Friday, July 9, 2021

When a Writer is Stressed, A List of What NOT to Do



by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I don’t know about you, but life is a little stressful and my To Do list is full to overflowing. I sat down the other morning to take an honest look at all the things on my plate and I discovered that just like piling on too much at a summer potluck, I was overloaded.

 

It’s funny, but the worst offenders turned out to be the things I really shouldn’t have added in the first place. So today I’m sharing what I discovered. And by the way, discovering these was painful for me too!

 

A NOT To Do List for Writers

1. Stop worrying about results. I’m a control freak and spend the most mental effort trying to affect outcomes instead of pouring energy into the work itself. I will be obedient with what God has given me (time, ideas, resources, etc.) and I will leave the results up to Him

 

The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. (Proverbs 16:9 ESV)

 

2. Quit comparing. So what if Susi Author has 25,000 Instagram followers or Jason Writer finaled in the most recent contest? God has a plan for MY writing that doesn’t look like anyone else’s. I need to focus on that, not what is happening to everyone.

 

For where envy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every kind of evil. (James 3:16 HCSB)

 

3. Stop shortchanging time with God. I’ve learned that when I’m over loaded the LAST thing I need to do is skimp on reading the Bible, praying and spending time with God.

 

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33 ESV)

 

4. Don’t work even harder. But stressed makes me want to work longer hours to get caught up. That’s a trap. Instead, when life caves in, rest and joyful activities are even more important. We can’t get water from a dry well.

 

And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. (Mark 6:31 ESV)

 

5. Stop relying on your own strength. This goes hand in hand with #4 above. All my inspiration, talent and knowledge comes from God. It’s HIS strength that gets me through the hard times. 

 

Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will also help you, I will also uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ (Isaiah 41:10 NASB)

 

6. Don’t give head-space to doubt and fear.  I have learned that when I’m stressed, Satan comes after me swinging hard. And one of the first traps he sets is with doubt and fear. When life is difficult is NOT the time to rethink your calling or stop because you’re afraid. Instead it’s time to remember God’s call and move forward in faith. 

 

For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.(Romans 11:29 NET)

 

7. Stop working in chaos. When I get overwhelmed, I get mentally messy and scattered. I’ve found that’s when I need to stop, make a list and prioritize. I look at my schedule and figure out what I actually time I actually have and how I can use it most effeciently.

 

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.(1 Corinthians 14:33 NIV)

 

8. Don’t anticipate trouble. When I’m stressed, I often slip into a negative mindset and find myself assuming the next email/phone call/message will be more problems. When I quit looking for trouble, it’s easier to dig my way out of an overloaded season. 

 

So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34 ESV)

 

9. Quit assuming it’s always going to be this way. When I’m in a hard season, I tend to feel like things are never going to get better. I need to remember life hasn’t always been this way and there will come a time when it will get easier.

 

Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never endThey are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23 HCSB)

 

The life of a writer has seasons—some are easy and some are more difficult. The one constant in our lives is God. Where ever we are, He is with us. The most important thing to remember is not to get caught up looking at the problems and instead look up. Whatever we’re facing, He’s already got a plan. 

 

This is my NOT To Do List, what would you add to it? 

 

Don’t forget to join the conversation!

Blessings,

Edie

 

TWEETABLE

When a Writer is Stressed, A List of What NOT to Do - @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet) 

Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. No matter whether she’s talking to writers, entrepreneurs, or readers, her first advice is always “Find your voice, live your story.” As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives. Connect with her on her website, through FacebookTwitter and on Instagram

30 comments:

  1. Edie, this is another of those lists to print and put on the wall. They all resonate with me, especially number 2 and 5. Thank you for sharing with us!

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    1. Barbara, they ALL resonated with me LOL! Blessings, E

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  2. My list has to include, "Put the chocolate down!" :-) Great list Ms. Edie; and it happens to all of us at one time or another. Great tips and godly references to help get us back, and keep us, on track. God's blessings ma'am.

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    1. Oh Mr Jim, YES!!!! Thanks for sharing, Blessings, E

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  3. Excellent tips, Edie. Number 7 hits me a lot--and I need to stop, breathe, and focus on one task at a time--just do the next thing.

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    1. Deb, thanks for chiming in. I miss you 💗 Blessings, E

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  4. Thank you, Edie. This post couldn’t be more timely!

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    1. Jetta, I love it when God does that! Blessings, E

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  5. God is good. How else can you explain that I needed to read this list today. Thank be you for sharing.

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    1. Deanna, thanks for the encouragement! Blessings, E

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  6. So many of my favorite verses in this list! Adding #4. DH & kids say I don't know how to relax. Lol But if Jesus Himself said to "come away and rest" .... Hmmm, then that is something to ponder.
    Thanks. :)

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    1. Yep, I’ve had to return to what God says to be able to manage this time of life! Blessings, E

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  7. Positive thoughts for my negative world--thank you!

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    1. I’m so sorry it’s a negative season! Praying for you! Blessings, E

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  8. Add to your list - Put the caffeinated drinks down and go to decaffeinated - whether it be tea, coffee or sodas! Helps to quiet and settle the nerves! This is a tremendous read, Edie. Loved the the biblical verse you added to each number on your Not To Do List. Thanks for sharing this helpful blog.

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    1. Diane oh YES!!!! Great addition, thank you! E

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  9. Great list, Edie. I can identify with every point.

    I'd add the following: Don't skimp on exercise. God's gift of endorphins makes work time less stressful and more productive.

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    1. Kay, I totally left that out and it’s so important! Thanks for sharing! Blessings, E

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  10. This is certainly a keeper and just what I needed for today. Your transparency blesses me. The poignant message penetrates far deeper than my writing life. Thanks so much for sharing.

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    1. Elisabeth, I appreciate the support and encouragement! Blessings, E

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  11. Edie, you're so right -- Satan does come after us especially hard when we're stressed. Thanks for the reminders that can play into everything, not just my writing.

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    1. Leigh, I’m so glad you found this helpful! Blessings, E

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  12. Don't forget to pray first. The note taped to my computer says "PRAY FIRST". :-)

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  13. Edie, thank you. I need to work on 1, 2, 4, and 9--yikes!! This really encouraged my heart today.

    Blessings to you,
    Tammy

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  14. As always, good words for thought.

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  15. Gonna need to save this one! Thanks, Edie!

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  16. Loved this. I'm working so hard to complete my memoir. Great reminders.
    Blessings,
    Jeanne Roberson/Inspiring Souls

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  17. Hi Edie,

    Yikes! I’m going to have to print this and keep it by my desk! Thanks for convicting me. I definitely struggle the most with #1 and #4. You don’t start with a finished product, you have to develop it. I love you.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

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  18. Hi Edie,

    Yikes! I’m going to have to print this and keep it by my desk! Thanks for convicting me. I definitely struggle the most with #1 and #4. You don’t start with a finished product, you have to develop it. I love you.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

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  19. Thank you, Edie! I really needed to reflect on these reminders this morning!

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