Wow. If ever there was such a thing as writer's guilt, then I've certainly had it the past several months. Since a flare-up with my herniated disc, I have struggled with the whole writing thing, frustrated because I haven't worked on my manuscripts. I kept hearing the sister voices of condemnation and comparison. They haven't been quiet, and I have listened to every word they said. Do you know what happens when one listens to them? I do. The result is definitely not motivational nor productive. I ended up throwing in the proverbial towel and falling for the "might as well not do anything, then" thinking.
What a joy-killer those girls are! Not to mention, BIG, FAT liars, both of them. Thankfully, though I wasn't working on my manuscripts, I kept reading. I follow numerous blogs of some amazing writers, and I repeatedly read the same message: God created each one of us individually and uniquely and gifted us each with unique talents and skills. Accordingly, those talents and skills are put into practice when the time is right.
I had chosen to play with the wrong friends, friends who induced guilt and shame. Well, guess what? Real friends won't do that. Real friends will encourage and support. Thankfully, I belong to a wonderful community of writers who are "real" friends. They've all faced the same doubts, temptations and fears. They've also fallen for the same lies and guilt at times. It's been comforting to know I'm not alone!
The wonderful thing, too, is being introduced to a precious "friend" named Grace. Grace is amazing. She has no relation to sisters Condemnation or Comparison. Grace is forgiving, gentle, and compassionate. She's also patient and always, always available. I had heard of Grace before, but I never really got to know her. I was too busy listening to the "C" sisters. This past week, I finally spent some time with Grace, and let me tell you, she is more than I had ever imagined. I know now that I don't have to play the comparison game or walk out the door with guilt because Grace accepts me as I am, yet desires the best for me. And because of that, she is always for me. Grace sets the pace and helps me move forward.
I'm happy to have finally met her. I know that this writing journey is tough, but I have a friend who cheers me on, no matter how slow I go or how many times I stumble or fall. Grace picks me up and runs right beside me. And guess what? I discovered that you can't outrun Grace.