This week I’m pleased to have author J.R. Kopenski on the blog talking about ways to challenge yourself as a Christian author.
What Does It Mean to Challenge Yourself?
Table of Contents
I think we’ve all been there. Prolonged periods of writer’s block or dry writing seasons where our writing journey is taking us nowhere.
How do we pull ourselves from the pits? How do we trudge through when maybe we’d rather just give up? Or maybe all we need to do is to challenge ourselves as we push through, one step at a time.
Why is it so important to challenge yourself?
If you don’t challenge yourself, you’ll continually live in cycles with your writing, doing the same old things the same old way. Maybe that works for some but it doesn’t work for me and I wonder if it actually works for you? Personally, I crave the thrill of something new. I desire for my author journey to take new ground and I know it won’t happen unless I surrender to the challenge.
So what is the challenge? I’m glad you asked.
What Are Three Ways to Challenge Yourself As A Christian Author?
I’ll give you the short answer and then I’ll go into more detail about each one:
- Use Prompts
- Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone
- Be Involved with a Writers Group
1. Use Prompts: I’ve found that using writing prompts is helpful in aiding my soul-crushing climb out of dry writing seasons and writer’s block. Even if the prompt has nothing to do with my current WIP, it gets the creative juices flowing and releases a flow of words that were built up for so long. And you never know what will come from such a prompt. Your next novel or published work!
The first children’s book that I published came from such a prompt.
Where can you find prompts? Look around! Write about what you see outside your window or the person picking up their latte at the coffee shop. Go online and search for writing prompts, there are thousands out there!
2. Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone: Sometimes, we don’t know how God will choose to use us unless we take those steps of faith outside of our comfort zones. Writing is that for me. I used to hold my writing close to my heart, occasionally sharing it with close friends and family.
Over the years, I slowly started to share more and more, specifically on social media (Eeek, the terror!), and watched how God has used that to encourage others. Even writing this guest post is outside of my comfort zone. But if I want growth, I must take steps that challenge me.
3. Be Involved with a Writers Group: Being involved with a group of other writers (in person is preferable) was the inspiration I needed to continue to try new things and share my writing with others. I found encouragement, validation, and support amongst other godly women writers who I found had the same fears and struggles with their writing as I did.
We are not alone and we are not meant to live alone. The Bible is full of references to community. We need a community around us as we walk this path of a writer.
How “The 100 New Challenge Journal” Can Help
My latest creation is a self-paced journal to guide you into new experiences. Some have used it for traveling and logging new foods and activities. But it just as easily can be a tool for writers to mark the milestones of challenging themselves.
Use it to track new writing prompts, guest appearances, public readings, or whatever it is that you do to challenge yourself as a writer/author. What a memento it will be at the end to see how far we’ve come in this journey!
I hope this challenges and inspires you to boldly take ground in your journey as a writer/author. Remember, the world is full of prompts if we are willing to open our eyes and look for them.
Step outside of your comfort zone and try new things! And most importantly, don’t do it alone! Find others who are walking this journey and go together!
Blessings! – JRK
J.R.Kopenski self-published her first children’s book in 2020 and has since added an accompanying coloring book and a new self-paced journal meant to inspire people to try new things. She is always on the hunt for a new coffee shop or place to kayak which is easy to do as she is a new resident of Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes!
She is on staff with a missions and discipleship organization that trains and equips the next generation to share the gospel and make Jesus known. To follow along on her author journey, you can find her online at jrknarratives.com and Instagram and Facebook at jrknarratives.
For more of her faith and ministry journey, you can follow J.R. on Instagram at travelingbeka where she hopes you’ll find a place where joy and grief intersect in holy and honest ways.
About The 100 New Challenge Journal
“The 100 New Challenge Journal” is a self-paced journal to help guide you into new experiences!
Whatever season of life you are in, I hope you accept the invitation that this journal beckons each of us on, the call to more and the invitation to experience as much as this life can offer.
Whether you are:
-Moving to a new city or state
-Unsure of who you are or what you want to do with your life
This challenge is for you! The only question left to answer is, will you join? Will you take that first step into the unknown and outside your comfort zone and start experiencing what this world has to offer?
You’ll never know who you will meet along the way! And maybe you’ll just find yourself!
Purchase The 100 New Challenge Journal on Amazon.
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