Audrey Caylin: Cannot Be Extinguished

October 14, 2017

I think we’ve all experienced or at least vividly dreamed of our writing, our words, being a light to someone else. We imagine that moment when a person says “yes, your words helped me. They gave me hope/happiness/light.”

And wow. There’s a huge weight in that, a pressure to keep being the bearer of light. First there’s the feeling of flying. Then a pressure comes crashing down, a desperation to keep being the bearer of that light. We see our words can be sparks of color and vibrancy to a world otherwise darkened by the ordinary, the pain, the suffering. With them, we spread hope and light. And when we come to realize deep inside that this, this is what we must do, we feel a confidence and a burden all at once.

How are we to live up to this honor? How are we to carry out it to the best of our abilities?

Being a writer, or any sort of artist, is tough. Gosh, it’s almost like we’re living two lives. We have a ‘normal’ life, where we talk, eat, study, sleep; then we have a life woven with words, late hours at the computer, and an imagination that runs so wild we want to watch it play for hours on end.

And we’re constantly stuck between the two, wishing for the day when we don’t have to walk this tightrope and the two will become one, our writing can become our lives, our job, and all this ‘other stuff’ won’t get in the way of what we feel is a higher calling to spread light.

Every day when we get up, we’re caught between the two in a riptide. The ordinary life, as much as we love it, seems to trap us in a cage much too small for our great dreams and passions. If only work wasn’t there, if only those school deadlines didn’t come, if only we could just write.

I think in our heart of hearts, we know we should ease off in our pursuit of this dream. We know we should spend more time with family and friends, with work and school. The only thing that holds us back is the burden of realizing our words are a light to others, and the need to have them keep being a light to their fullest potential.

I’ve been caught in this so many times—we’ve all probably been. Cornered between doing our small but important jobs in our ordinary lives and using the gift we’ve been given. When I’m going so fast and excelling so much and spreading hope, I don’t want to ease off the gas pedal. I don’t want to stop, to slow down, to let go of my writing time to have family time, even though I know I need to quit being a hermit or go study for a test.

And it’s not because I know I’ll spread less hope, get less results when I put in less time in writing, but because I’m almost afraid I’ll lose my ability to spread this hope. That my words will become dry and tasteless—worthless—if I do not sharpen them daily for hours.

When you’ve got something great going, isn’t it terrifying to think about slowing down and losing momentum?

Going back to the struggle—I think we all know the answer to it. Our art, our dreams, should never come before something as precious as family or as valuable as studying. Nothing can change that. You can try to work late into the night to get the writing done, but the result will be exhaustion that will affect your work quality in everything.

What I’m saying is this:

Don’t be afraid of slowing down. Don’t be afraid of losing the ‘spark’ that allows you to write well.

Because, dear dreamer, it isn’t your writing that the world needs; it’s your passion. That is the flame. It is a spark of color and vibrancy in a world darkened by the ordinary. It’s like a heartbeat—can you feel it? Thump-thump, thump-thump, pulsing in your veins all day long and driving you to rewrite your novel a dozen times over to perfection, go out of your way to help someone else with theirs, and lose sleep brainstorming.

That passion is impossible to let go of. Dragged down by fatigue and frustration, you won’t let go. Because you love it. And that higher calling to spread hope is drawing you onward. I think that passion is a flame that has been burning since the day you were born, put there so one day it would spark into a wildfire and shoot beams of light into the world. That is what you ache for. Dampened by doubt and fear, darkened by time, or destroyed by quitting, the embers will always ignite again as an inexplicable love draws you back to your passion.

If that passion is truly real, and if this dream of yours is what you’re meant to do, nothing can extinguish it. Not slowing down to be with family or study or have a life. Not weeks or months or even years will be able to kill that flame if this is what you are meant to do.

Don’t compromise other parts of your life for that dream—please don’t. Feed the flame of passion slowly and with as much as effort as you can reasonably give. And even if you can’t write because of school or whatever is going on with your life, remember that you are not your writing.

Your success is not defined by the number of beautiful novels you write, how many blog posts you get out a week, or how many authors you know. That is not the flame in you. You are the flame in you. Even when the pen isn’t in your hand, even when your fingers aren’t poised over the keyboard, that passion can follow you. Despite how you know that writing is how you want to spread a message of hope, I firmly believe that you can take that passion and incorporate it into your work and studying and social activities until you have the time to write.

Take a deep breath. That burden to use your gift pressing on your shoulders—keep it. But spread it. Use it in the other things too.

Because you—not just your novels or your blog posts—are a flame, a light. And as long as you don’t quit because you don’t have enough time or enough support, your passion cannot be extinguished.

Audrey Caylin is a full-time dreamer and aspiring independent author, living on words and the wild beauty of life. Somewhere along the way, she began searching for green flashes during sunsets and embraced a mission to bring hope to the world through her writing. Being a ghostwriter for God is now her greatest honor and joy as she weaves stories of faith and feeling for other young adults. When she’s not writing or dreaming, she’ll probably be driving along the west coast with the windows rolled down or with her face tilted to the sky on a rainy day. You can follow her journey toward accomplishing her dreams at her blog:

Want to be featured on the Project Canvas blog?  Check out our guidelines and send us your blog posts!  We publish a guest post every Friday, in addition to our admin posts on Mondays.

You Might Also Like


  1. "Gosh, it’s almost like we’re living two lives."<--- Oh good gracious, THIS FEELS SO TRUE SOMETIMES. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels like this now and then xD. This was such a beautiful, encouraging post, Audrey - thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts with us. <3 <3 <3

    ~ Savannah | Scattered Scribblings

    1. I wasn't sure if I was the only one who felt that way either xD

      EEEPP THANK YOU, SAVANNAH <33 I'm so glad you liked it!

  2. Oh my gosh, this just spoke to my heart. You've hit me in the feels, Audrey. I love this so much. I feel that way, like this has split me into two worlds. My regular world where I seem to fail at being present as much as I should and the world that ignites the writer inside me. I spend too much time at the computer and not enough living a life that will help my writing.

    This post is awesome. Thank you!


    1. Thank you so much, Ivie! That means a lot <33

      I firmly believe there IS a way to find a balance, and I pray that you find it <3

  3. This is so inspiring, Audrey!

    Thanks for this new perspective - I've never thought about my writing like this before.


    1. Thank you, Madeline! I'm glad it gave you some food for thought :)

  4. I was going to quote the line Savannah did! I've never felt the accuracy so much, goodness. I feel like I'm being split in half sometimes. This dream is a tough one to follow, but you're right--if it's what we're meant to do, that flame will never go out, and we will find a way to make it happen.

    1. I'm glad you could relate! One day we're going to all get to exactly the place we're meant to be <3


Popular Posts