On Being a Writer: Limit (Chapter 12)

I’m joining with the online discussion group that Kate Motaung is hosting on her blog Heading Home, based on the book On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits for a Writing Life that Lasts, by Ann Krocker & Charity Singleton Craig. Today’s chapter is “Limit – Because I write, I let some things go.”

Limits are something I’m very familiar with, since chronic diseases have forced me to accept many limitations for my own safety. I no longer drive, there are many household responsibilities I need help with, even getting out of most chairs requires my husband’s assistance. But writing is one thing I can do in spite of my physical limitations. I may need to skip a planned writing time occasionally because of a doctor’s appointment or a need to rest when my symptoms are worse than normal, but usually writing is something I CAN do in spite of my limitations.

For several years, I was the primary caregiver for my mother-in-law who suffered from Alzheimer’s. Other responsibilities still needed to be done, but for a season my writing had to be put “on the shelf.” Sitting with Mom, especially when she was at the stage where she was constantly jabbering, made it impossible to work on anything that required focus. But when that season ended a year ago, I slowly began picking up writing again. At first, it was intermittent, but then a few months ago I made a commitment to spend two afternoons per week working on writing. Soon, that became three afternoons per week. The only thing I can honestly say I’ve had to let go to write are spending daytime hours reading emails, checking social media, and playing online games. I’ve allowed for some time in the evenings for these things, but they are no longer a part of my daytime “work” hours.

Life is often about priorities: to do one thing well, we need to give up something else. In the years of homeschooling my daughter, my focus was on doing that job the best I could. When my special-needs son was in a home-bound school program, with a teacher and several therapists coming to the house every week, this became my focal point. And more recently, my efforts were centered on caregiving. It’s up to each of us to determine what assignment God has given us for the current season, and then do our best to fulfill that assignment. I strongly believe that my current assignment is primarily writing, so I am now making it a priority.

16 thoughts on “On Being a Writer: Limit (Chapter 12)

  1. I’m so glad that as you deal with the challenges of chronic diseases, you have the gift of writing as an outlet (especially when you’ve had to give up so much). I hope you see countless blessings from putting those words down faithfully!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Ann. Writing really is an outlet, a joy to do as I learn more and more about the process.
      I really enjoyed this last six weeks and learned so much. Thanks for the work you put into this book.


  2. barbara, it’s very interesting to see the path GOD leads each of us isn’t it? i’m convinced that the path you have taken will give depth to your writing for sure! but it isn’t an easy one for sure! i don’t know if you have heard of Amy Carmichael. she went as a missionary to india but became ill and had to be taken care of over there for years. it was not an easy path for her for sure! she was a writer and elisabth elliot also wrote about her. you might find her works encouraging:)


    • Martha, I am familiar with Amy Carmichael. I read the biography by Elisabeth Elliot several years ago, and it might be a good book to revisit. Only God’s grace enabled her to do God’s work, and I’m leaning on His grace and strength to complete the work He has for me. God bless you and your writing in the days ahead.


    • Thanks, Gabriele. I love writing, and while I still need a lot of growing in writing skills this six weeks has really been a help and encouragement. I pray that you keep moving forward in what God has for you in writing and in every other area of your life.


  3. Have admired your bravery and courage right throughout this series and I especially loved this post. Very much identified with your line, “It’s up to each of us to determine what assignment God has given us for the current season, and then do our best to fulfill that assignment”, as I’ve just arrived at a similar conclusion myself. Have very much enjoyed reading your thoughts this last six weeks. Helen

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for all of your comments and encouragement during these six weeks. I pray that God makes clear to you what assignment(s) He has for you in this season of your life and that you lean on Him for the grace and strength to obey.


      • My absolute pleasure, always, to have popped across and read your wonderful words. Thanks for your encouragement: I can hear the calling much more clearly now, which is encouraging in itself. Helen

        Liked by 1 person

  4. love reading your thoughts today. Blessings and cursings sure come from chronic illness. Learning to put limits has definitely been a blessing for you. I LOVE that writing is one thing we can do with very few tools, a pen and some paper is all that is really necessary. It’s been a wonderful 6 weeks!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I admire your positive attitude and I’m glad that you are able to prioritise time to write. I’ve certainly been blessed by your writing, and I’m sure God has plans to use it to bless many others too.

    Liked by 1 person

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