The Web is full of admonitions to stretch before working out or engaging in any kind of exercise. Why? The plusses are many:
- Stretching helps prevent injuries
- It keeps your muscles in good working order
- Tight muscles are less capable
- It just makes you feel good
Plus, if you stretch first you’re less likely to have to listen to your wife laugh (under her breath, of course) while you’re on the chiropractor’s table.
And who hasn’t enjoyed a good shoulder stretch after hours of hammering away at the keyboard?
Lately, I’ve been doing some serious stretching in my writing/editing life. Since September, I’ve been helping to launch a new print magazine for American Christian Fiction Writers, ACFW Journal.
We have a great team pulling this together (and we’re having a great time, too), but I am being stretched, particularly in the areas of organization and time management.
As the editor-in-chief of the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild, I’ve taken on some new responsibilities this year that have really been a blast, but which have also stretched me in ways that weren’t always comfortable.
We improved our popular Operation First Novel contest, providing entrants with feedback on their submissions for the first time and I took on the task of managing the blog content for the Guild—both stretching me, again, in the area of organization.
Since organization is definitely a weakness of mine (I don’t really even know how to use Excel, but I’m learning), this has all been a great experience. I think it will eventually lead to me learning how to better use my time—and finding the time to pick up my writing again.
Strength in weakness
In II Corinthians, Paul notes that he “will boast more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses … for when I am weak, then am I strong” (II Corinthians 12:9-10, NIV).
What about you? In what areas are you being stretched? What weaknesses are you being forced to face? And how will that both benefit you and further the cause of Christ?
Michael Ehret is the editor-in-chief for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. He has written for newspapers and other print and online outlets. He edited several nonfiction books, was the senior editor for a faith-based financial services and insurance organization, and is the editor of ACFW Journal, the magazine for American Christian Fiction Writers.