- Wow, if Kristi Holl's new book, Boundaries for Writers, doesn't address the #1 writing problem I hear about from students, and even experienced writers, I don't know what does.
"I'm running VBS again this year, trying to get the garden in, then we're going to the cottage for two weeks..."
"My husband doesn't support me, because there's no money in it."
"My kids get in trouble while I'm trying to write."
"My BFF's life is one drama after another and she calls me every day."
"Promotion is brutal, doesn't suit my personality, and I'm scared to death my book won't sell. My love of writing is down the drain."
"I'm a Christian but not writing for the CBA, so my church friends are asking, 'Why aren't you writing for Jesus?'"
Kristi talks about four kinds of boundaries: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Physical boundaries may include such things as a desk of your own or a closed door. Mental boundaries allow you to own your own thoughts. Not that you have a closed mind, but you aren't a mental chameleon, constantly adopting the thoughts of whoever spoke to you last. Emotional boundaries prevent you from being a dumping ground for everybody else's woes. Spiritual boundaries keep you from caving in to others' opinions of how you should serve God, so that you fit their expectations or "look spiritual enough."
Not only are there four kinds of boundaries, but any of them can be in any one of four conditions: healthy, damaged, collapsed, or walled. Whew! No wonder we feel so tied in knots at times. Kristi provides a quiz so that you can assess the state of your boundary issues. (Disclosure: I did pretty well here, but there were a couple of points in the Emotional and Spiritual categories that made me cringe.) She also talks about how to separate and balance the business and creative aspects of writing. Not shrinking from the tougher stuff, she covers setting boundaries with truly toxic family members, and, for those who have concerns about whether setting boundaries is even scriptural, she includes a chapter with many relevant scriptures and other helps.
If you're struggling with your writing in any way, there's a huge chance that boundaries are an issue, and that there's something in this book that can start you on your way to a solution. :)