Farming, Juggling and our Limitations

Joining in with the online discussion on the book “On Being A Writer” by Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig. Today we are working through the last chapter-Chapter 12:Limit.

As I read through this chapter and listened to the video from Ann and Charity, the image that kept popping up into my mind was a juggler. But the thing is I am not a juggler. I cannot juggle everything. In fact, if I tried to juggle everything, I have no doubt that I would drop several balls.

But that, my friends, I think is the key. We need to learn how to juggle one or two balls at a time. Since I work at a church and preach about every 5-6 weeks, writing is a part of my job. Yes, it is a different kind of writing, but it is writing in one of its many forms. I need to learn how to balance both aspects of my writing life. Perhaps that means that on weeks I am preaching, I write less on the blog.

I am an “outgoing introvert!” (Thanks Katie M. Reid for that definition because it characterizes me perfectly!) I love spending time with my friends and family, but I also love my alone time too. I think it is important for me to learn to place some juggling balls down in order to pick up another one…even if just for a short period of time.

Having grown up as a farmer’s daughter, I understand limits on time. When the harvest is ready and the fields are dry, the crops must be harvested. If there is rain in the forecast and the field is almost finished, then the farmer works until that field is completed even if that means working late into the night. Yet there is only so much a farmer can control, they have limitations on their call.

And as writers, we too have limitations! Charity is spot on when she states: “Sometimes the writing life itself puts limits on us; sometimes we have to limit the rest of our lives in order to be able to write.” Oh how true those words ring for me! Do they ring true for you too?

I need to remember that I can only juggle so much at a time and that that is totally okay.

This book and online discussion using the book “On Being A Writer” by Charity Singleton Craig and Ann Kroeker has been so much fun! It has been a joy to meet other women who are trying to hone their writing skills. I am thankful for each and every person that interacted here and at their blogs as well.

I really can’t pick a favorite chapter, because they all were my favorites. But honestly if I did pick one, it would be the chapter on Engage. There is so much joy in finding “my people” and knowing that I am not on this writing journey alone!

And after these six weeks, I am finding it is easier for me to utter the words “I am a Writer!”

28 thoughts on “Farming, Juggling and our Limitations

  1. Susan, I was going to say the same thing!! I love spending time with my family and friends; but there comes a time…I just want to be alone so I can read (books, blog posts, whatever I want!) or write, or scrapbook (alone – but it's more fun with friends!) or even just veg in front of the TV and watch some "nothing,mindless" show!!!

    We do all need to assess our lives, from time to time, and put limits on what we do…right now, I am FULL of "stuff" and little by little the "time for it" is ending; so things will get better. As long as I can write some every day, I'll "catch up" on the day to day posts that I have to … NO want to …do!

    Thanks for sharing your words!!!

  2. I like how you use the image of a juggler and especially "I need to remember that I can only juggle so much at a time and that that is totally okay." As someone who tends to try to juggle too much I need to take this on board. Thanks for all your input to this discussion- I have really appreciated your posts and your comments.

  3. Tara, I love how you relate your ministry work and your background on a farm to your understanding of limits in the writing life. Charity's well spoken conclusion does indeed capture the longing for balance instead of tension. I hope you find all a way to either eliminate some of the balls you're juggling, which simply is not possible sometimes, or keep them all spinning. As you observed, it's built into your ministry obligations, so that'll keep you writing regularly!

    I'm so glad you chose to participate in the book club. It's been fun to slip over here and read your responses!

    • Thanks Ann! My ministry work and my background on a farm definitely have helped me understand my limits. Thanks for pointing out that my writing obligations at my job will keep my writing regular. I hadn't even thought of that. I too am glad I chose to participate in this book club. I have loved reading your comments too!

  4. We're on the same page again today Tara. Juggling balls is not my gift 🙂 Shane writes less on the weeks he's preaching as well. He's a great time manager, maybe I need to learn from him, haha. Love the description of an outgoing introvert. Although there are times I can be the life of the party, I tend to be more quiet and to myself especially in an unknown crowd. I'm gonna miss this discussion. It's bee WONDERFUL!

    • Christy, here we are on the same page again. I am sitting her shaking my head and smiling…God sure knew what God was doing when God made our paths cross! I feel like I am okay at time managing. I love how that phrase "outgoing introvert" has captured the characteristics of so many of us! I am going to miss the discussions too. It has been WONDERFUL!

    • Bethany, this book was great. I hope you enjoy it too! Ha your first comment made me laugh. The second summer I worked at a Bible camp, the camp director said to me, "I didn't think you were going to make it. I thought I would keep you as long as you would make it. Now I can't get rid of you!" Sounds kind of like being quiet, and now not being able to keep quiet! 😛

  5. Juggling is only fun for me when I have two things. That third one causes craziness. We all seem to understand that but we still pick up a third ball now and then. I bet your sermons are terrific.

  6. Tara, I've realised I didn't like being an expert juggler when I was missing an important 'ball in the air' – a commitment to making time to market my writing. Now I've added that ball to the many balls I have in the air, I somehow feel it's kind of OK being a juggler and that, actually, I'm enjoying it that much more. [Have loved reading your posts this past six weeks and have very much enjoyed getting to know you that little bit better. I do hope we can keep in contact….]

    • I am glad that you are enjoying being a juggler. I am so glad you have loved my posts over these six weeks. I have enjoyed getting to know you better too. I hope we can pop into each other's blogs now and again!

  7. Hi Tara – I grew up on a farm too. Limits are real. But when we push against them, when we live under their constraint, we grow! I think that's been true in my writing life.

    Thanks for your great words. (And my apologies if you happen to get three messages from me. They kept being deleted, so I've started again a few times!)

    • I love that you and Ann took the time to stop by our blogs during the series. Yes limits are real, but they do indeed push us, don't they? Thanks again for stopping by. And no worries I only got your comment once.

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