Balance – Part 2

click here for Balance – Part 1

My creative focus remains on the River Wild Series. At the moment, I have a fascination with moving bodies of water. That’s why my second post on balance has an ocean theme.

When life gets a little turbulent, my initial response is to retreat to the safety of the shore. Experience has taught me that I need strength and self-confidence if I am to maintain my balance when the waves are breaking. This realisation teaches me that, while I enjoy watching moving water, being moved by the waves has become a fearful thing. A reminder of all my limitations, which takes my eyes off the potential adventure and parks me on the shore of “I must not dare”.

God and I have been talking about how I can regain my self-confidence. There are parallels between my creative hesitancy and my physical wellbeing. I have a long-term infirmity that has kept me out of the waves for the past two summers. Here’s a photo of me – note the sensible walking shoes to avoid any possibility that I might trip or fall.

January 2019, Tiger Head Beach, Dodges Ferry, Tasmania

Anxiety was the catalyst for my initial injury and anxiety continues to sustain the problem. I find myself pausing before I step forward to help someone, wondering if I will have the strength to make it safely home when I am finished.

Anxiety also nibbles away at my writing success. Not even three self-published books on my bookcase are enough to keep me upright when anxiety rolls in, like a thundering wave, and sweeps me off my feet.

The balance that I am seeking is halfway between “I am too afraid to try” and “my reckless decisions come at too great a cost”. I want to get back into the water, and to be confident that I won’t drown.

For me, the answer includes making a stand with God at my side. I’m looking for that place of safety, where He holds my hand. If the waves threaten to pull me off my feet, His strength sustains me. He created the waves and can see the danger that is coming, and He asks me to trust in Him. In everything I write, that search for balance is there.

DO you have a favourite Scripture to help bring balance into your situation? Please share.

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Balance – part 1

Sometimes all I need is a little treat to tide me over until the next meal. This “little carrot cupcake with cream cheese icing” photo was hiding in my photo archive. If I had one of these right now, it would only take me a moment to gobble it up. Then I could get back to writing my post without feeling guilty.

But I have a confession to make. If I had some of these little cakes in the pantry, and nobody to share with, I would probably eat them all. Of course, I would make myself walk to and from the kitchen for each one. That would remind me that I was being distracted from the tasks that I have on my today list. And if that didn’t work, then I would set myself a longer walk, and maybe even allocate a household task to complete on the way.

January 2019 site specific weaving, Blue Lagoon Conference Centre, Dodges Ferry, Tasmania, Australia. Recycled knitting yarn and balcony structure.

If I am left to myself, I can sit at the computer for hours without moving – except to eat. I’ve been trying this walk-to-eat strategy for a few years. I even used it for my final university art project in 2017. Visit my artist page here.

Finding the right balance between writing and researching how I’m supposed to do all the other things on this writing journey is a challenge. Sometimes, I get so involved in writing that I fall behind with my publishing schedule. At other times, it feels as if I’ve gone too far the other way… This is a different kind of weaving, the meandering to and fro while still keeping my eyes on the final direction.

And then there are the knots! Those little intersections of time and opportunity where everything seems to converge and I come to a standstill.

It is times like these that I return to Scripture. I believe that there will always be an answer to whatever is worrying me. Here is one of my favourites: Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my Shepherd.
How does this apply to my situation? He leads and I follow. Like all “good sheep”, sometimes I get distracted, but He’s ready to call me back. If I get into trouble, He has a big shepherd’s crook to bring me out of the tangled mess I’m in. There are even a few times when He has to carry me. But my favourite times are when He runs along beside me, helping me discover the fun in this adventure.

DO you have a favourite Scripture to help bring balance into your situation? Please share.

It has been a while…

That’s an understatement 🙂

It has been more than a year since my last blog post.

A lot can happen in a year.

I released my first book…

And my second!

And I am in the process of releasing my third title in the series.

So what happened to my weekly posts?

Good question. There are a few reasons I stopped writing. Some of them are understandable, and others took me by surprise. I’m not going to fill this page with the details. I had some challenges to manage, and lessons to learn. But I’m hoping that I have come out the other side and found my online voice again.

What I want to share is why I have been able to make it back.

Once people discover that I have written a book, they ask questions. Some of those questions are tricky. Sometimes, they purchase a book, which leads to more questions. And some of my readers want to discuss the different themes that I have woven into my stories.

Please keep the questions and comments coming. Talking about my books, and finding answers to some of the trickier questions, is making me a better writer. And a stronger person.

That doesn’t mean writing and publishing are getting any easier. I made a rookie mistake that has set the release date for Book 3 back by a few weeks. But Book 4 is already queued into the Editor’s schedule and should return to me for more hard work mid-July. I am hoping to release that one in September.

