Why Catherine West Won’t Quit #Writing

INSPY Award-winning author
Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in
Bermuda. When she’s not at the
computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie
for long walks or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have
two grown children. Catherine’s latest novel, Bridge of Faith, is now available on Amazon. Her next novel will
release the summer of 2016, through Harper Collins Christian Publishing. You
can find Catherine on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads,
Pinterest, Google+, and
Amazon.
Why We Don’t Quit
“I can’t do this anymore …”
I
wonder if you’ve said that lately. Or at least thought it.
I
have. And sometimes it’s true. Sometimes it’s really how you feel, and you
don’t know what else to say. But the minute the words are out, you know you don’t
really mean it. You know, despite the insurmountable odds, the closed doors and
the brick walls that seem too high to scale … you can do this.
Let’s
be honest. Writing is one of the hardest jobs out there. For many of us, the
journey to publication is a dream we’ve held for years. We write because we
love it, but we also long for the opportunity to share our work with the world.
And some days that goal seems lofty. Some days you tell yourself it’ll never
happen. And some days, well … you know what happens. Life takes over.
And
the words won’t come.
I
remember a time a few years back where I quit. I quit writing because I quit believing in myself. Rejection after
rejection convinced me I’d never be any good at this thing, never get an agent,
let alone one day get to hold my own book in my hands. The easiest thing to do
would be to shut down the computer. Besides, my kids needed me, my husband
needed me, and there were a lot of other things going on that demanded my
attention. I was emotionally drained, discouraged, and ready to pack it in.
Have
you been there?
Maybe
that’s how you feel today. Maybe you think that walking away is easier. It’s
not. Not if you really believe you’re called to this thing. Not if you know
that God has given you this incredible gift – the ability to weave words into
beautiful tapestries that touch the hearts and minds of readers and give them
joy, hope.
So
… we don’t quit.
But
how … how do we write when we’re in the midst of battle? Surrounded by hard
circumstances and situations we can’t control … how … when it’s all we can do
to get out of bed in the morning … how?
I’ve
heard that desperate cry in my head more times than I care to share. Trust me,
I know. I know how hard it is. But I also know you can do it. And I can too.
Don’t
be afraid to ask for help.
This
used to be my biggest downfall. I’d be too worried about what people would
think if I told them how I really felt. I refused to ask for help when I needed
it most. Not anymore. Now I know the first thing to do when I’m in that hard
place, is to reach out. First to God, but then to that trusted group of friends¾your prayer warriors, your confidants, your A-team¾oh, I hope you’ve got one of those. Because I have
to tell you, when you’re in the midst of the storm, you need all those arms
around you.

One
day at a time.
Do
what you can. Nobody says it has to be perfect. You just have to show up. Show
up and write. Clear your mind of the clutter and see what comes out. If you’re
on deadline, obviously you need to keep going with that story, but if you
simply can’t … then just write a blog. Write a piece of flash fiction. Poetry. A
letter to your grandmother or great-aunt. Anything. Just write. And don’t tell
yourself you can’t, because you know that’s not true. Try setting a goal, even
if it’s only a paragraph. Tomorrow it might be page. And then a chapter.
Believe it’ll come.
Be
good to yourself.
Take
breaks. Go for a walk, work-out, watch a movie, go get some coffee with a
friend, whatever you need to do to find joy. Because staring at a white page on
the screen in front of you is no fun. And we want this to be fun, don’t we?
Remind
me why I’m doing this?
I
say this a lot. And my wise friends will answer, “Because you can’t not.” And it’s true. I’ve tried. Each time I want
to give up, quit and never write another word, I get that yearning, that unrest
in the pit of my stomach that says I’ll never be truly content unless I’m
writing. I know now part of the reason I can’t quit is because this
is who I am
. I’m a writer. God made me this way. He’s given me the
talent and He’s put me on this path, and provided amazing gifts along the way. How
dare I try to refuse it!
Imagine
a family, poor, hard-working, who want nothing more than to see their son
succeed – he’s a straight A student and all his teachers tell them he’s capable
of doing whatever he sets his mind to, so they save every penny they can, and
finally have enough money to offer him the ability to attend college. And he
turns around and tells them, “No thanks, I’m just going to roam the country
aimlessly, pick up odd jobs when I can … it’ll be good.” You know?
Don’t
refuse the gift.
Yes,
there will be difficult times. We’re not promised cake and ice cream every day.
  
But
we are asked to persevere. To be faithful. To be filled with faith and
confidence, even when we feel empty inside. Do what you can today, trust God
for tomorrow, and don’t ever, ever give up.
Have
you wanted to quit lately?
  
Bridge of Faith
Two
lives taken down different roads – one enduring love – one shot at starting
over. If only they believed in second chances.
They say you can’t go home again.
Sometimes you don’t have a choice.
After
the death of her second husband, Julia Connelly is finally free to live the
life she’s longed for. Free from twelve nightmarish years in an abusive
relationship. Free to begin again.
Julia
takes her two children back to her family home in Vermont, hoping for peace and
healing. Instead, she encounters Reid, her high-school sweetheart—the man she
eloped with at eighteen—who then abandoned her two months into their marriage,
with little explanation.
        
Popular
news correspondent, Reid Wallace, has his own problems. After an assignment in
the Middle East goes horribly wrong, he ditches his career. He’s not sure what
comes next and returns to his hometown seeking answers.
Confronting
his past was not in the plan.
Seeing
Julia again sends him into a tailspin, prompting even more questions. Like why
the only woman he’s ever really loved still possesses the power to bring his
world to a screeching halt. Why her haunted look makes his heart ache. Why he
ever left her in the first place.
And
why her twelve year-old son looks just like him.
They say you can’t go home again.
Sometimes it’s the only place you’re meant to be.