Friday, August 1, 2014

Life Lessons—Writing Focus in the Face of Adversity

by Bruce Brady @BDBrady007 

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I experienced the “joy” of losing two computers to irreparable hard drive crashes. We also lost our wireless router, the logins for all of our accounts (banks included), and all the family photos from the past 15 years or so.

My emotions began with panic and eventually plummeted to depression. How could God allow all this to happen at once? He knows we don't have the budget to replace the equipment. And no amount of money is going to buy back the family photos.

Adding to the pressure was the fact that I became anxious about not getting anything written. This led me to rationalize that I wasn't supposed to be a writer.

When I finally got over my anger, I had a moment of clarity when God reminded me of a parable found in Matthew 25. Most commonly known as the "Parable of the Talents." In His usual loving way, He reminded me that while I didn't have the budget for replacing everything, I had enough money and talent to solve the problems. At least most of them. So, I followed His lead and used what He'd given me.

At this writing, I'm not completely out of the woods (still fighting the pesky computer virus) but I have two new/old computers that I built and upgraded for less than the price of a low-end new one. As an added bonus, I've learned a lot about free, safe options for backing up files. I've also learned there are new, inexpensive and free alternatives to having all your software on your computer.

Most important, I learned to face challenges with a "What can I learn from this?" attitude rather than my usual negative reactions.

What has all this got to do with writing? I'm glad you asked. Throughout these crises, I should have been writing but wasn't. However, God knew when I would need to write and made sure that I reached a point of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel by that time.

The same can be true for you.

You've been called to write. And if what you write is important for others to read, you will experience many adversities during your writing voyage. Adversities that will try to convince you you're not supposed to write. When these things happen, don't give up. Ask God for guidance or search deep within yourself to see what can be learned from your problems. Not only will difficulties grow and strengthen you, many who have similar issues can benefit from your sharing your experiences.

Remember, as the parable says, if you're blessed with the gift of writing and don't use it, it will be taken away.

Now it’s your turn, how do you focus on using the gift of writing when the world (or computer) comes crashing down?


Bruce Brady is an author, writer and playwright. His work has appeared in Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family,, and on stage. Currently, Bruce is working on a Young Adult Novel about a boy who must deal with the death of his dad, being bullied, and helping his mom through her grief. His first five pages took third place in the ACFW South Carolina Chapter’s “First Five Pages” contest.

When he’s not writing, Bruce spends time learning from and helping other writers. He serves as Mentor of Word Weavers International’s Online Chapter, and as a member of Cross ‘N’ Pens, The Writer’s Plot, ACFW’s National and South Carolina Chapters.

“My dream is to entertain my readers and give them hope as they travel the rocky road of life.”

Connect with Bruce on his blog, The Write VoyageFacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Pinterest.


  1. Bruce, thanks for this. I feel your pain about computers, technology and the virus-boogiemen out there. I have lost too many files to count. The third time, was easier--just moved forward. But several years ago--2006 to be exact, life pulled the rug from beneath me. I dealt with loss, my dad's stroke, close family members facing divorce, and more. The stress built like a thunder cloud and it was almost four years I didn't write a thing. I did question my call. And wondered if He had suddenly taken it away--that maybe it was given just for a season. What I learned was to continue to ask, seek and knock. In 2010 I prayed a fleece prayer. I applied for a scholarship to Blue Ridge and left it up to God. In a way that only God can do, He encouraged me with receipt of the scholarship and first place in the article category of their writing contest. I learned perseverance in that time of waiting. And reaped blessing when His time was right to move on.

    1. Thanks Jeanne. It's good to know I'm not alone, although I wouldn't wish the struggles on anyone. However, I'm sure, as He always seems to do, that God blesses us with hard times to grow our characters, and to share our experiences as a way to encourage others in their challenges. God bless you.

  2. I really needed this at this season in my life. Thanks for writing. I've struggled the past few weeks. My focus has been on how my life has crashed instead of writing about how my life has crashed. It's much easier to throw a pity party than to throw a "I'm going to survive" party. I suppose it doesn't matter how many words we write at first. We just must write. I consider a lot of it spiritual warfare and it requires putting on the armor of God to do battle. I refuse to give up and lose the battle without a fight! I'm glad you are fighting, too.

    1. Thanks Karen. I'm convinced that the more we follow our Lord, the more the enemy will fight against us. While the story of the talents is primarily about using what God has given us to serve Him, I think it's also stresses the importance of perseverance. After all, it was earthly fear that kept the third servant from investing his talent. God bless you.

  3. Hi Bruce,

    Thanks so much for your post. I'm so sorry for the horrible computer problems. So thankful to God that with His help you are finding your way through these difficulties. Thank you for your encouragement to keep going...God bless