Monday, April 6, 2020

Sometimes You Really Can’t - 6 Tips to Help Writers Embrace the Now

by Ralene Burke @RaleneB

Over the last few weeks, a wide variety of emails and blog posts crossed my line of sight. Lots of well wishes, encouragement to push through, ways to overcome, etc. I’ve even been the creator of some of those emails and social media posts. But the truth is—sometimes you really can’t.

Now don’t get me wrong…we should be doing our best to push through and overcome the obstacles in our way. God gives us the strength and fortitude to do so. However, there are times when things are SO overwhelming that we freeze up—mentally and/or physically—and our guilt at not overcoming increases minute by minute.

So what do we DO in times like this? Whether it’s in the middle of COVID-19 chaos or after the death of a loved one or whatever our worst-case scenario might be, what do we do when we really can’t push through?

Embracing the Now
  1. First, we acknowledge our situation and the emotions that come with it. Despite what some might say, it’s perfectly okay to be afraid or angry or worried. We’re human, even if we are Christian. Ignoring the emotions can keep us from overcoming them, from taking the next right steps.
  2. Then we give ourselves grace. LOTS of grace. When we face big changes in our lives, things are bound to be difficult for a while. We won’t always get it right the first time, or the second—there is no time limit for facing our situation and making things feel normal again. We’ll have bad days. We’ll make bad decisions. But we serve a God whose mercies are new every morning…and we should follow suit in how we view ourselves.
  3. PRAY. All the time. In every moment. There is nothing stronger than prayer. No release better than prayer. And no time better spent than with the Lord. I would even say spending extra time reading the Bible or in study would help the peace and understanding to spread in our hearts.
  4. Find a way to release stress. Some of us need to be physical, some of us work out our feelings when we talk to someone, some of us fall into the arts. Whatever our choice stress reducer, we need to make time for that!
  5. When we come to a place, mentally, where we can embrace the now, we take the next right step. We all know the adage with the question, “How do you eat an elephant?” One bite at a time. Instead of worrying about what’s coming up tomorrow or next week or next month, maybe we just face the now. What needs to be done now? Who needs our attention now? What do I need now?
  6. Focus on something other than ourselves. Sometimes, we stay locked in our heads because we are so fixated on OUR circumstances that we become obsessed. If we take the time focus on other things, other people, we not only find ways to help others, but we allow our subconscious to work through our worries and fears in a much healthier way. (The same goes with getting a full night’s sleep!)

Once we come to that good menta place, we can finally push through and overcome our circumstances. These adjustments don’t happen overnight, and we are doing ourselves—as well as those around us—a disservice when we try to force happy faces and false encouragement. Sometimes we really can’t move on right away.

It’s okay to take the time to adjust. It’s okay to work through our emotions. Just don’t stay stuck in those dark places. Find the light!

Are you finding more time to write in spite of what the world is going through?


Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen, a social media wand, or a freelance editor’s sword, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to help everyone #SHINE Beyond their circumstances! Her novels, Bellanok and Armor of Aletheia, are available on Amazon. More fantasy novels coming soon!

When her head’s not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all-around crafty diva. If she only had the time . . . You can also find her on FacebookInstagramTwitter, or at her website.

1 comment:

  1. I am writing every day. The stories are flowing and my mind is busy. I am thankful God provides words and ideas for stories.