The place I once lived, was a writer’s dream. Vintage parking meters lined the curb on both sides of the road in a quaint little town on the Georgia coast. Within a short walking distance were the corner jeweler, local bank, realtor, and a little diner that was always busy in this thriving community. Often, visitors flocked to the café to grab a sandwich or order the daily special because it was a welcoming place to socialize. Daily a line of individuals formed as people waited for those huddled around tables to leave. The laughter within its walls healed most work-related stress. It was the perfect place for a writer, like me, to create.
At the time, I struggled to address the writing projects I'd often neglected. I also worked for a locally-owned agency near the waterfront of this charming downtown area. Our office had a friendly small-town god-fearing atmosphere. Each morning I walked into the building with my Bible tucked under my arm because the staff met for an office meeting which included a brief devotion. Those few moments encouraged and empowered me. Often, as I rushed past the boss’s office, I overheard him in prayer. It was a great environment. But there was this one thing. Papers. They seemed to be everywhere, messing up my otherwise harmonious environment. In some ways the clutter reminded me of my writing, they’d been painfully neglected. I tried to ignore the heaps of paper, but the mess became a nagging nuisance.
Finally, one day the mountainous pile got to me. I summoned the nerve to corner my boss. Are you going to hire someone to file the old documents?” I asked, my heart racing. “I thought I had hired someone,” the boss said, pointing to me.
Stunned, I realized the neglected paperwork had been my responsibility all along. I was thankful the boss brought it to my attention with humor rather than harshness. Later, I wondered how many times I’d disappointed God, by my negligence of something I should’ve done-especially in the area of my writing.
Here’s the bottom line: in most cases, I’d like to think my reward comes from God, including my writing. But somehow I’d neglected to apply this simple principle to my job and the huge mess I’d been hired to handle. Thank goodness, God forgives and sometimes bosses do, as well
As a writer, maybe your reward might be something different. Perhaps, it’s personal satisfaction, a paycheck, the praise of others, or something else. Whatever it is, as writers we need to dig deep and find our path from neglecting our work to—pursuing it!
Your turn, is there an area of your writing life that’s being neglected? How do you plan to fix it?