Being Overwhelmed with Information

Being Overwhelmed with Information

By Joyce Moyer Hostetter

Joyce HostetterI write historical fiction.  So you can bet I love research. It’s never-ending and always fascinating.  But it’s also frustrating because I find more information than I could ever use in my writing.  This forces me to ask a few questions.

  • Is this information essential to my character’s story?

  • Does this scene move the story forward?

  • Am I attached to this whether it works for my story or not?

Even if you don’t write historical fiction, you understand information overload. Facebook convos, blog notifications, and Emails come at us so quickly, they break our personal sound barriers. But that doesn’t stop us from getting attached to the noise! Somehow we’ve got to figure out what is moving our stories (real or fictional) forward and which things are holding us back.

I struggle with overload at many levels.  But I have to know who God created me to be and what God is calling me to. The rest I can let go of.  I’m realizing I’ve subscribed to some blogs that don’t mean much to me.  I’ve joined reading challenges I can’t follow through with.  And tonight I’m going to my book club without having read my book.

I could skip book club, of course, but hey, there will be food and most of all there will be friends and thought-provoking discussions and insights from people who’ve experienced life differently than I have.  Ultimately this book club fits into what I feel called to – crossing cultural boundaries, listening with compassion, and manifesting God’s goodness whether I feel prepared or not. I’m going to focus on the people and forgive myself for not actually reading the book!

We simply can’t handle all the info coming at us.  But we do need to be faithful to our personal callings.  We’ve got to examine which info is essential to our stories – the ones we’re putting on paper and the stories we write with our lives.

Photo credit: © Bowie15 | Stock Free Images &Dreamstime Stock Photos

  1. Kathy Rupff says:

    It’s always encouraging to me to hear someone who clearly identifies their personal calling and is running with it (something I’m still seeking). You are an inspiration, Joyce! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

  2. Thanks Joyce! I needed this. I’ve got to weed out some unnecessary stuff. It’s also nice to hear we can compromise a bit in some areas (like not reading the book for the book club), :)

  3. Thanks ya’ll for the feedback. I pray that each of us will know our calling and follow.

  4. Jean Hall says:

    Thanks, Joyce. I really needed to read this. I’m trying to escape some information overload myself. Tough decisions ahead.


  5. Linda Andersen says:

    Thanks for reminding us to pick and choose the information we read and to center our work around our calling from God. Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Judy Beglau says:

    I totally agree. You put it really well. Thanks.

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