Saturday, September 1, 2018

Stay on Track with Your Writing When Chaos Descends

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

September has arrived. In the air, there’s the sense of pumpkin spice and cooler weather.

Where has the summer gone? All the plans, the trips, the whole family gathering together and connecting. Okay, that last one was a bit much.

School has or is getting ready to start. For many of us, that means a total eruption of our schedules. We go from a ‘relaxing’ summer to fitting twenty-eight hours into twenty-four hour days. You have so many practices and after school activities to take your kids to, you look into applying for an Uber designation.

It’s overwhelming. By lunch of the first day, you’re looking for a way to pull over from reality for just a few moments. 

Stop the world. I want to get off.

Then that lady, the one with the stylish new haircut and clean car, calls and asks if you can bring refreshments, not packaged cookies, to the soccer game tomorrow. (Laser-beam eyes)

This feeling isn’t for women only.

Whether it’s caring for a young family, running a business, or getting a book published and selling well, the demands are constantly barking for our attentions.

And the doubts scream at us. Am I doing enough, am I being selfish, will they see I’m a fraud?

I don’t want to do it all, but I do want to do more. I want to be all that I can be. That God has called me to be.

Is that too much to ask?

A few months ago, my friend, Cynthia Owens, recommended a book. Most of us have this struggle going on inside, it’s just that some hide it better than others.

With Impactivity, Tracy Higley has written a book for women (I peeked) who want to make a difference in the world and live a life of impact.  Sign me up.

I like how she structured the book with a chapter of teaching, then a chapter of application with three young ladies in different stages of their lives. It makes the reading less formal and easier to see how it can fit in your own life.

Tips for keeping life from becoming overwhelming 
(These are my tips. For a more in-depth plan, see Tracy’s book.)
  • 1. Keep focus
    • Is this something that is important to you? I know with a family, a lot of your obligations, running someone to swimming, isn’t high on your list of desires. But is it what you want as a family?
    • Be willing to say no. I’m gifted at this, but saying no to someone kills my wife. She wants everyone to be happy. However, you only have so much energy and time to have the most impact on others. Only you can prevent someone else from stealing them what what’s important.
  • 2. Remember that this is just for a season.
    • It’s easy to think that you will be waiting in the line to pick up your kids from school until you’re old and gray. My sweet niece-in-law is a teacher and has an infant that she’s adjusting to leaving for school. The sleepless nights, the long drive to the babysitter, she’s exhausted.
    • But it will be all over soon. Then she will have a two-year-old. (Hahahaha.)
  • 3. Make a plan
    • Talk with spouse, family, or whoever else is affected and set up a plan that they understand. It’s a lot easier if everyone knows what is expected of them and why. They can understand when you have to say no and they can see it’s not personal. (Teenagers are exceptions. Go to #2.)
  • 4. Remember Whose you are
    • God has a plan for you, whether you feel it or not. It’s important to carve out time (You won’t find it) to seek Him. If you don’t know how to seek Him, that’s a great place to start.  Don’t look to other peoples’ opinions of whether you are successful. They aren’t the One that matters.
There are going to be days when you’re tired getting out of bed. When the infant, or the hospital sounds, won’t let you sleep. When the demands of the day take more than you have.

Remembering and taking these four steps can help your day not be one you just muddle through, but one that impacts the lives of those around you.


Tim Suddeth has been published in Guideposts’ The Joy of Christmas and on He’s working on his third manuscript and looks forward to seeing his name on a cover. He is a member of ACFW and Cross n Pens. Tim’s lives in Greenville, SC with his wife, Vickie, and his happy 19-year-old autistic son, Madison.  Visit Tim at and on Facebook and Twitter. He can be also reached at


  1. Excellent and timely article. Thanks, Tim!

  2. Excellent read, Tim. I've been sidelined with an injury the past two weeks with still more time to go before "normal" so lots of re-evaluation taking place. This is a timely post for me. Thanks!

  3. You are awesome, Marilyn. I hope you get back at it soon and wish you the best.