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The Enemy-enemy

by Beth Shriver

The cursor blinks and still nothing. The hours tick by and you’ve written two sentences. You take a break to check your email. The phone rings. Now its lunch time. You sit down to write and see the blinking cursor again. We’ve all had those days when procrastination sets in, and the harder you push, the further back those words regress.

Through the years I have done well meeting my goals, but lately the Enemy has kept me from accomplishing anything near what I usually do. My last book Healing Grace flowed smoothly, but the story I’m working on now refuses to cooperate. But the enemy is also me, which Satan lavishes in. He knows what each one of my temptations, fears and the biggest distractions are then uses them to the fullest, bringing out self-defeat.

Because we work in a solitary profession we have to be our own self motivators. We have the luxury of flexibility, but the flip side is we have to hold ourselves accountable. Knowing we’re not alone can ease some of the stress that Satan so cleverly plants into our subconscious.

I’ve learned what disrupts me so I know how to face it the when it pops into my head. My favorite TV show or a movie. That call from a friend who wants to meet for lunch or take a walk? I used to read a book at a rapid pace but now I write more than read. I have to be wary of what I can do in good conscious and what the evil one is tempting me to do. The line becomes very thin at times.

Then there’s this little voice in my head that tells me, ‘this scene is terrible’ or ‘you’re never going to get this story put together’ and so many more little demons that sit on my shoulder and tell me lies. Those are the times I rely on critique partners and readers to help me separate what’s going on in my brain and what the reality of it really is. If I let those negative thoughts sink in it will lead to failure, so it’s imperative to have writers groups, good editors and my faith to set me straight.

Some tricks that are flexible but hold me accountable are to stay in the chair, no matter what. Nothing is permanent, just write, I can fix it later. Take advantage of extra bits of time. I picture getting through the story and writing The End.

The most important part is during my devotional time. The days I dive in and just start writing are often the times when I stop halfway through the day wondering what to write next. When I ask God for the words and to keep Satan at bay I feel better even if my writing isn’t better. I’ve learned to know that when I get stuck there’s a reason and that He’ll pull me out when I’ve grasped what he has in store for me to write.

Healing GraceIn 2003, Beth Shriver began writing her first book. A couple of years later it was published and she has been writing ever since. Beth received a degree in social work from the University of Nebraska and was a case worker before starting a family. Beth followed her passion and has written in a variety of genres in both fiction and non-fiction. Her latest release is Healing Grace.

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One Response to The Enemy-enemy

  1. Becky Wade says:

    Thanks, Beth! I agree with you, the most important part of my writing day is my devotional time.