by Carole Brown
I’m sure most of you have heard that nursery rhyme chant where the child wants the rain to stop so he can go outside to play. Whether it happened or not, we’ll never know.
But can we as adults and/or writers identify? When the problems come sliding in almost like an deluge, don’t we complain, or worry, or fret, get depressed?
How many of us truly say with an honest heart:
“Thank you, God, for this experience?” or even: “Thank you, God. I know you’ll make a way.”
Problems are difficult? Who likes:
- Losing a job?
- A sudden death?
- A serious argument or disagreement that causes a huge rife between the parties?
- Rejections from publishers?
- Hard critiques from partners?
None of us!
How can we handle major “rain” crises?
Everyone, even the simplest of us, should have a back up plan. Lost a job? If you’ve studied other options for the “just in case” times in your life, then you’ll have a fair idea of what you could do to tide you over through this serious issue. Were you able to put a little aside to make those house payments and to put food on the table? Can you get a temporary job–even a cashier will get paid!–to help with purchasing food or paying the smaller bills. Or do you have a talent or skill that you can put to use? Baking? Assistant? Carpentry? Etc. Downsize. Yes, we want all the niceties in life that make lives more enjoyable, but they’re not necessary. Get rid of everything that is not a necessity.
Turn to God!
- No matter what situation in our lives we face, we need God. We need God to keep us humble when we soar and we need him when we flounder. No matter the “what,” God has the answer, and wants to keep his peace within us, wants to keep us steady, wants us to keep trusting him that “all things work together for good to those who love him.”
Sometimes as a christian, we have to do the backing up by taking the initiative or the first step to mend fences. What we feel, what we said or how we acted doesn’t matter so much as being willing to make the first gesture toward “living peaceably with all men.” That doesn’t mean you didn’t mean what you said or take back what you said, or that you have to be a door mat, but you can offer some calming thoughts or a solution to the problem, or even just a comment that you still appreciate that person regardless of the disagreement and that you want to go your own ways with peace. Hard to do at times? Oh, yes. But I’m sure YOU’ll feel much better.
Take a Break!
As writers, when rejections come, it hurts. Why can’t they see how good this story is? This article is? How can this happen when I put my whole heart into this?
We might never know that answer, but just rest assured, all things happen for a reason–normally. We may not like it or enjoy it, but the best thing to do is walk away from it for a bit. Take that break after you’ve shared with your companion or close friend. Then go ahead and work on another story or article. Let it sit until you can reasonably look at the situation. Don’t doubt you’ll see that that publishing house was the wrong fit for your book. That the editor would have had different goals in mind for your writing than you wanted. That there is another option for your work.
Critiques that seem too harsh? Much of the same advice applies to this too.
I once had a critique with a new group of partners. One of them suggested I cut a portion from the beginning and start at a different place. Ouch. This was my baby they were talking about! Wisely, another member thought I should take a break from it, then come back and look it over. I followed that advice, gave it a few weeks, and revisited my novel again. Surprisingly, I found that cutting that section out did, indeed, make the story stronger and better. What I’d thought as harsh, was really excellent advice from a more experienced writer.
Finally . . .
So when these times of “rain” come into our lives, don’t give up! Don’t fret or fuss, but count it all as “joy”–as the Apostle Paul said. For really, most of the time, God has a reason for allowing them, and eventually, if we hold steady and do what we can, we’ll see God’s promise shining in the heavens!