By Alyice Edrich
Last year, about this time, something Cecil Murphy said hit home. He said, "I stopped looking for work and started letting God find me work." I'm paraphrasing big time, but the jest of his talk was that when he let go and let God, everything just fell into place. When he stopped worrying about where that next paying job was going to come from, when he stopped worrying about finding new clients, it was then that he was able to hear God's voice and his writing career changed forever.
At the time, I was extremely burnt out and writing just wasn't fun anymore. Heck, even reading written words had become drudgery. I was seriously trying to figure out how to walk away from the success I had built and what I could do with the rest of my life, career wise.
As I began to concentrate on his words, it became clear that I had been focusing on the wrong things-the end result, the income. So I took his advice and gave it up to God. A few weeks later a great thing happened, I received not one, but three blogging gigs: a 6 month contract, a 3 month contract, and a 1 month contract.
Those blogging gigs renewed my thirst for writing and since I no longer had to hunt down paying assignments or clients, I was free to concentrate on the beauty of writing. I was having fun again.
Then something happened that once again caused me to worry about my income, and that was the loss of my husband's job. It takes the two of us to make ends meet and without his income, I had to pick up the slack. Once again, I went into full drive only to get burnt out rather quickly.
When I stopped to think about why I got burnt out so fast I realized that I was taking any writing assignment that came my way instead of choosing assignments that made writing a pleasure. I wrote for the money, not the art and definitely not to change lives. And in between all that writing, I was busy marketing my e-books-a huge source of my income.
Finally the stress became too much and no sooner did my husband find a stable, good paying job did I get hit with Bell's Palsy. Talk about a wake up call.
I discovered that:
1. If you aren't writing, it may have nothing to do with time. It may have everything to do with the topic or niche you've chosen to write in. What's your passion? What excites you? Try writing about those things for awhile and see if you can't "find" time to write.
2. If writing has become a chore, it may have more to do with what writing has come to mean to you versus what writing once meant to you. If you've gotten into the habit of seeing writing as a means to an end-financial stability-you're bound to lose all excitement in the craft.
3. If you put too much value on how others perceive you, through your writing or your business, you can lose sight of yourself and the whole reason you started writing in the first place. I had worked so hard, for so many years, to get to a certain point in my career that the very idea of backing off made me feel like a failure. And I didn't want to feel like, let alone look like, a failure in the eyes of those that have grown to respect me in this industry.
So once again, I find myself at a crossroads with my writing and have come to realize that it's actually a good thing! Growing means change and change must happen in order to keep moving forward.
So I say, "Here's to change!"
May we all grow so much this coming year that change is inevitable and that in changing we find that writing path that makes writing worth far more than the income it provides.
Alyice Edrich is a work-at-home mom with an award winning online magazine. Visit her website, http://thedabblingmum.com/ebookstore to learn how you can earn a living working from home, too. Or stop by her personal website, http://alyiceedrich.net to purchase one of her hand painted, repurposed jars.