It was 1:30 a.m. as I shut down my computer. I had completed a mammoth writing project and was finally headed to bed. It had been a crazy week of juggling—well, everything.
Problem: My brain wouldn’t turn off. It kept hashing out, in gerbil-on-a-wheel mode, ways I could or should have:
- communicated my point better in that article
- added this and that to my grocery list
- picked up from the library what I needed for my next project
- gotten to all my errands
- completed that project due in two days
- followed up on those phone calls for that other project
And, oh yeah, our church small group is tomorrow night. At our house. Our messy house. Groan.
My husband took my hand. “What’s wrong?”
“I just— It’s all— Tell me a story.”
“A story? Really? Why?”
“I just need a story.”
“A happy one. Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet live through the blustery day.”
In the craziness of deadlines, pitching ideas, interviewing, and creating articles and stories, I often forget that my writing exists to meet a need. To give hope. To provide an escape. To tell a story.
Writing needs to be reader focused. Not deadline focused. Deadlines are important, but in the midst of their crazy lives, readers need an escape and a quiet reassurance.
Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered.
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”
— A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh)