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To the Exhausted Creative – a Letter (a Blog Repost From Saraina Whitney)


blog post cover pink and blue Ava Coulter

You’re in the same place you were last June.


You’ve barely accomplished half of your plans for the spring of 2023, and soon half the year will be gone. Your story is inching along at a snail’s pace. Every day there seems to be a new task to remember. Guilt gnaws at you for the things you keep piling into the dusty, jam-packed closet labeled Later. You’ve had to worm your way out of commitments you really wanted to make. You’ve broken a few too many promises.


You’ve already given up on creative endeavors you’ve secretly been wanting to pursue because time slips out of your grasp like water. And the mile-long list of face-plants and failures keeps flying in your face to taunt you, right at midnight when you’ve finally sunk into bed.


To haunt you with the tiny whisper of fear that you can’t do it. You’ve let down so many people; why bother to keep trying? Maybe…this wasn’t meant for you. This dream of yours.


Something must be wrong with you.


After all, everyone else seems to have it all together. Especially That Girl. Her posts are consistent, cohesive, and just plain beautiful, she meets every single deadline, she finished her novel and is already drafting her next book, she has the most aesthetic content you’ve ever seen, and she’s juggling more things you could possibly hope to count, all without missing a beat.


So why can’t you do it?


You keep a confident smile on your face, of course. But it’s only a fragile veneer, hiding the stress, the anxiety, the sleeplessness, the overwhelm, the doubt.


Surely the only thing it can mean is that you weren’t born for this. You should give up. Leave writing books to the real authors. No one needs these silly little dreams of yours anyway. They don’t deserve to be seen.


Why try to reach others in their dark places when you’re still bogged down by the weight of the world yourself?


Why keep trying when you’ll never be good enough?


Dear kindred spirit, respectfully, you are wrong.


YOU ARE MAKING PROGRESS.


It may not feel like it, and it may feel like you’re making the exact same mistakes you were a year ago, but feelings cannot be trusted.


If you are trying, then you are growing. God will not give up the work He started in you.


Just keep putting one foot ahead of the other. One small, tiny, baby step at a time. Those steps count in ways you’ll never see until one day you look behind you and realize how far you’ve come.


I know how desperately you want to be a hundred times more organized, more social, more efficient, more brave, more good than you are right now, and you’ve been expecting an overnight change. You prepare for a triumphant leap but all you can manage is to scoot forward a measly inch.


But that’s how change works.


GROWTH IS SLOW. GROWTH HURTS. GROWTH IS MESSY.


And you are not alone. All those flourishing creatives you’re secretly so envious of, they’ve been stressed beyond belief. They’ve missed deadlines. They’ve been exhausted and overwhelmed.


Why?


Because they’re human, just like you.


Your dream – life itself – is worth fighting for because it’s so strenuous. Because it sucks the life out of you and throws you for a loop until you’re dizzy and wondering why on earth you chose this in the first place. That’s how you know this is the path you were born to take.


When it’s stressful and overwhelming, that’s when you’ll know you’re truly doing something right. Because you’ve gotten to the place where it’s not fun. And that, kindred spirit, is when the growth happens.


Nothing worthwhile is easy.


It’s the pain that makes the reward so gloriously satisfying.


So please don’t give up. Don’t cave in to the voices that say you will never being good enough. Instead, keep giving it it one more chance. Draw in a breath, exhale, and trust that the Lord will provide EVERYTHING you need.


Maybe you know, deep down, that you’re fighting the Lord’s will for your life. You may be pouring all your energy into following your author dreams when it’s something else He is calling you to focus on right now.


But what if He did call you to this? What if it was He who first sparked the passion for creating in your heart?


Did you really think He would call you to flowery beds of ease?


Haha.


No, dear friend, it’s a war. You battle with thorns and shadows and fire, with the world and the devil and your very self.


But I believe God who has given us this task, this dream, this battle, will also give us the strength to bring it to completion.


So you see, my friend, you are very wrong.


You can do it.


fountain pen letter and purple flowers


quotes to put on the wall beside your desk


But he that dares not grasp the thorn should never crave the rose.

—Anne Brontë


Are we of Narnia afraid of the dark?

—C.S. Lewis, Prince Caspian


“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”

—G.K. Chesterton


“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day, saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”

—Mary Anne Radmacher


Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.

Romans 12:11, ESV


And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.

2 Corinthians 9:8-11, ESV


Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:20-21, ESV



songs to cry over in the shower


Truth Be Told – Matthew West

Pretty Pink – Cimorell

To the Dreamers – For King and Country

Weary Traveler – Jordan St. Cyr

Human – Christina Perri

One More Night – Cimorelli

Control – For King and Country

Battle Belongs – Phil Wickham



desktop and phone wallpaper to remind you of truth


far more abundantly wallpaper


floral divider segment


How did this resonate with you? Are you feeling discouraged by your seeming lack of progress? Do you get ever depressed by the whooshing sound months make as they fly by? What small or large victories have you made this month? What songs or quotes/Bible verses strengthen your resolve and give you courage and hope to keep pressing forward?



floral divider segment


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Saraina Whitney author image

Saraina Whitney is a passionate Christian writer who has a weakness for poignant stories with hints of true hope. She lives in the windy Illinois countryside with her family of fourteen. Known as the quietest of them all (except when she’s singing), she loves observing people and sharing inside jokes about movies with her siblings. She often spends her free time editing what she just wrote, rereading her favorite scenes from books, learning about Myers-Briggs personality types, or playing piano pieces from epic soundtracks. Her short story To Be Loved in the Tell Me You Love Me anthology is her first publication. Connect with her at http://www.sarainawhitney.wordpress.com.






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5 Comments


This is soo beautiful! <3 We need more posts like this. I feel encouraged, uplifted and not alone.

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Ava Hope
Ava Hope
Jan 30
Replying to

Yess, isn't Saraina amazing?! I completely agree! I'm so glad you were encouraged, friend ❤️

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Saraina Whitney
Saraina Whitney
Sep 29, 2023

Aww, thank you so much for reposting this, Ava!!! (Maybe I should edit my original post to say "last year" instead of "last June" to keep it relevant for all time 😜😆)

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Saraina Whitney
Saraina Whitney
Oct 02, 2023
Replying to

Aww, thank YOU for being the same, Ava!!! <333 :D (Haha! If you feel like it, sure! ;) 😂)

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