Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Giving Yourself Permission to Rest

by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson

“Even God rested, Eva Marie,” a fellow writer exclaimed to me.

True, I reckoned. But is God a Type-A personality, I mused …

You know … constantly driven with a sense of urgency, always up against the clock with a tendency to overbook or overlap in the booking, able to leap tall buildings at a single bound, unable to do only one thing at a time?

Wait … yes. God is a Type-A. Which means He gets me.

Looking Back
I entered the world of publishing in 1997 (although I really didn’t know it at the time). I signed my first contract in 1999 and saw my first book published that very same year. Since then, I have written more articles and blog posts (some my own, others as a guest) than I ever thought to keep count of. I have seen published over 35 books (maybe more … I stopped counting those as well). 

I have edited dozens of books and articles for other writers. I’ve taught across the country and in Canada at both writers and women’s conferences. I have spoken in school auditoriums and in church sanctuaries and on various other stages. I have spoken to as many as thousands and as few as five … and one of those included my mother, so … four. I helped launch a writers group with only five people and have presided over it in one form or another ever since (more than 20 years), now serving as the president of its nearly 600 world-wide members (Word Weavers International). 

I have directed a writers conference (Florida Christian Writers Conference) for five years and led or helped lead writers retreats. I have directed the Selah Awards and the Foundation Awards (for Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference) since 2011. I have traveled to Israel three times as a journalist and/or writer and sojourner. I have met with hundreds of wanna-be and nearly-be writers, encouraging them along their path. I have cried and beat my fist against the floor and then stood in awe and wonder at what God has done with the words He placed in my head, in my heart, and then on my computer screen.

I’ve conquered social media. Sort of.

I have won awards. Been on the bestsellers list. It’s nice.

I’ve buried too many loved ones. Spoken at their funerals. Presided over one I couldn’t understand and still don’t understand.

And in the midst of all this I’ve moved twice, fought a legal system (won, then lost), raised children, and welcomed grandchildren (the best part of what comes first). I’ve loved a houseful of animals, buried them, and adored and fought with a husband (known as the huggy hubby).

No wonder I’m tired.

And Now
A short while ago I turned in one manuscript (a bio about Eric Liddell) and saw a novel release that I’m sooooo proud of (The One True Love of Alice-Ann) … all within days of each other. And then I lamented to my friend that “I’m tired … and I’m not sure where I’m going next with all this.”

To which she said, “Why don’t you give yourself permission to rest?”

No comment.

Even God rested … said another friend.

And He gets me, said I. So it’s okay.

What is Wrong with Us?
Why do we think we cannot rest, we writers? Why do we think we must stay one step ahead of what publishing wants and demands of us? Why can’t we just write our words and see them published and then collect the accolades, which we follow with a good night’s rest? Why is there all this other stuff to take care of? Blogs to post, social media to attack (and then to be sucked in by), articles on craft to read?

Or write …

Why can’t we just stop?

And if we do stop, what will we do with the time?

Read a book … just because? Watch a movie—the one we wanted to see on the big screen, then said we’d get at Red Box … and now we can only hope to catch before Netflix removes it from the lineup? Call a friend? Have coffee with a loved one?

Go shopping … not to purchase, but to browse?

What will we do?

Try This
Take five minutes. Only five. Sit in the quiet (you may have to go to the bathroom and lock the door to accomplish this, but try …). No TV. No music (not even the classical/nature stuff). No books, no journals or pens. Just sit.

Close your eyes.

Breathe in. Breathe out. (Repeat.)

Whisper a little prayer of love and praise and adoration to God. You don’t have to be verbose.

Just. Be. Quiet.

I dare you.

Then—maybe after a week or a month or two months of doing this—graduate to fifteen minutes. Or, take a whole afternoon. Heck, take a whole day!

Go ahead. I give you permission.

Giving the writer in you permission to rest - @EvaMarieEverson (Click to Tweet)

Best-selling, award-winning author Eva Marie Everson is the president of Word Weavers International, the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference, and the contest director for Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. Her latest novel, The One True Love of Alice-Ann (Tyndale), releases April 1, 2017.


  1. Right (Write!) on, Eva Marie. Thanks.

  2. Thanks, Eva Marie. I am so with you. I allow myself a morning each month to do the thrift shops searching for treasures--and inspiration--after my chiropractic appointment. Still longing for that full day to sit down with a novel for pleasure reading. I have a stacked collection surrounding my "chair." God bless you for all your accomplishments. You've always inspired me as a writer--now perhaps I can take your permission to "rest" and run with that, too.

  3. Yes, rest is very important to one's health. Rest, rest and rest some more to be productive.

  4. Thanks for the remainder, Eva Marie!

  5. I've been asking myself the same question lately, in the midst of many health and life changes: Can't you give yourself permission to take some time off, Linda? Recover, emotionally and mentally?

    Thanks for reminding me that I do have the right--the obligation--to take care of myself in whatever ways I need to. Time for a hiatus!

  6. Yes, we all need to rest. Even you Eva. 😉

  7. oops.... so many years i felt it wasn't okay for me to rest, that i was being lazy!!! i know better now but still that twinge of guilt tries to sneak in!!! but oh! what a few minutes sitting outside or lazing on the couch will do, both for physical recoup and for creativity!!! thanks so much for a wonderful and timely post!

  8. This was awesome - thanks for the reminder to take a break, Eva!

    ~ Savannah @ Scattered Scribblings

  9. Eva, thank you so much for your perfect timing. I'm ending my 23rd school year tomorrow and am a little over six weeks past my first book launch. I want sssoooooo badly to take a break and enjoy summer. I'm a teacher. That's what I'm supposed to do. But now I feel like I'm going to fall behind if I let up for just one minute. Since June 1st last year, I have been on my computer every single day except two. TWO! I keep telling myself I need to take a few days, that it will be okay. Thanks for giving me permission!

  10. Awesome post, Eva. I hope to accomplish a fraction of what you've done in the last twenty years. I'm humbled and amazed at the thought of it. My heart's desire, my prayer, and my hope is to complete what God started and breathed in me long ago. I want to see all He has in store for my words ... even in the midst of brain fog. : > Thanks for another encouraging post, Eva.