Giving Up

cohdra_100_8769Sometimes I feel like this dream I have is never going to come true.

Sometimes I feel like all this effort and this passion is going into something that is just not going to happen.

Sometimes I feel like giving up.

But when I sit and think about life without writing, my blood runs cold and I’m filled with this fear. Life without writing…inconceivable. Who would I be? Not that writing defines me, but my purpose–my ministry–would be lost.

I look around and so many of my friends are being published, whether through traditional publishers or self-published, and I’ll admit to that twinge of jealousy. Why is it their time? Why not mine? What did their story/writing have that mine didn’t? (Have you heard of the self-confidence level of writers?) Don’t get me wrong, I am super excited for all my friends and do what I can to support them in getting the word out about their book. But at first, for just a minute, there’s jealousy.

It’s just not my time yet.

All that I have control over is what I do. If anything, the past six years have been–inconsistent. Most would say that, given the season of my life, that’s understandable. In 6 years, I’ve moved four times (about to move again), my family has gone from 1 kid to 3 (all 6 and under), my husband was discharged from the army for medical reasons, and sometimes, I’m just overwhelmed.  Still, I kick myself for inconsistency–for losing focus. I have a goal. Yet all too often, that goal is pushed to the side for various reasons, one of which quite honestly is laziness. Sometimes I just don’t want to.

I found out about a year ago that I’m a perfectionist. Yes, just a year ago. I was really struggling with getting things accomplished–frustration and depression abounded. And then someone told me I was a perfectionist–but not the kind that is almost OCD about everything. More the kind that feels if I can’t do something all the way, the right way, then I’m just not going to do it at all. Talk about an eye opener–and oh so true. So, the last year has been a struggle against this ingrained nature. It’s okay to write for 15 minutes, it’s okay to get the toys picked up but not dust/vaccuum right now, it’s okay to not have a gourmet meal every night.

Oh, but there’s a piece of the puzzle that I all too often miss. God. How often do I look to Him when I feel overwhelmed? How often do I lean on His shoulder when I’m frustrated, angry, or afraid? How often do I invite Him to share the day with me? How often do I ask His guidance with my passion? I think I’m leaving out a very important step more often than not. That’s the reason that my word for 2013 in PRAYER–a closer walk with thee.

God gave me this passion, He called me to this journey, and it will come to pass in His time and in His way.

About Ralene Burke

Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen, a freelance editor’s sword, or a social media wand, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to make it SHINE! She has worked for a variety of groups, including Realm Makers, The Christian PEN, Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, and as an editor for a number of freelance clients. Her first novel, Bellanok, is being published as a 4-part serial! When her head’s not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all around crafty diva. If she only had the time . . .

10 comments on “Giving Up

  1. […] some inspired post on prayer for today, but instead, I’d like to point you over to my post on New Authors Fellowship. I think it’s rather poignant in seeing where I’ve been in the last year or […]

  2. Aww, I know how you feel. I have the same number of kids at the same ages, we’re looking at moving in six weeks, and my hubby’s about to lose his job. But these kind of life experiences is where good writing comes from. A great book is written from the heart of a writer who has suffered. Don’t push yourself so hard–you have a lot on your plate. The book will be done when it gets done.

    • Oh, Kessie, I sympathize with ya! It is very true that experiences–good and bad–make us better writers. I’m just not very patient sometimes. lol…

  3. It sounds like you’ve been through a lot–and grown a lot! I agree with Kessie. It’s all good for a story one day, and things happen when they should happen.

    And I’ve been in the same boat–felt pushed back, in some instances. The day I got an agent to bite on my manuscript was the day my husband called to say he’d just gotten a job offer in another state–and we would have to move in two weeks. And that I had been offered a job teaching third grade (which I had never looked for and honestly thought was ridiculous, given my track record with children). And that fall, between a steep learning curve from adult to elementary education, to going on an “undercover missions trip”, to dealing with a surgery, no writing got done–and I never contacted the agent.

    Now, as I look back, the manuscript wasn’t actually ready, and my life experiences since then helped enrich it. So I’m going ahead again this year, with what I hope is a pitch-worthy piece, and trying to trust God that even if He slides it all back again, He must have a plan somehow.

  4. Thank you for the encouragement, Janeen. It’s nice to know that other writers are going through the same things. I know it’s ridiculous to feel like “the last one left,” but that’s hard sometimes, right?

    You’re right, though. It’ll all happen in God’s time.

  5. We’ve all felt this way at times, haven’t we? I especially relate to that feeling of “What does her book have that mine doesn’t?” But of course I realize that what really happened is that she worked harder. For a lot of years, my focus was on child-rearing, and for the last couple of years it’s been on developing my freelance business. So I have to admit that I just haven’t put my book in front of that many editors.

    I often meet people at writers’ conferences who put off pursuing their writing dream until after they retired. Those encounters help me not feel quite so bad about the delays I’ve had. We are making progress, even if the steps are small.

    • Very true! I am having to accept that some people are able to put their writing as a higher priority than I can right now. If I devoted as much time and hard work as they did, I could probably be where they are. In time. lol…

  6. You know I totally understand. You’re not “left behind”. We be like that flower in Mulan! Make no mistake about it.

  7. Ralene,

    You just posted my Character Interview. I won’t tell you how old I am, but I will tell you my oldest just started college. I started my first book before she was born, worked on it a couple years and put it away until three years ago. It’s hard with little kids and lots of life happening. I still have three middle-schoolers at home. God has a plan. I know that doesn’t feel very good sometimes, but it’s true.

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