Photography by Robert Lowman Photography
You wouldn’t know it by looking at my website and Facebook presence, but I have been writing. Honestly. I’ve been concentrating on the rewrites to my novel, and even began plotting the sequel. However, there are times when it feels like there is a devil sitting on my shoulder. I call him PROCRASTINATION. He’s a mean little fella, but wields a lot of power over me. He tells me things like: Who do you think you are? Don’t call attention to yourself or everyone will know how stupid you are. You don’t feel all that well today, so your writing won’t be all that good; you know no one is reading, so why bother? The book project is just too big for you to manage. You’ve worked hard all week, take a break and relax – the manuscript will still be there. Oh, look – there is your favorite movie on TV that you’ve seen a thousand times – why not watch just one more time? Who is it going to hurt?
Seeing many of my writing friends get so much further ahead of me, I realized I was the one getting hurt. I decided to call PROCRASTINATION’s bluff and looked up ‘to delay’ in the Bible. I found something very interesting.
Deuteronomy 23:21 (NKJV) – WHEN YOU MAKE A VOW TO THE LORD, YOU SHALL NOT DELAY TO PAY FOR IT; FOR THE LORD YOUR GOD WILL SURELY REQUIRE IT OF YOU, AND IT WOULD BE A SIN TO YOU.
Writers who have made a vow to God to use His Gift to spread His word, and it is a sin to waste it. And here PROCRASTINATION sits on my shoulder whispering excuses for me not to write.
And I believed the devil’s insidious words, all the while wallowing in the all-too brief comfort he provided. Then I felt bad the next day because I hadn’t gotten any writing done.
Not exactly what God had intended for me. Once I noticed that trend, I knew changes had to be made.
Motivation comes from beginning a project, and yes, a novel is a huge project to undertake. Picking a chapter of the book to work on like a “Project of the Day” took some doing, because it was so easy to fall back into old habits. But working on smaller pieces was easier to manage, so I was able to finish the book and get it into the hands of my beta readers. Now it is re-write time, and I used that same process of picking the first section the beta readers found trouble with and working on that as a daily project, before moving on to the next section. Going through the checklists from each beta reader, I was able to tick off the sections one by one, and before long I had one section left. Seeing that progress motivated me to continue and see the project through.
That’s when it began to feel good. That’s when I began to feel in my REAL comfort zone. That’s when I began to feel God smile upon me for putting His gift to me to good use.
What Gifts from God are you not sharing?