When Your Dream Becomes Too Heavy

If I’m honest, there are times when I wish this writing dream would die.

When I began blogging several years ago, I dove in with both feet. I had no idea what I was doing or how many people would read what I wrote. All I knew was how good it felt to get the words out there. There was no middle man, editor or someone who deemed whether the syllables I strung together were good enough to print. It was just me, the laptop and the reader.

And I liked that.

But to pursue dreams and goals, we can’t remain in one place. We have to keep challenging ourselves to step outside what’s comfortable.

So I looked into the publishing world. I bought a writer’s market guide, took online classes and talked to successful writers. I learned what it took to get a publishing house to notice you, and I got my first taste of disillusionment with the industry.

Platform. Numbers. Followers and email subscribers. At first it seemed easy enough, until I heard numbers far exceeding anything I’d imagined.

I looked at other writers around me and thought I had to keep their rhythm and pace. Then I wondered why I was frustrated. I wondered why something I used to love felt heavy and burdensome.

I wanted my dream to go away, but it wouldn’t.

Every time I was tempted to close my computer and never see that cursor flashing again, a message would pop into my inbox. Or a comment would show up on my blog. A note of encouragement. A reader saying the words reached her at just the right time.

I knew this dream was so much bigger than me. I realized it wasn’t about me at all, really.

It was about the One who placed it in my heart.Β It was about the readers He brought here. Some close, and some in continents I may never step foot in.

A couple of weeks ago, I watched an Amazon original show that follows the life of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife, Zelda. Or as he called her, “Z.” She was his muse, his inspiration, and the woman who kept him going when he was temped to give up.

In one of the opening episodes, Zelda’s father, who is a well-to-do judge in Alabama, drills Fitzgerald about his writing, asserting that it is not a viable career. Fitzgerald fights back, saying Mark Twain was a millionaire.

Zelda’s father laughs.

“So you’re going to be the next Mark Twain?” he jokes.

“No,” Fitzgerald says. “I’m going to be the next F. Scott Fitzgerald.”

And he was. He was a writer in his own right, with his own voice. He didn’t have to be anyone else, because his message was recognized as unique. It stood on its own.

Now, I’ll be completely honest. I am not an F. Scott Fitzgerald orΒ The Great Gatsby fan. (astonishing, I know) But I have a fascination with these classic, early 20th century writers. I’m captivated by the fact that they would pursue something most people thought was completely absurd. That they were willing to go against the status quo and take a risk.

As I reflected on the scene from “Z,” what I felt like God was saying to me was this:

“You don’t have to be like anyone else. Just be Abby. Just be the writer I created you to be.”

My job is to put the words to the keyboard. God’s is to do what only he can do.

So to you, dear reader, I deliver this message:

  • When you’re tempted to look in the other lane, remember only you can run your race.
  • When you’re tempted to give up, remember your pace may not look like the person to your right or your left.
  • When you’re rejected, remember He can use each “no” to lead you to the perfect “yes.”

Your journey won’t look like anyone else’s. Because your journey was assigned by a limitless Creator.

 

Linking up with these communities: #RaRaLinkup, #RechargeWednesday

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27 thoughts on “When Your Dream Becomes Too Heavy

  1. I’ve thought every one of these things too. The writing life can get so heavy when you just want to write but everyone tells you to “build your platform”. You feel like you’re shouting “look at me look at me” from the middle of the ocean.

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  2. Yes, this!! Abby, how is it that you always know exactly what I need to hear at the perfect moment?? Thanks for opening up that computer and getting these words out there. I needed it today:)

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    • I’m so thankful to hear God used this post to meet you where you’re at, Kristine. Let’s let go of the weight of striving and rest in the truth that He holds our dreams in his mighty hands today. Thanks for your sweet encouragement, friend.

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  3. Abby thank you for this. Most of this post has been my struggle and reasons I have not posted in a long time. I have come to the conclusion as you have said. I just need to write and allow God to do what He does best. Thank you for not giving up.

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  4. Abby,
    I am so greatful for the gift of writing the Lord has given you. It always blesses me; Especially today’s post. I’m entering into the world of blogging and I can relate to that pressure to keep up, which ends up making it a burden more than a blessing. I have to remember to keep my eyes in my own LANE! The struggle is real Thank you for this! You’ve greatly encouraged me πŸ™‚

    Kaitlin

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    • Kaitlin, thank you for your sweet words today. It is so easy to get distracted by what others are doing. We can surely learn from each other, but I have to remind myself that each journey is unique. So thankful He used me to encourage you today. Praise God!

