Behind and Before

Hey, everyone! Long time no see, sort of. Life has been interesting recently for a multitude of reasons. I’ve gone through a lot of personal challenges in the past couple of months specifically, and I’ve learned more than I could ever describe in words—but I’ll do my best to do just that! This wasn’t something that I planned on sharing, but I feel like my struggles are similar to those of many other creators out there. Maybe there’s someone who will be comforted and encouraged by hearing about my experience.

The number one thing I’ll talk about in this post is insecurities as a writer. Any creator will understand this feeling, I think. We love our work so much that it becomes a part of us, and when it’s put down or ignored, we feel put down or ignored. Any wise, practised writer will say that you have to distance your personal self from your work, you can’t take criticisms on your work as criticisms of yourself, etc. But can we really fully separate ourselves from that? I know I can’t.

And so a few months ago, I started to hear this small, almost insignificant voice talking nonsense in the back of my mind. It started saying things like, “No one cares. No one sees. No one likes what you do. You’re not successful, you’re not good enough.” I was able to push it away easily at first, but as time went on and things didn’t change, I started to wonder if that voice was right. It looked like absolutely no one was reading any of the original writing I was putting out into the world—and when your goal as a writer is to elicit some kind of positive emotions from your reader, whether it be a huge belly laugh or just a small smile, that’s kind of a punch in the gut.

But I kept writing anyways. As the days passed and I still felt like I was getting zero response, the voice got stronger. And I started to believe it. All of these questions and lies and confusions kept piling up in my head until last week when I started to question if I was a writer at all, if I should just quit and give up. If no one was reading, what was the point? I absolutely detested the thought—to stop writing would be like amputating a limb—but I just didn’t know what to do. I’d tried doing new things, I’d tried talking to others and doing research, but nothing seemed to be working. Maybe I really did just suck and I’d been lying to myself my whole life.

Thank God for my husband, who knows when something’s wrong and puts aside everything to listen to me and help me work things out. I’ve only been married for 5 months, but I don’t know what I’d do without him. And so, after a really rough, hard, terrible day where I questioned everything, I was finally able to see at the end of the night that I am a writer. I believed it more than I ever had. My husband had never stopped believing in me. And even just knowing that God was behind and before me, holding me and paving the way for my purpose, and that my husband supported me wholeheartedly, made me decide that I could keep going. Even if no one else cared (which wasn’t true in the slightest), I knew it wouldn’t last forever because God has called me to change the world through the words that I write.

And besides, how could I ever stop writing? I just love it. I love coming up with new ideas. I love sharing them. I love forming words into something that sounds beautiful and paints pictures in your mind. It’s fully a part of me, and to ask me to stop would be like asking me to stop breathing.

At about the same time that all of the negative thoughts started building up, I kept feeling God calling me to deeper faith. To trust him in everything. As someone with anxiety, it’s an onerous task for me. But I started to wake up and make a conscious decision every day to trust God no matter what. And then, of course, that faith got tested. And it got tested again. And again, and again… You get the picture. Instead of freaking out, though, I was able to stay calm and just say, “I trust you.” The two biggest tests of faith still haven’t been resolved even as I write this, but rather than dwelling on the what-ifs, I dwell on the incredible life God has given me and praise him for what he does for me every single day. Suddenly, the “bad things” don’t seem so bad anymore.

This entire mental and spiritual overhaul drove me to be super productive this past week. I haven’t gotten much paid work this week (one of the things I’m trusting God about!) so I was really able to dive into several different personal projects I’ve been working on, as well as connect with other writers and build my presence as an author online. It’s been fantastic, and something that I really needed. I’ve been able to interact with the writing community and discover more ways to put myself out there.

One of the most fun things I did was create a Linktree! I’ll have the link up permanently on my website once I get my laptop back from the shop, but for now, if you’d like to take a look, there’s one place where you can check out all of my things! You’ll find links to my works, my social media, and even a website where you can support me by gifting me a cup of coffee!

All of this to say: never give up, ever. And thank you to everyone who has supported me and continues to support me in my writing endeavours! I feel like I’m starting down a brand new road, and it feels amazing!


6 thoughts on “Behind and Before

  1. My dear sweet and gifted Elisabeth Jane, you are definitely a writer! God has given you a beautiful gift. You had a gift of language very early on and it has grown into you being an amazing writer!!! I am so proud of you and I love you most ardently ♥️

    Liked by 2 people

  2. E.J.

    You’re a fantastic writer, and you perfectly articulate something we all go through. The pain of feeling like you’re one of a billion crickets chirping from a field in Nebraska, trying to get your voice heard in outer space, is a common and familiar one. I’m struggling with it right now myself, and this blog was just what I needed to hear (or, read). So thank you so much. Keep working, keep writing. There are people out there (like me) who do notice and appreciate what you have to say.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow I feel this so much haha. It can get pretty tough but you just gotta buckle down and trust God no matter what! This was a very timely post 😁 Im praying for you and looking forward to all you’ll be putting out into the world! 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s