The Writing Life: Staring at the Blank Page


The Writing Life at Mustard Seed Sentinel
Credit: Julien L. in Unsplash.com

The Writing Life: Staring at the Blank Page

When Things Derail Your Writing Plans

by Joanne Troppello


Today was a day that I had planned to write a bunch of articles and get ahead of my writing schedule. However, I had to reconcile our checkbook, write out my grocery list, and put in our Instacart order for a Saturday pickup at the store.


My laptop was slow again, even though I’ve been doing the optimization scans daily, and there haven’t been any new Windows updates lately—so it’s all up to date. I had planned to go outside to read another chapter today in the book I’m reading, but had an unexpected visit with family outside.


When I finally sat down to start writing, I stared at the blank Word document and had no idea what to write about. Usually, ideas flow freely when it’s time for me to start working on my columns.


Today, I thought, why not start writing about my frustrations with the day and see where my thoughts take me. So, if my train of thought is a bit random for today’s column, I apologize—I hope you follow along!


God is Still in Control


One of the main takeaways from the frustrations today—and yes, I know they weren’t earth shattering, dramatic things to deal with, yet they did derail my productivity plans—is that God is still in control.


God is still in control even though my laptop was operating slowly. He is still in control even though the normal household tasks seemed to take longer today and derailed my writing productivity. God is still in control even when life seems out of control.


“I can rest in the fact that God is in control. Which means I can face things that are out of my control and not act out of control.” – Lysa Terkeurst, Unglued

I love that quote from Lysa Terkeurst, especially the part where I should not act out of control. As my husband can attest to, I am usually a calm person. However, when things are out of control, I have been known to act out of control. I’ve gotten better in this area in my life through the years. Yet, I still have my moments.


God brought to my mind today the same verse that my sister, mom, and I were discussing last night in our Facebook chat room as we discussed the second chapter in the What Happens When Women Say Yes to God book by Lysa Terkeurst. (My sister bought the book for her, my mom, and me for our April birthdays, on the 20th, 15th, and 16th and we’ve been reading it individually and reviewing the Bible study questions during a video chat.)



You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You,Because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, For in Yah, the Lord, is everlasting strength. – Isaiah 26:3-4 (NKJV)

The passage we discussed was Isaiah 26:3-4. I have memorized this passage years ago and love to repeat it to myself as needed. The only way you can have perfect peace is when you keep your mind stayed on God.


How do you react when daily frustrations derail your day-to-day productivity?

About the Author


Joanne Troppello at Mustard Seed Sentinel

Joanne Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel. Connect with Joanne on Twitter. You can find Joanne on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, and Clouthub—with the same username, @JoanneTroppello—and @joannetroppello.mseedsentinel on Instagram. Visit the Mustard Seed Sentinel YouTube Channel. Check out MSS Live Well Corner.