CONTENTMENT: MY Writerly Word for 2020

This past year was a difficult one for me. Due to our financial situation, we have not been able to travel, which has always been my go-to for inspiration. A new destination has the ability to shake up my brain cells and send them in a new direction, but this year, they stopped. Cold.

It’s as if I had a brick in my hand, and couldn’t lift my pen. My creativity was on lock-down. My mind was a blank. Oh, I could compose an email, and even write blog posts. But a story? Nope.

Have you ever had that feeling? Not comforting, is it?

What’s more, I felt jealousy rising within me whenever an author friend signed a new contract or received a raving review from Kirkus or Horn Book. It hurt when fellow authors posted about their school visits or bookstore signings.

It’s not that I hadn’t put forth the effort. Not at all. I had been contacting local bookstores and schools daily during the Fall, dutifully sending my one page of info immediately after I hung up the phone. I even kept a spreadsheet of the contact info and details of the email or phone call.

I felt like quitting Facebook and Instagram. Twitter, especially, was the worst. A knife went through me each time I witnessed someone’s successes as I scrolled. It’s not that I wanted to steal their joy or take away their accomplishments. Of course not. But I wanted it to happen to me as well.

It was then God brought the word CONTENTMENT to my heart and mind. If God has gifted me as a writer, then He knows what I need, right? And He has perfect timing. If He can move mountains and calm the sea, He certainly can remind my contacts to call and arrange a school visit. Or not. And, He can spark my creative muse in an instant. Or not. My part? To be CONTENT with what the Lord brings into my writing life.

My Word last year was PERSEVERANCE, and boy, did I persevere. I contacted over 30 schools, bookshops and conferences asking if I could share my author’s journey or teach a writing course. But in 2019, I had five events to attend where I could introduce my debut MG historical fiction, The Heart Changer.

This year, I want to rest in God’s plan for me. I have classes to take, and blog posts to write, and short trips to take as I search for ways to be inspired. And as I rest, do you know what is happening? Little by little, I see the Lord, my Master Designer, taking control and connecting me in almost imperceptible ways with my readers. What a freeing experience! I am released from my duty of cold-calling and reminders. CONTENTMENT is coming into focus as worry and doubt are banished.

I’m coasting down a gently flowing river on a raft, letting the current take me wherever it will. I lift my face to the sun, feeling its warm glow. I don’t need to worry about the destination, God has it all under control. I only need to rest.

Although I want to be content with my writing life and schedule, I am still open to connecting with the public in any region of the US. If you know of a church, school, bookstore or conference looking for a middle-grade author to participate in a bookish event, check out my Visit page. I love to share my passion for the Bible, history and the writing life with my readers!

Jarm (‘J’ pronounced as a ‘Y’) Del Boccio finds her inspiration in everyday life, but in particular, when she travels the globe, observing the quirky things that happen along the way. Focusing on the lives of characters from the past, Jarm is devoted to breathing new life into the pages of history.

Her debut middle-grade historical fiction, The Heart Changer released with Ambassador International April 26th, 2019. Connect with her at her Author’s Website.

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8 Comments

  1. Diane Buie

    Thanks for writing such a great word of encouragement! :) 2019 for writing and my own goals was very similar to yours; I had no writing projects, etc etc. I can relate.
    I appreciate your words of hope here. Blessings to you.

  2. I have the 2nd story in a picture book series in mind. Well, the ending is in mind. I just can’t get the story from the beginning TO the end, and it’s so frustrating! Thank you for reminding me that I can rest and allow God to bring the ideas in His time instead of my trying to force a story out. I will be content as I await inspiration.

    • Oh, Brenda! That is so wise. I know how frustrating it is to be out of inspiration. I’m glad you are learning to rest in the Lord’s timing.

  3. Jarm,
    I have had much the same feelings this past year. Thank you for sharing this.
    My word for 2020 is fruitfulness. Hosea 14:8 says “…with Me is the fruit found.” I am trying to pursue that contentment as I watch the fruit the Lord has for me blossom and mature – whether that be my writing or the evidence of the Fruit of the Spirit in my life.

    • Thank you, Trine, for your response to Jarm and sharing a part of your own journey. I had never thought of putting Fruitfulness and contentment together-but it totally makes sense! I hope you decide to subscribe to our blog and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on other articles. Carol Baldwin

    • Yes, Trine, that’s God’s heart for our lives — to be fruitful. Thanks for sharing your word for 2020!

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