Help For When You’re Struggling to Find the Words to Write
by Amanda Bacon
Today’s blog post comes from Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Content Coordinator for Lysa TerKeurst and author of Shiny Things: Mothering on Purpose in a World of Distractions, Amanda Bacon.
These days we are living in are difficult and uncertain, aren’t they? And as writers, we get the great privilege of bringing some help and hope to hurting and worried souls as we watch and wait for things to get better.
But what if we are struggling to write those words? What if we need some help and hope for ourselves?
I understand this so much. In the last few months, I’ve not been able to write anything longer than a social media caption. The words just won’t come. Today I want to assure you that if you’re feeling this way too, it’s normal.
It’s normal to not have answers and it’s okay if your writing routine is off. We’ve never done this before. None of us have!
So today, instead of showing you how to make the words magically appear on your page, I’m going to show how I’ve been making use of this time as a writer even if actual writing has been difficult.
Keep a journal for hard things.
I keep several journals for different purposes. But today I’d like to talk about one that might be helpful to you if you’re having trouble finding the words to write publicly on a blog, in a book or on social media. I have a notebook I call: Things That Feel Too Hard. This is just an ordinary spiral bound journal that I pull out several times a year when life feels too overwhelming and I’m feeling stuck. You might not be up to publicly writing about the hard things you’re facing right now — that’s fine and to be expected! But writing about the difficult stuff of life privately could become really useful later on as you’ve already documented how you felt about it. Sometimes we need to hold some of our more difficult thoughts and experiences and keep them to ourselves until we know what we think about them and until they’ve been properly prayed over.
Keep a prayer journal.
I keep a running list of prayers in a different journal. I write in bulleted lists and keep it short and simple. How can a prayer journal help my writing, you ask? I’m so glad you asked! A prayer journal is a list of all your stresses, worries, and hopes and it can be an excellent guide for your writing later on. This tip is not only to boost your writing life and writing ideas for later, it will help you in your spiritual life as well. I love to flip back once or twice a year and write in the answers (if I have them) to the prayers I was so desperately praying earlier in the year. It’s a beautiful practice!
Writing a caption on social media IS writing.
Sometimes we forget that writing captions on social media is actually writing! If you’re currently feeling allergic to the pressure of long-form writing like on a blog or in a book, then micro-blogging on social media might be for you. In this season of my life, I find that a few well formed and well thought out paragraphs on Facebook or Instagram is what I have the capacity for right now. Are you feeling the same? If so, give yourself lots of grace and remember that writing captions on social media is writing.
Whenever I’m getting ready to start writing a blog post, I first search my Instagram accounts for ideas. Chances are, I’ve already given myself a great start with a post I wrote days, weeks or months earlier!
I pray this short little post has been helpful for you as you try not to put too much pressure on yourselves during these uncertain times. Recently I talked about these very things in a video on the COMPEL Training Facebook page! If this was helpful, you might want to go watch that video. You can do that by clicking HERE.
About Amanda Bacon
Amanda lives in North Carolina with her husband, Jeremy, and their eight children. She works for Proverbs 31 Ministries and loves encouraging women with biblical truth and authenticity. When she isn’t driving carpool or feeding people, you can find her writing, reading or wandering outdoors. Connect with Amanda on Instagram @amanda_bacon_ and read what she writes at amandabacon.com — She also writes for The Masterpiece Mom and co-hosts All the Mom Things Podcast.
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Keeping journals for different things/ event/ feelings
I just put everything in one journal. I like the idea of different journals. Since I have so many notebooks, I think I will use my phone.
I copied Sarah’s prayer for writing. I will keep this in my Writer’s Notebook.