It’s easy to focus on the negative in the world around us. In observation of a month many dedicate to counting their blessings, I’ve started a 30-day challenge in which I’ll focus on one aspect of my writing life for which I am thankful. I’d love to have you join by sharing about something that has blessed your own writing life in the comments section below. - Jen
Wednesdays are the hardest day of the week for me to get any real writing done. My day starts with me heading out the door at 7 to meet with a couple of the high school students from my youth group. After that I spend the next eight hours sitting at a desk. If I’m lucky, I run home for 30 minutes to grab a quick bite to eat and then it’s off to Youth Group, which I am currently leading. Come 9 o’clock I’m usually pretty brain dead. Once I walk through the door all I want to do is put on my jammies and zone out for a little while before conking out.
Wednesdays are also the most rewarding day of the week. I get to spend a good portion of my day interacting with an amazing group of young men and women. It’s such an incredible blessing having the opportunity to be a part of their lives — to be trusted with their confidences. And it’s not just on Wednesdays I have that blessing either. They contact me all throughout the week with updates, questions, and prayer requests.
Occasionally a group of them will call me up on the weekend and want to hang out outside of youth activities. We’ve spent Saturdays at a park climbing over the jungle gyms. We’ve followed long dusty trails along rapid flowing creeks. We’ve spent afternoons combing through new book titles. We’ve also gotten more than a few stares from Toys ‘R Us employees. (OK. I suppose it does look odd for a 29 year old to get THAT excited about a new Lego set, but can you blame me?) And as I type this, I got a text inviting me to one of my student’s 16th birthday parties this weekend. I don’t know if that makes me cool, or just really odd.
All of this is a roundabout way of saying I am thankful for my youth. Their excitement is infectious. It inspires me. And so much of what I write in my fiction has stemmed from my interactions from them. Rarely a week goes by without them asking about my work in progress. They think it’s so cool that their youth leader is trying to get a book published that is targeted to their age group. (You’d think there wasn’t anything available for them, but it’s also a huge ego boost for me when I’m wrestling with a stubborn scene.)
Best of all are Wednesdays like yesterday where I had the privilege of witnessing the spiritual awakening and rebirth of a 12-year-old girl. The image of the peace and joy shining from her eyes will stick with me for a long time.
I have a quote by Thoreau above my desk that reads: How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.
No Writing Wednesdays are the perfect reminder of that.