Tag Archives: hindrances

Writing Diary: Thwarted Again

tortoise2

I seem to be moving like a tortoise these days.

Well, things were going well last week. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I began to move — slowly — through Chapter 14. But then came Friday and my morning appointment with the eye doctor to make sure the shingles I developed in my eye a couple of years ago was still quiescent.

The appointment went normally, the news was good, but when I was driving home — slowly, via back streets — I noticed that everything seemed much brighter and blurrier than in the past. I chalked it up to the fact that it was a clear, bright day, whereas the last time I’d done it, the day had been overcast and I had driven home later in the afternoon.

But even when I got home, everything was so bright I had to close most of the blinds. And I could hardly even look at the computer screen, much less work on it.  Focusing on the small printed words of my hard-copy drafts was difficult as well, and I began to think my sight had degenerated much more than I feared (even though tests at the eye doctor’s had said otherwise). I could not work on the book at all:  couldn’t look at the computer screen, couldn’t stand to read the print on typed pages, was getting a headache just trying… so I worked on cards. And even that was a strain.

Finally, increasingly frustrated with my inability to see clearly I went into the bathroom to check on my pupil, thinking it was only the left eye that had been dilated, which was the usual procedure. Instead I finally discovered the problem: the tech had dilated both my eyes, by mistake, I think, since the doctor never looked in my right eye, only the left. In any case, there they were, these huge black pupils staring back at me. Even though it had been hours since the appointment, they still looked huge — which brings up another drawback to seeing the eye doctor in the morning rather than the afternoon: I have blue eyes and from what I’ve read,  dilation takes longer to recede in blue eyes than it does in brown eyes.  Indeed, it wasn’t until well into the evening before they were back to normal… and so, once again my intentions to keep consistent in writing this book were thwarted.

The next day, Saturday, I could see again, but now I had all the errands I might have done Friday but couldn’t, to attend to: dog food to pick up, dog bran to buy, a car gas tank on empty to fill up… administrative duties, etc. So no work then, either.

Today was our local assembly’s monthly communion and pot luck, longer than usual because we had a visit from some evangelist friends who minister in Pakistan. It was great to see and visit with them… but when I got home I was wiped out and so… yet another day where I didn’t get to the book…

Still I did manage to this post written!  So I shall feel good about that, at least…  I set all this down, as example of all the weird things that keep happening to interrupt the flow, consume time I’d hoped to devote to writing, and even get me off kilter. I keep asking myself, “Was it always like this? How did I get those other books written, anyway?”

Nevertheless, I do know that everything comes to me through my Lord’s permission, and for my blessing, even if it doesn’t seem like much of a blessing. He’s definitely teaching me patience. Or maybe I should say He’s giving me lots of lessons designed to develop it. I am just a very slow learner…

Greater is He Who is In Me

So Monday I was reading in my old journal as part of my pre writing routine and found this, dated 25 November 2000…

“Just getting started. I’ve again wasted the morning and I suppose I need to stop blaming my circumstances… [My husband]’s gone hunting and [my son]’s playing computer games before getting read to go to his friend’s… maybe… I find myself just waiting, feeling like a leaf blown here and there — no goal, no target, just whatever moves me. Not good.

“Anyway, even now I need to do Bible class, I don’t know when my hubby will be back, I want to start (writing) but I don’t want to if I’ll just have to quit. Plus I still haven’t developed any momentum. I feel detached from the work. It’s like when you read a book in small increments over weeks. It’s hard to bring it all together in your mind. Right now I can hardly remember where I am (in the book).”

Well, that’s exactly where I’ve been for way too long in this current work. I could’ve written those words on Monday (or today, for that matter) and was excited to copy them into my current journal (don’t ask me why but I like copying things down into notebooks and journals — I guess it makes the thoughts stand out more; and I think I hope it will make they stick in my mind though clearly, that’s not often the case the way I keep getting surprised by things I’ve written down in the past that could describe today.)

Anyway, as I copied it, I recalled how Satan will send distractions — and it seems there have been a lot of hindrances, distractions and interruptions of late… come to think of it, not just of late, but for a really long time. Some are big and obvious, some are small, some are things that get me sidetracked and focused on stuff that may not be what I’m supposed to be doing but I’m so caught up in the moment, or the focus of “getting it done” I don’t think about that. (At least not clearly enough to STOP what I’m doing and get to work).

And he sends more than just distractions. At this point  I recalled a little excerpt from notes from Bible Class  I’ve got tacked to my bulletin board where I can see it every day, if only I’d look (one I’ve probably posted here before, but obviously it doesn’t hurt to be reminded):

“Satan knows how to attack your mind, body and emotion(!!) and his intent is to STOP you from going forward in God’s Plan for your life. That could mean the intake of doctrine, the application of doctrine, and specifically the function of your spiritual gift (!!) If we saw the invisible realm, we’d be shocked at the plots to disrupt concentration, cause problems and get us to quit. To rip apart our mental attitude and get us sidetracked with something that doesn’t matter. He destroys patterns and routines. He loves to tear the mind apart with negative viewpoint. He attacks the emotions, gets you to react, beats you down. And he’ll attack your body…”

I had forgotten much of this but as I read it, it all jumped to the fore. I’ve been experiencing a lot of this. Even the attack on my body in the form of sleep deprivation… Could this be a reason I seem to have been stymied at every attempt to get back to writing?

And lately it seems almost worse to get in a day or two and then be interrupted for five, then not to do anything at all. Why? Two reasons.

First, because the days I do get some work done make me think that the interruptions are just anomalies, happenstance. That today was just an aberration, but tomorrow it will be back to the “routine”. Then I let my guard down and when tomorrow doesn’t work out either, I give up and just let things go and days go by… filled with legitimate activities — it’s not like I’m sitting around watching old movies. I’m getting stuff done, I’m doing good things, worthwhile things… just not functioning in what I believe to be my spiritual gift.

Second, because when I only get in a day or two and then get interrupted for five, and come back, I have to start all over and when you keep repeating that cycle, you really do get worn down. I never make any progress so when I finally get back to it, I start to dread a repeat of what’s happened so many times before. I also get bored with the work, since I keep going over and over the same stuff and never breaking out of it.

I confess I’ve been waiting for circumstances to change, to “settle down.” Today, right now I believe they are not going to settle down. I’ve realized this is just like the decisions you have to make when you embark on making sure you listen to Bible class every day. As soon as you do, all kinds of challenges come up. And if you give in to them, each time you fail to do the class, it gets easier the next time.

I know this sequence well. I’ve been very hard-nosed about making sure I get class in every day. I think it’s time to apply that (once again) to writing — though it makes me uneasy to declare it so clearly here on the blog because now the enemy will know what I intend. And adjust accordingly.

Fortunately greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world.