In my Bible reading, I've been going through Proverbs for the past few days. I read Proverbs 14 last night. Honestly, some of the Proverbs seem pointless, like Proverbs 14:5 "A trustworthy witness will not lie, but a false witness utters lies." Um...not to be rude, Solomon...but doesn't that kind of, um...go without saying?
Then there are Proverbs that really make me think, like Proverbs 14:23 "In all labor there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty."
I have worked A LOT this week. Every day, Monday through Saturday, I worked at LEAST two jobs. I've worked more than 50 hours, not counting the time it took me to drive from one job to the other. I've also had to take my car to two different places and spent a LOT of money trying to get it fixed up--and it's still not all done.
Sometimes I just really feel like I'm working ALL the time, and just when I start to get ahead (or even just caught up with things) financially, I have to put money into something else. The other day I was sitting in the tire shop while they put two new tires on my car that will probably wear out within a year because I'm too broke to afford the repair my car needs to ensure my wheels are in proper alignment. And I was texting my mom. I texted her something like, "I'm always working. I'm always broke. I NEED TO SELL MY NOVEL."
And I'm smart enough to know that's probably not going to solve all my problems...because writers, even published ones, are often pretty broke. If I sold my book, I probably couldn't quit any of my day jobs...but then I do keep hoping I strike gold like J. K. Rowling...if only.
But that's not the main issue here.
I have been doing a lot of talking. There are definitely a lot of things I still need to do before sending any queries. Have I done them? No. I've just talked about doing them.
Now, I've got a butt load of excuses, and I think them reasonable. After the week I just had, I know there is no way I could have squeezed in any writing activities. In fact I haven't written down a single word of a story since LAST Sunday afternoon. I'm a writer who hasn't written anything on a project in a week. I have simply not had the time. And that sucks, but that's the way it goes some weeks.
This upcoming week doesn't look too promising, either. I'm working two jobs Monday, two jobs Tuesday, two jobs Wednesday, and on Thursday I'm definitely working one job and I'm on call for another. If I don't get called in to that other job, I'm going to leave town on Thursday to go visit family in KY (if I end up working Thursday night, I plan to leave Friday morning). And I'll be gone all weekend. My bro is graduating college. My dad and oldest niece both have birthdays. There's a possibility I'll have to work on a song to sing at my parent's church. Do you think I'm going to have time for writing? HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!
So basically, my current project is on a standstill until I have time to do something with it. I don't have time to work on stuff for queries. Editing is out of the question. Reading for fun/inspiration is the furthest thing from my mind.
And it's easy to get discouraged in the midst of a busy schedule. It's easy to say, "Well, I'm not doing what I'm supposed to be doing as a writer, so I'm a failure." And I do have to say that I'm convicted by Proverbs 14:23. I do a lot of talking about my writing, but how much am I doing with my writing?
But that verse doesn't say "...in only the HARDEST work there is profit." It says, "In ALL work there is profit." I'm doing what I can do with my writing at the moment, and trusting there will be more time for it later. The question then is, "What WILL I do with it when I have the time?" Will I do the work I need to do, or will I just continue to talk about it?
In the meantime, I'm not doing a lot of writing. I'm doing a lot of working with kids. I gotta say, sometimes, I'd rather be writing. Right now, though, I have to trust that the work I am doing is going to lead to some kind of profit...hopefully monetary, so I can keep paying my bills, but it's more than that.
The Lord has been teaching me a lot lately about different things. He's teaching me how to praise Him in every circumstance, and how WE NEED to praise Him. God desires our praise, but He also wants us to praise Him because we need to praise Him. That's what we were designed to do--and I've noticed that when I'm praising Him, I just function better in general. And so this stressful week has been really unexpectedly good. I've worked my butt off (not quite literally, though I may have lost a little weight in that general area) this week. I've had emotional ups and downs. I've gotten some really nice paychecks that had to be put right back into expenses for my car. I've taken opportunities to offer help to others, and I've had to be humble and ask for help for myself. I've seen friends I haven't seen in months and even years. I've talked a lot about what God has done and about what He is doing and what He will do. I've failed. I've succeeded. I've ran and breathed and rested and hoped and prayed and dreamed and rejoiced and cried and worked and sang and LIVED.
And I've realized again how much I really love my crazy, wild, wonderful life.
After all I've done against God, I don't deserve for the Lord to love me enough to test me and shape me. But He does. And He will continue to do so. And I know in His timing that my life and my writing are going to become what He wants them to be. I just have to wait for it and keep working and praying and resting in Him. Talking is fine, but all work leads to profit...and I believe that to be both monetary and Spiritual profit.
So I pray I work and worship and live this life He's given me. If I'm doing the things I know I'm supposed to be doing, I don't believe He's going to lead me astray.