I’ve started a new project of ghostwriting a book for a pastor at a local church. I’ve met with him for several hours. He’s shared his story and how he came to the position he is now in. I have access to his sermon outlines and notes.
And then came the day to start writing. I stared at the screen, admiring the lovely shade of blue that surrounded the blank white page patiently anticipating my key strokes. I looked at my fingers as they hovered over the keys. I watched as they moved, not to the keyboard, but to the mouse, to email, to Facebook, to favorite blogs, to games. My feet soon joined in and we moved to the kitchen for another cup of tea, and a snack, a check of the grocery list to make sure it was current, a peek at the newspaper and a magazine.
Back to the computer. Yep, the screen was still blank. If anything, it looked more blank than a few minutes ago. The white more stark, the blue more faded.
My eyes wanted to know what was happening outside the window. Nothing. But the sun was shining and the new mulch in the flowerbed had a reddish glow.
A full-fledged procrastination attack invaded my writing room. Files needed to be organized. Re-runs of Wild, Wild West beckoned.
Under it all, a deep-throated voice rumbled. “Who do you think you are? You’re a novelist. What makes you think you can write non-fiction? Can’t you see you’re in way over your head?”
I’m used to hearing voices in my head as my characters talk to me all the time, but this was different. This was a voice I couldn’t shake, couldn’t silence. The procrastination settled over me, heavy and shrouded. Working on a fiction piece became a way to avoid the ghostwriting rather than part of my calling.
At my weekly writing group, I shared what I was experiencing. They called it for what it was, an attack of the enemy. And we prayed. And I remembered scripture. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. My God will supply all my needs through Christ Jesus. He will equip me with all I need to do his will.
The oppression and the self-doubts lifted. I dove back into listening to the notes and recordings of my interviews with the pastor. Ideas began to form. Enthusiasm grew. A vision of the opening came to life.
What do you do when the enemy attacks you, attacks your dream? When he says you will never fulfill God’s plan for your life so you might as well quit? When he says you will never finish the book (or whatever dream) God put on your heart? And, if you do finish it, you’ll never see it published?
So glad you had a writing group that prayed you through your discouragement!
It is an awesome group. There are four of us and we’ve been together more than 2 years, meeting weekly (or pretty darn close to it). We’ve grown very close and the relationships go way beyond writing. God has blessed us immensely.
Well…I write a lot about spiritual warfare, so I expect retaliation. But I’m still surprised at how sneaky the enemy is. I try to: pray the promises and not the problems; Verbally praise and sing worship, especially when I don’t feel like it; start my morning by putting on the Armor so I’m prepared.
Those are great weapons, Julie. My prayer time at the beginning of the day is so important. But, when under attack, I someimes forget to stop and pray through it, to remind myself about my armor, and to remember that if I resist the devil, he must flee.
Blessings on your writing and on all you do for Him.
Henry, you’ve written another great (and timely) blog post. I’ve managed to procrastinate my way through days, weeks, and sadly, months before I finally break through the enemy lines and begin my project. Of course that would have happened much sooner had I stopped to praise God, remember my armor (and to put it on), and realize that the demons surrounding me want to stop me from doing what God wants me to do. Thank you for reminding me that other writers go through the same battles.
I appreciate your kind and encouraging words, Deb. In my devotion time the other day, I found a verse that spoke to me as I considered the enemy’s attacks. It’s Hebrews 13:21 (NLT): May he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and eve! Amen.
He equips us!