Not Today

There are time-consuming activities in life. Dusting, laundry, baking, talking to a friend, answering a text, checking life’s important issues according to social media. All of them have the capacity to keep a writer from writing. Some are necessary and possibly even good, while others tend to be distractions.

Distractions grow louder and larger when the challenges and hard work of writing loom all around.

I have texted a friend and said, “Please pray for me. I think I want to stop writing.”

During moments or hours of frustration, I’ve knelt and pleaded with God to give me a different ministry.

Each time, during the ravaging thoughts and tumultuous feelings, He prods me to truth.

God draws me to words from Habakkuk 2:3 (NASB):

For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail, Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.

My heart stirs in the hope of God’s plan now and still to come.

I read Ephesians 2:10:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

My soul breathes in the joy of God’s design on my life.

God leads me to Luke 1:45:

And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord.

My innermost being rests in all God has placed inside of me before this day.

And I remember:

I write for God’s heart to share in His blessing

I write for myself as a reminder of all God has done and shown me

I write for friends in hopes of encouraging them

I write for readers to point them to my heavenly Father.

God calls preachers, teachers, nurses, doctors, plumbers, store clerks, IT people, bankers, and many people in different occupations and jobs where He will bring about interactions in which to share His name.

But a Christian writer’s life is unique. Time alone is the norm.

In those solitary moments, the devil often offers distractions as much as possible. He’s scared. He knows when a writer has dedicated his or her life and gifts to the Lord’s use, the trajectory of a reader’s life has a greater chance of change by the truth shared in the written word.

On most writing days, I don’t witness long-range results. Distraction becomes welcome.

More often than I would like to admit, I do want to quit. But a quote from Return of the King (Lord of the Rings movie three) plays through my mind. Aragorn is about to lead his small army against a more powerful, menacing one. He rides from side to side in front of his band of scared misfits and gives them a rousing speech toward courage.

My own paraphrase of what he says is on a card, which sits before me at the base of my computer. “There may come a day when I give up and quit, but not today.”

I also give my attention to the verses listed previously and I refocus.

~~~~~

When discouragement and distraction threaten, I must turn my heart back to the work God has given me to do and stand in His strength and courage.

Let’s not give the enemy the satisfaction of winning in this day. Let’s set distractions aside, sit down, and write on.

About Susan Sage 4 Articles
Susan Sage is a writer, teacher, speaker, mentor, and PR Director for Inspire Christian Writers. Susan writes devotionals and flash fiction and has been published in two Inspire anthologies. She was the mentoring editor for several past Inspire anthologies as well. She has recently completed her first novel. Susan and her husband make their home in Coeur d’Alene (pronounced Core-da-Lane), after moving from Northern California in 2017. They enjoy visiting the lakes in the area and adventuring along many hiking trails.

19 Comments

  1. Susan,
    Thanks for this article and the “Not today” paraphrase. I like the “Keep Calm” motto. I typed one for the wall beside the computer. It reads, “Keep Calm, Trust God, Keep Writing. Don’t Give Up. Don’t Give In.” That is for those moments when the voice in my head says, “Why bother writing? You’re not having an effect.”

  2. Susan, Thank you for the words of encouragement. I know the feeling. You encouraged me quite often as you mentored me through the editing of my novel. I learned so much from you and now I learn more as you once again encourage me away from similar thoughts that draw me away from God’s purpose in my life. Thank you again. James Burgess

  3. I love your post. One of my mantras is “I refuse to give in to how I feel or any obstacles I might face.” What we say to ourselves is as important as listening for God’s word in our hearts.

  4. Dear Susan,
    Thank you for forging ahead of me, learning your lessons well, then sharing them with all of us.
    I am new to this writing world, and did not know the enemy was at me…I didn’t know my novel idea could actually be used by God to speak to people- I thought I was being too big for my britches, thinking I might actually be able to write a novel! I stopped writing for 4 months last year! I won’t stop now until every scene is on paper! Then we’ll see what happens!

    • Your comment: “I won’t stop now until every scene is on paper!” brought tears to my eyes. It takes focus, discipline, discernment, wisdom and so many more things provided by God on a daily basis. Thank you for sharing this. I think I will print it out and keep it on my bulletin board above my computer. God bless you as you sit down and write. And remember, everyone was new once. If you ever want to connect, I’d love to do that.

  5. Thanks, Susan, for reminding us that though writing is a solitary work, we are not alone in our discouragements. Our days of giving up are common to all writers. It’s good to be reminded of God’s purposes in those times.

  6. Oh Susan, how I appreciate God’s Word and your encouragement. There are days when I too question my journey and the reasons why I write. And on those days I hear Lord God’s voice in my head and his divine direction. He is the reason I write. He is my inspiration! So let it be God’s purpose in my life. Let it be His words on the page. Hugs!

  7. Thank you Susan! I am not only encouraged but inspired by your post. I’ve written my memoir and trying to find a professional editor. I don’t know what I’m doing but I pray, then trust God to lead me.
    I get so distracted and this post came at a great time.
    Blessings on your life! Ann Haskin

    • Trusting in God for direction is always the best choice, Ann. Thank you for sharing this, and I’m glad the post came when you needed it. God has a way of doing that.
      You might check the Services Directory here on the Inspire website. Could be you’ll find the editor you need right here.
      God bless as you persevere for Him.

  8. Susan,

    Your words were written for me. I don’t come to this site too often, however,
    I was compelled to this morning. God works in wonderous ways if we but listen and act.

    Thank you for this.

  9. I left my job — let us not discuss if that was by my own choosing — on April 2, just three weeks after my mom died. I decided it was time to heed my calling and write…finally. It has not gone as planned. So many distractions! So many excuses! Thank you for this. There may come a day to quit. I don’t know when that day might be; but what I know for sure is: TODAY is the day to start!

  10. Susan
    I’m just now reading your post…talk abut distractions! I love your quote from Lord of the Rings. I love your resolve to use your gifts in order to serve God’s saints and be used for His eternal purposes. I’m particularly blessed by your words because I’ve known you long enough to know they are heartfelt and true.

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