It’s Time to Say Goodbye!

So, you may have noticed, if you’re a follower of this blog, that posts have stretched farther and farther apart lately. When we started this journey I was full of ideas! They flowed like a river, onto the page and out to your electronic devices. Granted, over the past two years, there have been some interruptions to this flow, but for the most part I have been able to find inspiration almost everywhere! Then came January 2019! This year has brought many changes—mostly positive—but it seems that I lost my footing. Somehow, I drifted off the path and away from the destination that I intended.

So, it’s time to bring it back!  Books & Coffee is for writers and creative people, like you, looking for inspiration, tips and tools for maintaining your creative flow.  But, even those of you who wouldn’t call yourself “writers” can identify with striving for something that is elusive—whatever it is you associate with success. For writers, it’s a book deal or publication, for others it’s just having your hard work recognized and valued. Whatever your gift, you long for the fulfillment of putting it to use and doing it well, yet sometimes struggle with both.

I get it! That’s why we’re here—to work through those difficulties and celebrate the successes.

With that goal in mind, today—and for the next few weeks—we’re going to tackle one enemy that is familiar to all writers—WRITERS BLOCK! Some say it’s an imaginary foe, but anyone who’s struggled with something knows it’s a thing when it keeps you from attaining your goal, even if–perhaps, especially if–it’s all in your mind!

But we’re not letting this one hold us anymore. Maybe your captor isn’t Writer’s Block, it doesn’t matter. You will discover that writing in and of itself is a powerful weapon. Want to give it a try? Here’s what you do:

  1. Put your butt in a chair
  2. Put your fingers on a keyboard (or, if your old school, grab a pen and paper!).
  3. Say bye-bye–literally!

Write a letter breaking up with Writer’s Block (or whatever “it” is). Start with, “Dear _______, it’s not you, it’s me …”.

Here’s mine:

Dear Writer’s Block,

It’s not you, it’s me:

I’ve allowed you to control me.
I’ve allowed you to make me feel inadequate.
I’ve allowed you to tell me I can’t.

But no more. I will not allow you to hurt me, hold me or tell me I’m nothing. You will no longer have the control over me that you once had, because I have been weak in the past, but I’m strong now. I’ve learned how to defeat you. I’ve been thinking about you and fretting over you all these weeks and months, but I have finally realized I don’t have to. In fact, focusing on you is what has kept me bound! Instead, I’m going to focus on me. And instead of looking at myself through your eyes, I am looking at myself through the lens of my Creator. You say I’m nobody, He says I’m somebody. He says I can be so much stronger than I am if I just walk away from you. It has been hard, because you’re very persuasive, but this is it! This is me taking the first step away…

Away from abuse
Away from turmoil
Away from defeat

I can do this. I can be what I was created to be as long as I stay away from you.


So, peace out.

What do you need to break up with? Write it in your journal or on a sheet of paper that you will tear into a million little pieces. It’s up to you. Just do it!

Maybe your break-up will inspire someone else to walk away from an unhealthy situation, share your break-up letter in the comments!

Next week: What would you do if someone started leaving little gifts on your desk every day? Come back next week and we’ll see if we can unlock the mystery!

Until next time, Happy Writing!


“Breaking up with Writer’s Block” from Brian Klems and Zachary Petit’s Bootcamp of Writing Prompts

Cover Photo by jurien huggins on Unsplash

Getting Beyond the Shadow of Doubt

When I was a kid I thought I was invincible. In my mind, there was literally nothing I could not do. I climbed trees, played with caterpillars and caught fireflies in jars. I explored my expansive yard and imagined myself as my idol–Wonder Woman! My childhood was not drama free, but my imagination was like a protective cloud into which I would ascend up and away from the mundanities of daily life.

Then I became a teenager and the bubble burst. I was introduced to mean girls and bullies that my imagination could not wish away. Middle school was a war zone and my side was losing!

High school wasn’t much better. By graduation I emerged bruised, but hopeful. The future seemed more promising than the past. However, I underestimated the extent of my psychological injuries. Suddenly faced with the weight of my choices I was overwhelmed by the reality that my future was up to me! While I knew what I loved–books and writing–my former confidence had long since left me. What if I chose wrong? What made me think I could make a living as a writer–“a writer?” Someone scoffed. “You can’t make a living doing that!”

Really?

Unlike the little girl who was undaunted by trees and laughed at the tickle of caterpillar legs, my teenage self was immobilized by fear. Doubt crawled out from under my bed and hovered over my dreams.

“You can’t” became my blanket, covering me when I wasn’t cold.

“You can’t” drove me to a different destination, a detour I never intended.

“You can’t” shouted at me from the stands and stopped me in my tracks.

“You can’t” has held me captive. When will I be free?

When I recognize the signs of succumbing:

  • listening to people who don’t have my best interest at heart
  • believing people who don’t know what God has planned
  • wavering in uncertainty rather than trusting in what I can’t see

If I’m ever to move past this point where I always stall, I must reach back and grab hands with the little girl who didn’t know fear. I must re-capture the imaginative mind that dreamed of possibilities, rather than allowing my thoughts to drift towards all the improbabilities.   If I could only reach out and boldly grasp what God is holding out to me! Overcoming the shadow of doubt may be the hardest hurdle, but it is not impossible.  

Do you believe it? Come with me.  Let’s reach for it and keep reaching!

Cover photo courtesy of Canva.com

Break Free!

The wagons were circling. The sheriff and deputy were stepping down from their horses, cuffs in hand. This felt familiar. She had broken another rule and they were here to take her in.

“No way. Not going.”

Nevermind that they were only here to help. Nevermind that she was really in trouble and what she saw as cuffs was only kindness.

“No way.”

She cut and run. Dashing into the woods, she disappeared behind the weed, a haze blurred her from view, but no one made chase. They only watched as the smoke consumed her.

Insanity.

It’s doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.

Have you been there?

Stuck in a rut, a cycle, on a merry-go-round, unable to find the exit? How do you stop the madness? How do you decipher friends from foes as you fight for your life?

As the wagons circle you may wonder if they’re coming for you with cuffs or kindness, sometimes they look the same, yet if you continue down the same path you’re traveling, where will it lead you? To paradise?

Or prison?

Insanity.

It’s doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.

Proverbs 14:12

It’s time to Break Free!

Photo by Seth Macey on Unsplash