Making Dry Wells Flow Again

by Jennifer Haynie @JenniferHaynie1

It happened.  I fell out of love.

Not with my husband.  With my novel, No Options.

I’d been working hard on first drafting it, then revising it so I could get it to my beta readers this past May.  Last fall, I set it aside to finish Exiled Heart. Once that came out on the market, I turned my attention back to No Options.

I had no creativity left.  Nothing.

As a writer, I tend to see scenes.  I visualize the way things should happen, what the characters look like, and the settings.  And I can translate that into the words of a novel.  But now, I couldn’t. The battle of editing had left me weary and beaten down.

As I got comments back from my beta readers, I faced the big question. 

Did I have it in me to go the final miles needed to turn No Options into a novel that would make it into the hands of my readers? 

It’s actually a very common question with writers.  We give it our all, pour our hearts and souls into our novels.  What can happen is that our creative wells run dry.  We face burnout when that happens.

And when dry and burned out, the temptation arises to walk away from writing altogether.

Some do.

I couldn’t.

But I needed something to get the well flowing again.

And then I read a blog post on the (in)courage website by Karina Allen.  It talked about the fight for freedom.  While her post centered around fighting through our faith to gain freedom from things that bind us, one of her quotes really struck me.  “We are not to fight for faith but out of faith. Because then, it really isn’t even us doing all of the fighting because it is God who fights for us.”

That stuck with me as I thought about my dry writing well.  Then it came to me.  Revising No Options had become a losing battle because I was writing under my own strength, not from the strength of Him who blessed me with the gift of writing.

As I stared at the stack of papers that was my manuscript, I bowed my head.  “Lord, thank You for this opportunity to write.  May I write not for my faith but with my faith knowing that You will supply the words.  May I honor You.”

Sounds simple, right?  Yes, but it signaled a change.  I began relying on God’s strength, which is infinite rather than my own, limited strength.

Now, I pray something similar to that prayer each time I sit down to write.

Things have changed.  I'm seeing images again, images not necessarily related to my work in progress but about other characters, scenes, and novels.  And the words for No Options have flowed.

My creative well, once dry and dusty, began filling again.

To God be the glory!

As writers, we need to write with our faith with God’s strength and not our own. Click To Tweet

Question: When you’ve gotten stuck on a project, what gets you unstuck?

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