Updated: Accepting My Slow Writing

Journal, Writer's Articles

Dear Friend,

If I had a weakness as a writer, it would be my slow writing. For a new novel’s first draft, no matter how fast I type, it would take me several months to complete. That is, without pausing to go back and edit. Additionally, considering I write several hours a day, this is awfully slow.

The irony is that I have a typing speed of 90-100 NWPM. Well, copying a paragraph for an online speed test differs from actual writing. The latter involves thinking and transforming ideas into words. And for me, I think slowly. My fingers follow suit. It’s a sluggish process. At least, slower than writers in general.

As a fiction writer, I write slow for first drafts because I plan and brainstorm ten steps ahead while I write. Although I usually have ideas and general outlines before drafting, my stories naturally change along the way. But for drafts after the first, I tend to write them faster than the first. Whereas, as a non-fiction writer, I write somewhat faster than fiction, specifically for snippets of my life (Book F). Because I knew what had happened in my life.

How about doing short pieces like a blog article?

Most posts take me hours to draft, and another day to edit it with a fresh mind. The reason is that I tend to think of each phrase. I did write a few articles within thirty minutes (e.g. My Home Is Not Here). However, rare posts like those occur in the spur of a moment.

My process takes significant energy from me. Hence, I would be mentally exhausted after one blog post. From a business perspective, this meant my input is greater than my output. Which may or may not be good. Of course, quality is better than speed. But I’ve written poorly with slowness too. From my view (and probably most writers), the ideal writing process would be low energy input with high-quality output.

At times, I’m disheartened by my slowness. Especially when I give much of myself into a piece, and coming out wondering if it’s worth it.

However, God made something good out of it. He taught me to endure, persevere, and be patient. I searched their definitions from Merriam-Webster (2020):


Endurance
“the ability to sustain a prolonged stressful effort or activity.”


Perseverance
“continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.” 


Patient
“bearing pains … calmly or without complaint”,
“not hasty or impetuous”


Their meanings are rather similar, aren’t they? These are attitudes I’m continuously trying to have. To be more like Christ. On top of that, slowness helped me to be humble, and to trust His timing.

I have a question for you before I finish:


Does it matter to Him if we write slow or fast?

You probably know the answer. It doesn’t. We tend to compare ourselves with other writers who write fast and complete quality projects. But their journey is between them and God. As how your journey is between you and Him. He desires you to give your all, your best to Him (Col. 3:23-24).


“For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”

2 Corinthians 10:12 KJV



Very Sincerely Yours,
Clarissa Choo-Choo Train

P.S. I recently encountered another slow writer while I drafted this post (you know who you are). I’m not sure if this is relatable as yours may be a different cause. Nonetheless, thanks for reading.


References:
Endurance. 2020. In Merriam-Webster.com.
Retrieved August 8, 2020, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/endurance
Patient. 2020. In Merriam-Webster.com.
Retrieved August 8, 2020, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/patient#h1
Perseverance. 2020. In Merriam-Webster.com.
Retrieved August 8, 2020, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perseverance



~

Clarissa Choo is a vessel used for Christ’s glory. Although she has lived in four countries, Heaven is her only Home. She desires to sow His seeds and to serve third culture kids, teens, and writers. Besides writing, she loves to wash dishes, chop ingredients into smithereens, and record hymns on her piano. Peek into her Christian TCK Email Ministry or read more posts.

Why Writers Write

Writer's Articles

Dear Friend,

Why do writers write? For the readers? For themselves? Why do I write? To communicate; to enjoy it with God, to reflect upon my written thoughts, and so forth. Actually, it’s more than that. For me and other Christian writers, it starts with trusting God and obeying Him. The why is linked to Christ’s commandment to all Christians,


“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Mark 16:15 KJV



Why did He commanded us this? So that people could be saved through Him (John 3:16-18). And writing is one of many ways to obey Him. Thus, we write stories of redemption, hope, and the Truth from the Bible. God would subsequently use them to sow the seeds in unbelievers, also drawing His children closer to Christ.

It’s easy for writers to be lost in our craft and forget why we write in the first place. Thus, we must record our visions clearly and specifically for us to remember (I have mine here). Our visions are what we strive to write towards: in each word, sentence, and paragraph. If we don’t have a purpose, our writing journey would be short-lived. Most importantly, if God’s not in it, it’ll be worth as nothing in His eyes (1 Corinthians 3:13).

Remember, because He gave His life for us to live, let us give our lives for Him to use.


Very Sincerely Yours,
Clarissa Choo-Choo Train

P.S. How about you? Why do you write? If you’re not a writer, why are you doing what you’re doing?



~

Clarissa Choo is a vessel used for Christ’s glory. Although she has lived in four countries, Heaven is her only Home. She desires to sow His seeds and to serve third culture kids, teens, and writers. Besides writing, she loves to wash dishes, chop ingredients into smithereens, and record hymns on her piano. Peek into her Christian TCK Email Ministry or read more posts.

I Wanted to Give Up

Journal, TCK's Articles, Writer's Articles

Dear Friend,

Ever since I started writing seriously two years ago, I’ve entered a battle. Well, a Christian’s battle begins the day they’re saved. Specifically, this relates to writing. One side is the work God wants me to do. The other side is the devil urging me to quit. Both sides have intensified as I continue writing. God wants me to take challenges beyond my craft level, and the latter became louder and stronger. On top of the battle, I’ve been recently struggling to accept that I can’t escape grief in life.

I thought of giving up. I could close my email ministry, delete this blog, delete all my drafts, and stop writing. I didn’t want to move anymore and just stay in one place. But these doesn’t solve anything. Yet, I want to continue for Him. Writing wasn’t my decision initially. My choice was to obey Him.

