Sunday, January 17, 2021

Grace for the Writer

by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

As we know, 2020 gave us more unscheduled time than we thought possible. I don’t need to tell you how many things were cancelled and stay-at-home orders placed on us countrywide as well as some countries around the world—you lived it. 

Often last year we found ourselves sitting around the TV waiting to hear when we could return to normal. We started this routine in March. I don’t know about you, but I’m still waiting to hear we’re ready to return to normal. Though I no longer sit by the TV news for that. We’ve slowly created new routines to get us by.

However, back in the spring I stopped writing. My critique groups and writing buddies couldn’t meet to work together. I became lazy. With no deadlines, or time schedule to meet with writing partners, my urgency—and desire—to write slowly flickered away. The candle flame went out and took all my mojo with it. I couldn’t string a sentence together, let alone an entire paragraph. 

With all the extra time, it would have been a perfect time to clear the clutter in my office, catch up on some writing instruction books or even complete the online writing classes I’ve purchased. Even going through my huge notebook of notes I’ve taken at the many conferences and workshops I’ve attended would have been productive. 

But I did none of those.

What about you? Did you make great use of the extra time given last year? If you did, good on you! Way to rock this writing gig. I won’t be jealous. Much.

Along came November and I began reflecting on my year. Still with more blank spots on my calendar than ever, or than what I’d like to have, I realized what a mistake I’d made not taking full advantage of all the 2020 free time. 

I let the mistake fester within me and take me down a dangerous pit. I felt defeated, a failure and wondered why I was calling myself a writer. I wasn’t writing, so how could I use the term. That evil, old dude from the pit was throwing negative thoughts at me to believe faster than I could fight them. Unfortunately, I was struggling with not believing them. I knew better, but the case made was strong. I felt sinful for wasting the time not writing and being a failure. 

Then grace.

Reading Isaiah 1:18, I was reminded that my sins may be scarlet, but they will be washed white as snow. If I thought I was sinning, then I have the choice to change that. I knew that God allowed mistakes for our good and our refinement. He freely gives grace when we slip up. Why wouldn’t I offer the same to myself? 

Have you found yourself at this point before? 

I knew that mistakes are the things I do, but the shame from doing them became who I was. The shameful failure. I didn’t just make a mistake not using my time productively, I failed at it. Therefore, I am a failure. But that’s not at all what God sees. He sees the opportunity to give grace. 

With accepting his grace for not walking in obedience to my call as a writer in 2020, it allowed me to come to Him and other people. It offered the opportunity to raise my chin, pull back my shoulders and ask for help. And I took that opportunity to do just that. 

Ah grace. What a beautiful thing to receive for our mistakes. 

We’re into January 2021 now and I’m leaning on that grace when my day’s Writing To Do list isn’t fully crossed off when I lay my head on the pillow each night. Instead, I thank God for the accomplishments made at the keyboard for the day and grateful for His grace and that which I’ve given myself. 

What about you? Are you hard on yourself when you don’t complete your writing goals? If so, remember you’re not a failure, you missed the mark for that day, that’s all. Dust yourself off, accept the gift of grace and get ready to work harder tomorrow.


You’ll find Tammy using humor and wit to bring joy and hope to every aspect in life. She’s gone from down and defeated from a past filled with bullying and criticism from family to living a Tickled Pink life as she believes there is always a giggle wanting to come out! All because of HIM.

She’s the Social Media Coordinator for the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. President of ACFW Upstate SC, Past-President and current member of Word Weavers Upstate SC and Past-President of Cross N Pens Writers Group. She’s a member of My Book Therapy/Novel Academy. A writing team member for The Write Conversation, contributor for the Learn How to Write a Novel Blog and others. Published in the Divine Moments Compilation Book—Cool-inary Moments.

She’s married to her college sweetheart Larry, a mom to their grown daughter, Kristen and excited to add a son-in-law in 2021. Born and raised in Ohio, she now lives in South Carolina. Connect with Tammy at


  1. Thank you, Tammy, for sharing. I needed that. Grace to you.

  2. Tammy - we all have a similar tale of departure from the book we were writing before the virus. One thing 20 of us did in our other guild was write poems about being isolated, hunkered down, nothing but time to spare and scriptures to read for inspiration. We shared our poems on zoom weekly. When we began it, we only expected it to last 2 weeks. Then April was added, so we continued. Then all the looting, burning, shooting, & destruction began across the country for the entire summer. We kept writing. Our resulting poems clearly show evidence of increased prayers and digging deeper into READING... reading The Word. Here I sit half a month into the new year without one addition to my pre-pandemic WIP, wondering if, perhaps, 2021 will be worse than 2020. It certainly has begun that way. But prayer warriors everywhere are relentless, we know there is a bigger plan than we can see, and there is grace. Our anthology is doing well on Amazon, & our faith is keeping us well even if we're not back to our WIPs. Great post, my friend. Jay W in SC

    1. Jay, I love that! You put your heads together to keep writing. Yay!

  3. Praise the Lord for His amazing grace. I struggled to write last year between March and July. I was able to get back into it mid-summer and complete a first draft, but it wasn't easy. Hope 2021 is a more productive year for all us writers! But if not, GRACE!

    1. Deena, that’s fantastic you were able to turn it back around! Here’s to much productivity at the keyboard for us all!

  4. Thanks, Tammy. I used the time to prepare my cult to Christ memoir for self-publication. God provided an editor, and now a cover and interior designer.
    I have done NOTHING about marketing, and quit beating myself about it. If God wants people to read it, He'll have to take my effort like the fish and bread and multiply it. I did Beth Moore's study on Believing God this summer and I have been comforted time and again buy her precept, I am who God says I am - not who the devil says I am, or who I say I am. What a relief!

    1. Yes, we can certainly be mean to ourselves!

  5. This is great encouragement. Thank you Tammy. :-)

  6. Glad you were encouraged, Melissa! Thanks.

  7. Hello, fellow former Buckeye! As I read the first half of this, I was thinking, "When did I write this?" It may take three Swiffer Dusters to do the job, but I will dust off and get to work knowing God is working everything together for good. Thanks!

  8. Tammy, I thought this was my 2020 autobiography! I was so mentally handicapped last year! I struggled to get through it and even forgot a deadline until my editor reminded me. Thankfully, she accepted my ms. late. However, I tried and tried to finish another novel and just couldn't get it done. And so I piled guilt upon guilt. I never want to be in that frame of mind again. This year, instead of a word for the year, two expressions came to mind and I keep repeating them to myself: Grace over Guilt, Faith over Fear. May God grant us all the faith to persevere and the grace to forgive ourselves if we don't meet our expectations. Thank you for affirming me and reminding me I wasn't the only one.

  9. Thank you, Tammie, reminding us that we should give ourselves grace.