“Stop it! Go away! Leave me alone!” It is my words, but silent, spoken in my mind to the voices that are calling to me. Their incessant clamoring for attention feeds my discouragement. Why can’t they ignore me like I try to ignore them?
I am in control, I tell myself. Without me they will cease to exist. With the touch of one button all evidence of their existence will be erased. I have that power.
Sighing, I quietly fluff my pillow, turning it over so that the coolness of the other side brings momentary soothing to my frazzled nerves. Finally, I give in to the voices. In the stillness of night, in my mind, I write new chapters, and rewrite old ones. I examine scenes for flaws. I eliminate unnecessary people and embellish current ones.
And the characters of my novels are silenced for the moment. My mind relaxes and sleep overtakes me.
I wonder if I am alone, or do other writers experience the same thing. Then I scoff at calling myself a writer. That is what the discouragement does to me. I question whether this passionate drive to write was truly given by God. If I answer yes, then I question why I go through these bouts of discouragement.
Disappointed, disillusioned, and discouraged, at my lowest point, when I was ready to give up, convinced I would never truly be a writer, God, my heavenly Father, spoke into my spirit, “Who are you? Are you who others say you are? Are you what you perceive yourself to be? Or are you who I say you are?”
It is enough! God has called me to write. I am confident of that. And so I sit, fingers poised over my laptop. It silences the voices of my characters that will not be ignored, these that I have given life to. It is the only way to prevent them from insinuating themselves into that brief moment when sleep descends, causing my eyes to fly open and my brain to go into high gear with these lives I have created. I am too old and tired to have my sleep stolen away by them.
I cling to the truth that the power of encouragement lies within me through Him who dwells in my heart and soul. But it is also nice to receive encouragement from friends, family and even strangers, but first I must believe in myself.