by Allen Arnold, @TheStoryofWith
Is restoration a regular part of your creative process?
From my years as a publisher, speaker, and consultant to thousands of writers, I can tell you most writers don’t make time for this.
And that neglect has a toxic effect for artists and their art. Because how can anyone authentically write stories filled with life from a heart that is overwhelmed, striving, and burnt out?
A big part of the problem is how we view the normal rhythm of life. For many, it goes like this: Work hard all day. Constantly do more. Rest as little as possible. Then work hard again. Do even more. Repeat endlessly.
In other words, restoration is the inconvenient, inefficient pause that we try to minimize in order to maximize our work. We push ourselves to the limit all year, believing a week’s vacation will miraculously replenish us for the next year. That’s not a rhythm of rest. It’s a recipe for implosion.Imagine neglecting your heart for years and it finally gives out. Emergency surgery saves you. Upon release, you thank the medical team for restoring your heart as you make an appointment for the same procedure next year because success in your art takes priority over care for your heart.
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That would be insane, right? Yet that’s often how we treat our hearts.God made us with the daily need for heart and soul care. Not emergency surgery after we break down but intentional daily heart and soul care. “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23)
Did you catch that? God tells us our heart matters far more than our art. Heart and soul care is the absolute first priority because everything flows from it. So why do we tend to put it off?
For writers, that fear usually whispers one of these thoughts to us:
- Time is short. You are behind. Hurry or your story will never happen.
- You are alone. You are only valued for what you do. So do more.
- Your validation hinges on finding the magic formula for success.
- If you take a break from writing and social media, fans will move on.
- Caring for your heart can wait. The priority is the project at hand.
All these statements are fear-driven lies. They will not fuel your creativity.They will not produce success that matters. Left unchecked, they will ultimately cause you and your stories to implode.
Now is the time to no longer let fear overtake your calendar, overwhelm your heart, or sabotage your art. I invite you to join me on this journey. At its foundation is the belief we maximize our gifting and creativity when we put heart and soul care above everything else, including our current projects. It means infusing our days with space – no matter how brief – to actively and intimately experience God, awaken our hearts, and dream big with the One who infused us with those unique passions and dreams.
Make that the rhythm of your day and experience the joy of being a replenished, renewed, and restored storyteller.
“Unique and powerful, The Story of With will take readers deep into the discovery of their own identity. “Bravo! This fascinating blend of storytelling and teaching will shift the thinking of all who take this journey.” New York Times Bestselling Author, TED DEKKER
“Through allegory and invitation, Allen Arnold ushers us into a journey of imagination, insight, wonder, and wisdom…Read The Story of With!” New York Times Bestselling Co-Author of Captivating, STASI ELDREDGE
“This is your invitation into deeper identity, intimacy, and imagination with God. Like finding the place you’ve always longed to be. The moment you finish this book, you’ll race to grab one for a friend. Highest Recommendation!” Bestselling Author of The Long Journey to Jake Palmer, JAMES L. RUBART
“Allen has written a roadmap for dreaming with God. The Story of With is a beautiful, revelatory parable, filled with wonder, mystery, and adventure.” Author of Prone to Love & Untamed, JASON CLARK
– From the Foreword –
“You are not alone. Whether you’re a free spirit, an office exec, a writer, musician, college student, or tired parent—your soul, like mine, knows life is meant to go beyond rat races and rare applause. This book speaks to that belief. And if you’re not careful, you may find tears warming your eyes as you read because finally someone is naming your weariness, your striving, your questions of why you just can’t quite make it, or the emptiness that hit because maybe you did. It is into those places The Story of With reaches—fusing allegory with application—to offer fresh perspective, restored hope, and a rebirth of creativity.”
—From the Foreword by Mary Weber, Christy & Carol Award-Winning, Scholastic Pick Author of the Storm Siren Trilogy.