hope you have a successful launch with “The Wilderness Journal”. I understand the struggle of writing to fulfill the desire that God has put in your life and to fulfill your soul versus the cold reality of paying bills and keeping a family going. Then as you say, you’re trying to get your brain to switch into that correct gear to produce the result you know you have in your head, but can’t quite get it down on paper. When l explain the inspiration and intent of my writing to my friends, l always say “our”, “us” and “we” because l know that the words l am privileged to write are not mine, but God’s and therefore belong to Him. I’m just part of His team, we work together. That takes the worry as to whether l am writing well enough or if l am pursuing the correct path out of my deliberations, which frees up my soul and gives me peace, because as you say, l leave it to God to take care of. I just wanted you to know that l feel what you are going through and l am glad that someone else feels the same way. Keep up the brilliant work, and know that God knows our situation and will always provide. He never fails!

Susannah Pratt
Susannah Pratt

January 10, 2019

Worrying about almost anything seems to be taking over God’s business. And yet I seem to do it all the time. Sigh. Thanks for affirming all kinds of writing – the inspired and the workaday.

Kristal
Kristal

January 08, 2019

I have heard good things about The Wilderness Journal and would love to read it.

Alecia Tallent
Alecia Tallent

January 08, 2019

I would love to win the copy of her book!!!!! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. As a writer too terrified to let her work see the light of day, this was good to read.

Renee Wiesner
Renee Wiesner

January 08, 2019

I have Angela’s other two books and would love to have her newest one as well. Love her writing!

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