Thursday, July 7, 2016

When You Want to Be Somewhere Else with Your Writing

by Lynn H Blackburn @LynnHBlackburn

I felt so sorry for him.

My youngest son was surveying the scene on his first morning of day camp—and he was not impressed. Kids were running around playing with hula hoops, bouncy balls, Legos, Crayons, and board games. It was a kids’ paradise in there, but the mutinous expression on his face refused to budge.

He’d been okay an hour earlier. He was excited about this new opportunity, until we dropped his older brother off at a different day camp. One for kids a bit older. One with cheering counselors, multiple inflatables, and a climbing tower.

From the minute we climbed out of the van, my little guy was in full revolt. He dragged his feet, he pouted, he glared at everyone we encountered. He wanted to go home and not go to his camp at all.

As I stood at the back of the room and watched him try to come to terms with his reality, my heart broke. There was so much awesomeness in front of him, but he couldn’t see it because He Wanted to be Somewhere Else.

Maybe you can relate?

Your blog is getting great attention, but you don’t want to be a blogger. You want to be a speaker.
  • An editor is interested in your devotional, but no one will take an interest in your historical.
  • You’ve found success with freelance work, but now you don’t have time for your epic fantasy.
  • Your poetry has won awards, but no one will look at the Bible study you’ve poured your heart into.
  • Or maybe you’ve been published with a small press, but you yearn to be affiliated with one of the big houses.

You Want to be Somewhere Else.

I get it. I really do and I’m not going to tell you wanting to be somewhere else is wrong. I would never suggest anyone give up on a dream or shelve a project that is their passion.

But …(Why is there always a but)?

If your dream of something “other” is keeping you from appreciating the awesomeness in front of you, then it’s time to do some soul searching. Ask yourself some tough questions and be brutally honest in your answers.

How is your dream of something else impacting your ability to enjoy where you are? - Are you interacting with and praying for the readers you have or are you neglecting them? Are you meeting your deadlines or letting them slide? Are you actually honing your craft or just spending time thinking about what you’ll do when that big contract finally comes in?

What is it you want and what are you doing to make it happen? - Would you enjoy a different project more? Do you want to make more money? Maybe you’d love more fame?  While you wait, are you becoming an expert in your field? Building your platform? Expanding your contacts in the industry? Writing another book—and then another?

When do you want it? - Ok. I get it. You want it now. But can you accept the reality that God knows what your heart desires and He may be choosing to hold you back for reasons you don’t understand? Can you find rest in His timing?

Where do you see yourself in a year? Three years? Five years? - Again, nothing wrong with dreaming big, but are those dreams based in any sort of publishing reality? Do you know what kind of speed most publishing houses move at? (Hint…the word glacial should be in your answer).

Why do you want it?  - This is the one that always trips me up. My first answers start out with “I think I’d enjoy the project more,” but the further I dig I always find a root of pride in there somewhere. More often than not, I want something because I think it’s better. Better for me. Or it makes me look better in the eyes of others. The problem is that far too often, I haven’t given one second of thought to the possibility that God may not think it would be better for me at all.

Ask God to help you be honest as you answer these questions. Ask Him to give you a heart of gratitude for the wonderful things He has already put in your path. Spend time reviewing all the ways He has confirmed your path. Then ask Him to give you His Joy in the place where you are now and courage to pursue your dreams for the future.

By the way—my son’s bad attitude cost him a couple of hours of fun. Then he had the opportunity to pet a camel, and a joey, and some baby goats . . . things his older brother didn’t get to experience over there at that “other” place. By the time I picked him up, he’d decided his camp was “awesome” and that while he still wants to go to his brother’s camp when he’s old enough, the one he went to was perfect for him right now.

So how about you? Are you struggling to enjoy the things God has given you now because you are hoping for more later? Do you have any tips for finding joy in your present circumstances?

Let’s talk about it in the comments!

Don’t forget to join the conversation.


Lynn Huggins Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. 

She’s passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don’t make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. 

She lives in South Carolina with her true love, Brian, and their three children. You can follow her real life happily ever after at


  1. The fact that your son's attitude cost him a couple hours of fun speaks volumes to me. Too often I've allowed my desire to be elsewhere in my writing to steal my present joy in the here and now. I'm saving this post for a future time of reflection, Lynn. Thanks!

    1. That's a great point, Cathy and one I'm STILL reflecting on. And still working on...I definitely didn't write this from a place of strength!
      Grace and peace,

  2. I understand Lynn. I had the "If Onlies" If only I could write better, If only I could speak at this event. God encouraged me to write a teaching on "If Only" I was able to teach it to a few ladies. My "If onlies" have turned to "Only God." I now find contentment where God has placed me. I love what Paul stated "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." Philippians 4:11 NIV

    1. I love that! Turning the If Onlies into Only God!! Thanks for sharing!!
      Grace and peace,

  3. Thank you for helping me gain/keep a proper perspective. Proper perspective with contentment can change my world one day at a time. Last week I put a note on my desk, "Be prepared for when God Promotes". Might not be an inspirational quote, but it reminds me to keep working.
    I'm going to print these questions to keep in my journal.

  4. Good thought. I tell myself that everything I do has value. Just another piece of the puzzle. 😃

  5. Good thought. I tell myself that everything I do has value. Just another piece of the puzzle. 😃

  6. Lynn,

    I think I've been wanting to be somewhere else for a long time. I just didn't have a name for it. So thank you for that, if for nothing else.

    The questions you've asked me to ask myself have been copied into my timed writing app and I'll be looking at each one of them for fifteen minutes (minimum) throughout the day and possibly in the days to come. Thank you for that, as well.

  7. Long ago, I've learned to be where the Lord has me because He is preparing me for the next adventure. Some adventures, I wasn't the most cheerful trail partner. However, His faithful encouragement resulted in new lands I never imagined I'd cross.

    Your questions are soul searcher that create deep attitude adjustments. Thanks for your message today. It is a life changer.

    Share on!

  8. Such wisdom, Lynn! Yes! Yes! Yes! I'm thankful for what I have. That's the first thing. Thank you. I'm sharing!

  9. Thanks for this reminder. God is showing me that the VA part of my business is where He is at work right now, with speaking/writing only being supplemental or as little streams into the larger brook/river. I am learning to be content with it--in some ways admin stuff is one of my preferred things anyway--I never was one who wanted to write for hours. :) I think He will expertly weave my various gifts into one package for a higher purpose of serving others, no matter the size of my platform. It's taking time to be content with that and it means sometimes I'm in the background while others get to speak and have a book growing in popularity, but if that's what God wants, that's okay.