Where can you get my books? Paperbacks are available from me. The eBook links are on my Facebook author page

When I work out how to add the links to this new version of the program I am using, I will add them here – this is another of those “things” that have changed while I was away 😉

Amazon links here. All three books are “live” here.

Universal Book Links UBL below:
Book 1: White Rose of Promise
Book 2: When Promises are Broken
Book 3: When Freedom is Promised (released June 11)

Talk to you soon,

Chrissy )i(

Empty or Full?

A favourite treasure rescued from a charity shop for my Blue Skies 2017 artist project

One of the hardest problems for a writer is Writer’s Block. This can come at any time and will attack both the well-established writer and the newcomer. It robs them of their self-confidence and makes meeting deadlines impossible. The frustration from looking at an empty page for hours steals their joy.

There is a mountain of advice available today for dealing with this problem, including reminders to try writing something different, to read other people’s work, to get out and enjoy the natural world, to meet up with friends and be more social, and to make space in their life for new inspiration.

One of my favourite suggestions is to read about other writers’ experiences on the writing journey. I subscribe to lots of other writers’ Blogs. Click here for a great post about Writer’s Block written by Wendy Parker. In her ‘Empty, Borrowed, Full’ post, Wendy takes her readers to the Old Testament story of the widow and the oil (2 Kings 4:1-7). As this is one of my favourite stories, I immediately sat up and paid attention. This post is highly recommended.

At the moment, I have a Toby Mac music CD on repeat in the car. His song Love Feels Like seems a perfect match for the same Bible story. ‘Poured out, used up, still givin’. Stretching me out to the end of my limits’. Click here to listen to the official version of the song.

If you believe you have a gift for writing, then anything that stops you is like a thief who comes to ‘steal, kill and destroy’ (Jesus, John 10:10). Recently, our visiting Sunday morning guest speaker, John Hannaford from Covenant Ministries, spoke about the importance of making sure that the windows are bolted and the doors securely locked. The thief can’t get in if our lives are secure.

Wendy has a post about making sure that we don’t make the thief’s job easier by handing him the blueprints to the location of everything precious to us. Click here for her insightful explanation.

What steps are you taking to protect your writer’s dream? Write me a comment and let me what works for you.

Missed me?

Writer’s Block is a real thing

An empty page,
a painful silence

Since I last wrote here on my Blog page, I have learned a thing or three about Writer’s Block. What I share below relates to my own personal experience and that is the only domain where I am the expert. My discoveries may not be relevant to anyone else, but I feel my own recovery depends on my ability to share.

I am especially interested in the discoveries about what Writer’s Block IS NOT.

It is not laziness. I have seen that accusation made as a comment more than once when some other writer has dared to share their difficulties on one of the many writer’s facebook groups I am following.
While I have been unable to write here or on my prayer Blog, that hasn’t been because I have been sitting idle. I have been researching and reading and spending lots of time talking with God and with my friends about what was stopping me from writing here.

Nor is it having nothing to say. I have learned so much and there were so many times when I sat down and opened the form to start writing. I even have three unfinished half-written posts waiting for me to pick up the thread and bring them to a conclusion.

But it is personal

It destroys my self-confidence and undermines my self-esteem.

It leaves me thinking that it doesn’t matter if I don’t share about what is happening, and persuades me that by the time I get past this thing that keeps me from writing here on my page, there won’t be anyone interested in what I have to say…

Yesterday, a wise person listened to a passing comment and then contacted me later. They wanted me to go back to a familiar parable that Jesus told, and to consider what God was saying:
To read the whole story for yourself, follow this link:

The key message the wise person wanted me to look at was this verse: To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one; to each according to his own ability (15) .

I sat up and paid attention. The wise person suggested God had given me many talents and I should get on with the job of using them. If I sit and look at this empty page, I am no better than the man in the story, who dug a hole and buried his talent.

As a writer, I can imagine the day to day torture for that servant. The knowledge that the treasure was hidden in the ground would have played on his mind. There was always the risk that someone might find it and steal it. His fear was so great that he was blind to any other possibility. His fear kept him from succeeding and became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because he was unable to use the talent, it was taken away and given to someone else who already had more.

Naming my fear

The first step to recovery is identifying the problem, and reflecting on that. My fear is like a double-sided coin. On one side is the possibility that someone (or a few someones) will like what I write and expect me to write more, and on the other side is the possibility that no-one will ever read what I write.

Today I am writing for an audience of One. I am writing because He has told me that I have something to say, and He is interested in seeing how I express myself on the page.

If anyone else reads the words, that’s a bonus )i(