I was at the verge of breaking when He used a friend, a sermon, and His Word:


“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”

Psalm 91:1 KJV



It was also the whole chapter of Psalm 91. While the battle is on, I trudge on a narrow path up the mountain. But I’m at peace in the midst. I’m at peace because He’s my Refuge, my Fortress, my Habitation, my Deliverer, my Protector, my Shield, my Buckler, my God and my Saviour. I’m at peace I’m under His shadow and His wings. When He’s silent, I won’t fear because


“…he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

Hebrews 13:5 KJV



Now, I’m living with the Lapidary’s hand cutting and shaping me, the fire refining me, and the hammer beating me. This will last for the rest of my life. And as long as a Christian is doing God’s work, the opposition opposes.

The adversary is a roaring lion that wants us to quit because he hates it when God is glorified through a serving vessel (1 Peter 5:8). It’s a battle we go through each day, fighting against the devil’s shoutings. The devil even uses other people to discourage us.

Therefore, make sure you’re wearing the whole armour (Ephesians 6:11-18); continue to trust Him, and He’ll give you strength and peace (Psalm 29:11). Remember, Christ has already won the battle.


“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 KJV



Thus, if He wants me to go through this, I shall continue until I reach Home. The opposition can’t hurt me because my soul’s secured by my Author.


“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:2 KJV



Very Sincerely Yours,
Clarissa Choo-Choo Train




~

Clarissa Choo is a vessel used for Christ’s glory. Although she has lived in four countries, Heaven is her only Home. She desires to sow His seeds and to serve third culture kids, teens, and writers. Besides writing, she loves to wash dishes, chop ingredients into smithereens, and record hymns on her piano. Peek into her Christian TCK Email Ministry or read more posts.


It Was Hard since the Beginning

Journal, Writer's Articles

Dear Friend,

As I practice on, I thought the tracks would gradually be smoother than it initially was. I was wrong. The plain steeped into a slope with rocks, holes, and lumps.

I typed this partly because I never thought creating and continuing an email ministry could take so much out of me. Then there’s the new Book E which He wants me to start soon.

The literary romance novel may be one of the biggest projects I will write (the allegorical might be as big or even bigger). It may involve layers of complex moral themes and perhaps, multiple main characters. It’s outside my craft level and my comfort zone. The reason is that I dislike the genre. Then again, it’s not a typical romance book. Think War & Peace style, but less intimidating. Now that I think about it. Should it even be categorised as a romance? Or is it merely a literary fiction with romantic elements? Anyway. . .although I love reading and writing themes, this project will be far too complex for me to even plan. Yet, He wanted me to write it. I rather write a straightforward plot with simpler themes. He chose a multitude of mountain ranges while I eyed the hills. No. He wanted the ranges. Thus, I conceded.

Pondering on when I started writing seriously, I realised it has always been arduous. And it will be more arduous as I trudge forward. The serpent offered me thoughts of quitting and will continue to do so. I admit, I accepted his lies multiple times throughout the journey. Whenever that happens, the Conductor urged me

Don’t stop!

“I can’t. It’s too hard.” I replied.

Then lean on Me.


Thus, I gave up depending on myself again, and again. It’s impossible for me to climb. But as long as I look at Him instead of the mountains nor myself, the Train can go through ranges.


“Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:”

Isaiah 26:4 KJV




Friend, it was actually difficult since the day I accepted Christ as my Saviour. He even said it Himself that life will have challenges and sufferings. If the Christian journey is smooth sailing the entire way, then why do I need Him?



“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 KJV (Emphasis added)




Very Sincerely Yours,
Clarissa Choo-Choo Train



~

Clarissa Choo is a vessel used for Christ’s glory. Although she has lived in four countries, Heaven is her only Home. She desires to sow His seeds and to serve third culture kids, teens, and writers. Besides writing, she loves to wash dishes, chop ingredients into smithereens, and record hymns on her piano. Peek into her Christian TCK Email Ministry or read more posts.

Do the Numbers Matter?

Writer's Articles

Dear Friend,

Blogging, drafting emails for my email list, and trying to reach out to people to increase the numbers took up a significant amount of my time and energy. As I trust and leave it to Him, God reminded me that He’ll reach out to certain people He wants to reach through my writing. It doesn’t matter if my books never become bestsellers. Likewise, it doesn’t matter if they do become bestsellers. God has a purpose for everything. He wants me to write because He would use it to reach certain people and draw them closer to Him, Christ.


So what if I only sell only two copies or if I sell 70,000? So what if I only have my friends in my email list or if I have 300 subscribers? So what if I put in so much effort only to reach 1 person?

From the parable of the lost coin, the woman searched high and low for one coin (Luke 15:8-10). From the parable of a lost sheep, the shepherd left the 99 to look for one (Luke 15:3-7). And from an experience at my church, we handed out hundreds of flyers, only for two visitors to attend the event. Christ gave up His life in order to save me, one helpless soul. When I strayed far from Him, He kept prodding my heart, again and again, continuing until I returned into His opened arms. Because of what He did for me, I’ll persevere and give Him my all to reach just one.

The numbers don’t matter.
One soul does.


“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 15:58 KJV



Very Sincerely Yours,
Clarissa Choo-Choo Train



~

Clarissa Choo is a vessel used for Christ’s glory. Although she has lived in four countries, Heaven is her only Home. She desires to sow His seeds and to serve third culture kids, teens, and writers. Besides writing, she loves to wash dishes, chop ingredients into smithereens, and record hymns on her piano. Peek into her Christian TCK Email Ministry or read more posts.