Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Dipping the Quill Deeper: Writing in the Hard Times

by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson

How do you write when you’re in the middle of life’s crises? 

I get this question a lot. And, I typically have the same answer, which is that if you had a “normal” 9 to 5 job, would you just shirk it? Not go in? 

Sure, there are times when we haveto take a day off. Sometimes, in extreme cases, a week or even more. Right now, as I write this, I’m sitting in a hospital where I’ve been for over a week now, taking care of my baby brother (who is no longer a baby, but will always be my baby brother). I had to cancel a major event in my yearly schedule—the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference—but I managed to throw my laptop and a few files into a briefcase, which means I’ve been able to stay on top of a few things.

But write? No. Not really.

Edit? Yes. Editing has become a reprieve. My husband says I can do it in my sleep, and I suppose now I have to agree with him. 

Read? Most definitely. The wonder of words is that they take us away from where we are to another time … another place … another set of circumstances. Someone else’s problems. Or a teaching that pierces us in the places that need poking. 

Journal? You bet. I need to get my feelings out, and that means, in my case, a favorite pen with the current journal. 

I Agree with Angie
While sitting in my brother’s hospital room, I have scanned the internet for articles on craft and the generalities of our industry. I came across an interview of New York Times bestselling author Angela Hunt who was asked what motivates her to write. She answered honestly: I like to make my mortgage on time. 

I laughed out loud. Me, too, Angie! Me, too … 

I write (and edit and teach and speak) because this is the talent God gave me and I figured out a way to make a living at it. (Too many of us end up with jobs and those jobs are not always the ones that makes our heart sing. But, a few of us figured out what we love to do and then figured out how to make a living at it.) Like Angie, I have a mortgage. I kinda like to eat. The folks at Duke Energy require me to pay my bill on time if I want electricity to pulse through my house (and I do). So do the good folks down at City of Winter Springs and my internet provider. So, I get what Angie is saying.

I have no more right to call up all these good people and say, “I can’t write … or edit … or speak … or …” because I’m in crisis, so you’ll just have to forgive my payment this month. After all, all God’s children got junk. If I drove to an office and punched a time clock and then wrote or edited or spoke or … I’d still have to do this if I expect to make that mortgage payment.

God will not bring you to what He will not bring you through.

Remember that. As writers we will go through crises. They are not to destroy us, but instead are designed to sharpen us. They will deepen our ability to reach the heartbeat of God, first, and others after that. Yes, we may have to stop working on a project for a while. We may have to cancel a speaking event as I recently did. But we cannot stop. If we are going to make it through the crises, we must keep going. Remember the Hebrew children, who came up on the Red Sea? They had to walk through it to get to the Promised Land. 

Joel Osteen tells the story of his daughter who, when she was a little girl, was set to sing a song at the end of a Night of Joy event. She took the stage, microphone in hand, and began to sing. But the mic kept going in and out, which for an accomplished singer would be unnerving enough. But Alexandria was a child. When most would have dropped the mic and left the stage, she looked to her left and saw her mother smiling … nodding … “Keep on singing … keep on singing …” she seemed to say. And Alexandria did just that.

All that to say: the next time you feel that you are in the middle of a major crisis and you don’t know how you are supposed to fulfil your writing or editing or speaking responsibilities … keep on going. One foot in front of the other. Do what you can do and don’t worry about what you can’t do. The crisis will pass. You will get through it. The Promised Land is just a few steps away.

Dipping the Quill Deeper: #Writing in the Hard Times - @EvaMarieEverson on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

How do you write when you’re in the middle of life’s crises? @EvaMarieEverson on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Eva Marie Everson is the multiple award-winning and bestselling author of over 35 books, both fiction and nonfiction. She is the president of Word Weavers International and the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference and North Georgia Christian Writers Conference. Eva Marie and her husband make their home in Central Florida where they enjoy a lake view, their children, and grandchildren. They are owned by a very small dog.


  1. Quite the motivational post I needed to read today.
    Thank you, Eva Marie.
    I hope your brother is doing better.

  2. Wow. Bravo. Thank you for showing up, better yet, showing up and delivering. It makes my petty excuses look, well, petty. You were misses, Eva Marie, but you were where you needed to be. Looking forward to when we get to see you again. Our prayers are with you, your brother, and your family. From your other family.

  3. We write because that's what we're called to do my friend. Sometimes we write through tears and fears, yet we write. Editing afterwards always takes longer though. :-) Know you and your brother remain in our prayers. God's blessings ma'am.

  4. Lifting your brother before the throne. Thank you for this honest, encouraging post. Blessings, Tammy

  5. A wonderful message. Personally, I find I can gain perspective about the circumstance that I find myself in, especially those frustrating ones.

  6. There have been times when I was surrounded by tragedies, pressures in life, etc. It's important to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Yes, rest when needed, but keep going. God's purpose is still being worked through you and reaching the finish line is part of the plan. Thanks, Eva!

  7. I once worked in a college financial department checking on delinquent student loans. One student's excuse for not making payments was "But nobody bought my book!"
    I was a new grad myself and found that answer ridiculous.

  8. I've prayed often for you and your brother, Eva. May God continue to bless you both in the days ahead. Thanks for your transparency and encouragement! Both are a blessing to many!