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Stop trying.

Happy Thursday!

I hope that everybody is doing well, this lovely day! And by lovely, I mean wintery, because it is a blustery winter day.

Let’s talk about writing. More writing! Woot woot!

Let’s discuss creativity. Actually, let’s discuss a lack of creativity.

Because sometimes, it seems like being creative is hard.

But have you ever noticed that the more you try, the worse it gets? The more you sit and think, “BE CREATIVE! THIS IS WHAT YOU LIKE TO DO!” the less the creativity flows.

You put on flowy music, and you try to think of sunlight and rainbows, but the words don’t come, and you get frustrated, and every word sounds awful –

And then you just stop altogether.

Good. I’m here to tell you to stop.

You see, I’m firmly convinced that the answer to creative roadblock isn’t to force creativity. It’s really to leave it alone. Stop trying so hard. Stop trying to be creative.

For example: Stop trying to be funny.

I used to try to write funny, but I quickly learned I’m not a humorous writer (or so I thought). The more I tried, the less funny things were. So, I stopped. I told myself I wasn’t a funny writer and just kept writing.

So it really surprised me when I handed Undaunted to Malachi to read through– and he would laugh.

Now, if you’ve read it, you know that it’s not a ha-ha funny. But apparently, some things some characters said were funny!

I wasn’t trying to be funny. Funny was the last thing on my mind when the book was being written. I was just…writing. Having fun.

Here’s the thing. I couldn’t stop writing Undaunted. I couldn’t leave it alone. I had to finish the book. I had to write it. I had to know what happened to these characters. So, I wasn’t trying to be funny, but then, funny came. I was just writing down a story that was given to me by God Himself.

So maybe today, you are having a roadblock kind of day. You are trying to write, to paint, to create, but the more you try, the worse it gets.

So, stop. Stop trying. Literally, stop trying. You’ll be amazed at what happens when you stop trying, and you let God just flow things to you.

For example, I have a bunch of old files on my computer, old stories that I haven’t deleted. Some of them are really old – 2015 old (okay, so it’s only about five years. But…they’re old). So a couple of days ago, I got the weirdest urge to open an old story I hadn’t opened in about three years. Maybe less. But that was the last time I worked on it (according to my laptop). So, I opened the file, and I read it, and I couldn’t figure out what the deal was or why I had this desire to rework this story.

But then, I was folding laundry – I repeat – I was folding laundry when I heard this question: What if this character was Sean?

(And that question made perfect sense to me). So, I said: “Oh! That would be cool!”

And then the next question was: What if these two characters were brothers?

I’m leaving out names because, well, it may come in handy for me one day. And I literally felt thrilled and filled, and I had all this creativity flowing through me, so I began writing because of an idea that came when I was folding laundry. Folding laundry.

So, my dear friends, I’m telling you, if you are having a blockage of creativity, stop trying. Stop trying and let God give you excellent ideas that you’ve never even thought of.

Because here’s the thing: there are some stories I’ve written that I don’t think I’ll ever use. But that doesn’t mean they are not useful. Some stories, I believe, are just ideas from God to get me to write, and if that story ends, it usually leads me to something else, and then something else, until finally, something sticks. But it’s a process. The only exception to that is the initial idea of Undaunted. That is the only story that I feel right away I knew was the right story from God. And even then, there were eight years of rewriting and writing and editing – it’s a process. So, follow the process. And half the time, the process just hones your writing skills.

It’s pretty cool to look back and see how writing has changed, for me. Sometimes it’s funny how young I was, and to see how things were described, how people talked, and I firmly believe that the years of just writing and rewriting and getting new ideas was just a part of God’s process. I’ve mentioned this before, but I don’t think that we just get the perfect piece of writing the first time.

So, stop trying. Stop trying to be creative – you already are! That’s why you have this desire to create whatever you want to create! You were created in The Image of God – He is creative. So are you. So stop trying to be and just…be. Creativity will flow when you let go.

So just go forward doing things. Do laundry. And when you get a brilliant idea, say thank You and create!

You just told us a couple of days ago not to get distracted by logical things in life. What are you saying?

I’m saying, my dear friend, that you know the difference. You do. You know when you are trying to avoid following your dream, and you know when you are frustrated from trying to be creative!

I know when I should be working towards my dreams, and I also know when I’m getting frustrated and I could use a breather.

This isn’t complicated, beloved. This is much simpler than you think. If you are feeling frustrated from trying to force something, take a break. If you’ve been vacuuming your rug every day this week…maybe you should take a cleaning break and begin to follow your dream. Trust me, I get it. You want a clean house and being clean sounds so right! But dreams are important too. And no carpet needs to be that clean. Trust me.

Beloved, don’t be afraid to move forward. Your dreams matter.

Remember, you are deeply loved.


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