By Debby Giusti
We’re twenty days into the New Year and I’m still thinking of resolutions for 2016 and ways to improve myself and my craft...so today I want to talk about the false assumptions that hold us back from achieving our full potential and the importance of bearing good fruit. In past blogs, I’ve mentioned my favorite scripture in regards to writing:
Knowing that God chose me—hopefully to be his writer—brings comfort and encouragement, even when I’m faced with blank pages and writer’s block.
At first glance, one might think my published books or completed manuscripts are the fruit I produce, but I trust God sees my writing journey through a larger lens. Perhaps he includes writing relationships, mentoring, the sharing of information and even intercessory prayer for those on the path to publication as part of the fruit he wants me to produce.
What fruit is he asking you to bear? Have you planted seeds but have yet to bring in a harvest? (I don't mean publication, but rather ways you've improved your craft or increased your writing output.) Can you pinpoint something on your end that’s hampering your production? Perhaps you need to dig deep to find the root of the problem.
A few years ago, I attended a two-day seminar on healing prayer. The very learned and Spirit-filled instructor talked about that very subject. He said some folks ask to be healed of the bad fruit they bear, the external problems that can be seen or heard. As the picture below illustrates, the fruit could be irritability, reclusive behavior, anger or addiction.
|To eradicate bad fruit, get to the root of the problem.|
Tree courtesy: allfreeclipart.com/
Famed Hollywood screenwriting consultant Michael Hauge talks about this same phenomenon in many of his workshops. He encourages writers to give protagonists a wound, usually occurring in adolescence, which causes the main character to create a false front in order to cover up or ignore that pain from the past. The protagonist lives within that false identity, as if wearing a mask. In a romance, the love interest sees beyond the false front and recognizes the essence of who the protagonist really is. Over the course of the story, the protagonist or main character must recognize the wound and move from the false identity to his essence or true self.
What about your writing journey? Are you making excuses or not giving yourself the opportunity or wherewithal to succeed? Is a past hurt or unintentional comment from someone whose opinion you value holding you back? Were you told you couldn’t write as a child? Was your work compared to someone else’s and found lacking? Can you identify the source of the false truths you’ve believed for too long? Do you need to dig deep to find the root of the problem?
|What fruits are you producing in your writing life?|
Tree courtesy: allfreeclipart.com
My father was a talented writer who critiqued my youthful writing attempts with a heavy hand and a red pen. I learned so much from his editing and critique, but I never thought I could measure up and, thus, felt inadequate as a writer. Eventually, I realized my father was an accomplished technical writer who probably would have struggled to create fiction. Recognizing that truth freed me from the false assumption about my own writing and helped me move forward.
Michael Hauge asks those who attend his workshops to fill in the blank in the following statement, first for their main characters and then for themselves.
|Quote from Michael Hauge's Writing Workshops|
Sometimes when we recognize what we’re not willing to do, we can more clearly identify that which holds us back. After attending one of Hauge’s workshop some years ago, I looked at my own life to find anything additional that was impeding my progress. Digging deep, I recognized a hesitancy to make time for myself, not wanting to put my own desires above those of my family. Once I acknowledged that concern, I gave myself permission to write.
The coffee’s hot. Tea is available, and I’ve brought hard boiled eggs, fresh fruit, muffins and grits for a light breakfast as we dig deep to find what’s holding us back from achieving our dreams!
What’s stopping you? Are there past hurts that need to be healed before you move forward? What’s your line in the sand, the one thing you won’t do to achieve your dream? Is it a valid concern? Leave a comment to be entered in two drawings. Both winners will receive a copy of my February Love Inspired Suspense, PLAIN DANGER, and "Be Still," an adult coloring book filled with beautiful art and some of my favorite scripture passages.
Wishing you abundant blessings,
When Carrie York arrives at the house she inherited from her father in an Amish community, she's shocked to discover a soldier's body on the property. Her neighbor, army special agent Tyler Zimmerman, starts investigating the murder, and Carrie fears it's related to her father's mysterious death. Tyler doesn't trust the pretty speechwriter or the suspicious timing of her arrival—especially since her boss is responsible for his father's death. But when someone attacks Carrie, Tyler insists on protecting her. With his help, will Carrie be able to hold on to her inheritance and her life?