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  5. Thank you. I needed to hear this so much right now. Please keep me in your prayers and my husband and our youngest daughter. We all three become very easily overwhelmed with our environmental surroundings. God brought my husband into my life for a reason; every day I realize more and more why. As well as God calling me to be a stay at home mom. Tears were streaming while I read your article and typed this. It so hard on some days because since the age of four I can remember never wanting nor desiring to be like someone other than myself. God knew my purpose then as he does now. I have shared my story with many and will continue to even though a select few well meaning Christians close to me try to
    pull me into their desired way of ministering to others. I will do what God guides me to do and not others even though biblical based. Each person calling is unique from God. He gave each of us a spiritual gift.

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    • Absolutely praying for you this morning, Kimberly. May God bring peace to your heart and guide your steps as you minister to the people He has for you. Thank you for sharing your heart here today.

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  6. Yes, Abby, just be you! πŸ™‚ I identify with much of what you write here as I’ve been through it myself. I went to a Writers’ Conference and got so discouraged. So much talk about having a platform, etc. That conference was used to change my direction. It wasn’t about me and how many follow me. It wasn’t about getting published or writing a book. It was about writing for the audience of ONE. From then on I try to concentrate on writing blog posts to glorify God and the hope, healing, and freedom that only come from Him. It’s still hard though not to compare myself with others’ writing and feel inadequate. But I have to keep reminding myself He wants us to use the unique voice He’s given us, and He will use us to reach others because nothing is impossible with Him. Thank you for this honest, encouraging post. Love and hugs to you!

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  7. Well said, Abby. Lately, I’ve struggled with how to balance it all — the writing, the family, the household, the everything. And, a couple of times I’ve even felt a whisper of resentment toward it. Thank God, His whisper trumps all others. Isn’t He just so faithful? Even your post here, is another reminder that the calling is worthy and to keep giving Him my little so He can use it for His Kingdom. Thank you, Abby. Your words matter and I can’t wait to see where God takes them. ((xoxo))

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  8. Abby, I hate reading it has never been my thing. I think because I’m just a simple person who hates trying to read words that I have no idea what or how to say them, yet alone know what they mean. I can honestly say that when I read your writings that I can understand your writings. I know I dont always comment but I am reading them and I enjoy them. Don’t stress and lose the gift you have, enjoy it as it comes to you. Okay, love and hugs stay strong.πŸ’–

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  9. Abby,
    This is wonderful…I love the clarity of your writing. I have learned that as I’ve let go of “my”plans for my writing, I’ve allowed God to use my talents He’s given me for His plans and His glory. Who would have thought I would be writing to tell the story of orphans in a far away land? Interestingly enough, when I kind of let go of my blogging writing and didn’t try so hard, my readership took off. The only conclusion I could draw is that this is His gift he’s given me and I need to get in step with His plan and let go of mine. Thanks for such an honest post!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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  10. Every writer probably has a moment when they want to quit or at least bloggers. i get the encouraging comments too,and some days that is all you need to keep going. Now, I’m sorry I threw away so many manuscripts.

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  11. Such an encouraging post, Abby. I’m struggle with these very same things. But I know that it is a blessing when someone tells me God used my words to speak to their heart. To be used by God is a precious treasure. And you, my friend, have been given a gift. Thank you for sharing your life and your faith through your words.

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  12. Abby, your words are apples of gold in settings of silver. “Only God can do what He can do.” May we rest in Him and His goodness no matter where we find ourselves. Xoxoxo

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  13. God wants to use you for such a time of this and so He won’t allow this dream to die. I’m blessed by your inspired writing and look forward to receiving your blog in my inbox. Thank you for the daily encouragement. Please, don’t give in to the desire to see it die. Lean on the one who placed this dream on your heart and trust in His perfect plan.

    I want my dream of writing to begin. I love to write , yet for many reasons, life and it’s trials, I haven’t written in years. I have a serious case of writers block. I stare at the screen for long periods of time , until I have no choice but to power off my laptop. Pray for me, please.

    Continue to allow God to lead his children through the words He places in your heart to write… and again, I thank you.

    Cassandra

    Sent from my iPhone

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    • Cassandra, thank you for sharing here today and for your encouragement. You bless me greatly. I will absolutely pray for you. I stopped writing for years too and it took me a while to get back into it. Perhaps start with handwriting something in a journal. Sometimes staring at that cursor flashing and the blank screen can stifle the words.

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