We’re continuing our “What Does It Feel Like to Be a Writer” series with our interview with Barb Roose. (For the two previous posts in this series click these links: with Melanie Chitwood and with Kathi Lipp and Nicole Phillips.)
What did it feel like to be a writer when you first began writing?
As a little brown-skinned girl wearing thick pop-bottle glasses, I thought that everyone wrote in a little notebook like I did. When I was eight or nine, I began to write everything down.
One of the most profound moments in life happened when I realized that my words could have meaning. More than just giving people facts, I could create feelings. I could make people laugh, cry or think. Then, an avalanche of humility tumbled over me when I realized that my words could inspire people in their faith. I was in awe. God could use me to point people to Him. That does – and still overwhelms me.
On the flip side, when I decided to become a writer, fear showed up right on the heels of my decision. All kinds of fears rushed at me like a swarm of bees in the summer. The Queen Bee of my fears was the Fear of Failure. It was a fear that I couldn’t face on my own.
A huge part of my life as a writer is surrounding myself with other writers and trusted voices to help me address those feelings that can quickly get out of control. When I hang out with other writers and spend time with mentors, my fears, like those bees, can actually be transformed into something that produces a positive outcome.
How have your feelings or thoughts evolved over time?
I’ve learned to trust in God’s faithfulness. Whatever is happening in my life won’t stop what God wants to do in me and through me. I can let my circumstances stop me, but God’s never stopped by my circumstances. I’ve written books and Bible studies during a tough career transition, the untimely death of my dad, a family addiction crisis and a long unwanted divorce. I had to battle a lot of feelings over a lot of years, but when I focused on God’s faithfulness, I knew that He would get me through to the final page.
One of the most important decisions that I made as a writer was that I would live with “open hands.” I don’t have control over whether or not I’ll get another book contract or if I’ll ever write a best seller. BUT, I do have control over how I will manage and coach myself. My responsibility is to keep showing up, sitting in my writing chair and staying there until the job is done.
What would you like other writers to know now about what it feels like to be a writer?
I wish that I could say that the process has gotten easier for me. At this moment, I’m finishing up edits for my 7th book. Yet, every book or Bible study that I write still feels like it’s my first one.
However, it is easier to coach myself through the process. I don’t panic anymore when I feel stuck. If I get delayed, I know that the project will get done somehow, someway.
I couldn’t write during this past March because we were all dealing with the beginning of the pandemic. My creativity was crushed by the swirl of chaos. However, I wasn’t afraid of missing my April 15 deadline. I wasn’t afraid of failure. God had been faithful to see me through writing projects so many times before. Even though I couldn’t write, I ruthlessly stuck to my regular spiritual disciplines and self-care through those rough days. Eventually, my brain re-engaged and over a few weeks all the words got on the pages. I turned in the book on time.
I’ve learned that I don’t have to be a fearful writer. I feel like I am a faithful writer. I love that I have beautiful opportunities to use my gifts for the glory of God, to benefit others and to even be a blessing to myself.
Thank you so much, Barb!
So many of Barb’s words have stayed with me. Maybe you relate to her Queen Bee. Or maybe you’re inspired by how she said God’s not stopped by our circumstances. Especially right now, those are powerful words!
What resonated with you? We’d love to hear!
In case you’re visiting from somewhere new, be sure to sign up for Next Step Coaching Services’ bimonthly blog posts to receive valuable writing, speaking and ministry tips
Barb Roose is a popular speaker and author who is passionate about equipping women to win at life with Christ-empowered strength and dignity. Since 2005, Barb has been speaking to audiences in the U.S. and abroad, including national platforms such as the Aspire Women’s Events, She Speaks Conference, and the UMC Leadership Institute.
She’s a Bible teacher who loves following God more than anything else in life. Barb makes God’s Word come alive through powerful teaching, personal stories and practical next steps. Audiences love her authenticity and humor. She’s a real woman who has experienced depression and anxiety, parenting challenges, family addiction trauma and long seasons of walking by faith in unanswered prayer. Rather than teaching audiences to follow God to get what they want, Barb inspires audiences to discover that God is all they need!
Barb is the author of multiple books and Bible studies, including her current releases: Winning the Worry Battle: Life Lessons from the Book of Joshua and a Bible study called Joshua: Winning the Worry Battle. Barb’s writing has been featured in magazines and blogs such as Simple Truth Magazine, iBelieve.com, Crosswalk.com, More to Life Magazine, Just Between Us Magazine, Cherished, InCourage, and Women of Faith.