Tag Archives: writer’s life

When You Hit a Brick Wall: 3 Options

Ever feel like you’re beating your head against a brick wall?

What does your particular brick wall look like? Maybe it looks like a boss saying no to that promotion you deserve… or an illness that won’t improve despite your prayers and efforts… or maybe it looks like another negative pregnancy test.

While I’ve certainly faced bigger and scarier brick walls before, my current brick wall looks like a traditional publishing industry with very few opportunities for new authors. Maybe you can relate to giving your all and not getting the results you’re after. As a writer who has poured heart and soul into doing *all the things* to jump through the hoops publishers require, it’s discouraging, to say the least.

In many circumstances, including in the writing world, working hard and doing the right things often aren’t enough. As a personal example, one big-name publisher recently responded to my proposal with the encouragement that my manuscript was right up her alley—immediately followed by the fact that she couldn’t take on any new authors this year or the next. She could only re-sign existing authors.

Brick wall.

I’m starting to get a headache from crashing into this ridiculous wall… maybe you know the feeling.

So whether in work, health, or any other area of life, what do we do when we hit brick wall after brick wall? One of three things:

  1. We dig in.
  2. We reevaluate.
  3. We give up.

There’s nothing wrong with trying to dig in our heels until we achieve what we’re after. This approach requires plenty of tenacity and can be admirable and effective. But sometimes our goal remains elusive even after we’ve done everything in our power to get the outcome we want. Then what?

After considering the facts and taking the situation to God in prayer, sometimes our best option is to reevaluate… find a different path to a similar outcome and change course. Who wants to crash into a brick wall day after day if they don’t have to? Changing course might just be the best thing for our hearts, minds, and souls, even if it requires us to adjust our end goal.

The way I see it, the only bad option of the three is to give up. And when I say give up, I mean to throw up our hands in frustration and simply stop pursuing our goal. We should always be willing to change course or scrap plans, but not out of frustration… only out of obedience to where God is leading.

And sometimes, God may be calling us to set aside our pursuits, hand our difficulties to Him, and simply rest. (I say simply, but sometimes rest is more difficult than work!) Let me just emphasize that this is not the same as giving up. This is productive obedience when we follow God’s direction.

Giving up is destructive rather than productive. Instead of rest, we’re filled with anger. Instead of adapting our dreams, we’re filled with bitterness. Instead of pressing on, we roll over in defeat, and this is exactly where the Enemy wants us. Let’s not give him the satisfaction. Especially since God is inviting us to find rest in him with each step we take.

We may never discover the “why” behind our brick walls on this side of heaven, but the truth is this: We can rest in God all along our rocky journeys, change course as needed, and know that his higher purposes are for the ultimate good. All our striving and spinning wheels won’t change his perfect timing for his good plans. And someday, we’ll understand his “why” and even thank him for not letting us settle for the plans we thought were best. Maybe all these brick walls are blessings in disguise.

I’d love to hear about the brick wall you’re up against right now. Leave me a comment to let me know so I can pray for you!

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