October 10, 2014

Confessions of a Procrastinator by Sharon Espeseth

This topic about writing fears really shook me up. As the date for my blog approached, I determined not to procrastinate. This time my post would be scheduled ahead for 6:00 a.m. on the 10th. I'd be able to go to bed at a reasonable time the night before and all would be well.

The more I planned for this, the more blocked I became. Like the centipede who really thought about how he walked and couldn't get his legs to work together, I stumbled in my writing. Here it is the night before my post is due and I'm trying to pull together a random disarray of thoughts on the subject of fear and how it affects my writing. Thoughts have been rolling around in my head like marbles for the past ten days. A few of these marbles rolled down my arm, through my pen, and even landed rather wobbly on paper.

Over-thinking the whole process of writing and the fears that are common to writers, I now am starting over. What I'd written before just didn't seem to "measure up." First, I must pray. That is always a legitimate pause, not a procrastination.

I have files on fear, quotations from the Bible on cards and also from the wisdom of scholars and the secular world on the subject of fear. I have personal stories of fears I've faced and how God helped restore my courage in certain circumstances. I've heard or read that "Be not afraid" is one of the most quoted verses of the New Testament.

"Why, then, should I be afraid when I write?" I ask in my prayer and I am reminded of a plaque my sister gave me when I was going to university. "In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength." (Isaiah 30:15b KJV) In The Message we read, "Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me--the very thing you've been unwilling to do."

I've been busy, distracted, and wasteful of time. I need to be still and know that God is real. From that better writing will flow. From that peaceful place, I can work in faith. Working on this month's writing prompts, I wanted to see my thoughts all laid out from start to finish. Martin Luther King Jr. has said, "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." That is what I'm doing now at my computer--feeling one step at a time.

God has promised to give us wisdom; all we have to do is ask. We don't have to be great and wise in ourselves. When Jesus walked the earth, he chose common people to get his message out, which made their work all the more remarkable. "When they (the people) saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus." (Acts 4:13 NIV) I would like people to notice that my writing isn't all about me, but that God is able to use me.

This Thanksgiving time, I want to thank you my fellow InScribers for the way we pray for one another, help one another, and encourage one another in our writing. The same can be said for our Barrhead group, the Women Word Weavers.

Like Paul, I ask, "Please pray for me and my fellow writers who are Christian that whenever we write, words may be given us so that we will fearlessly make known the mystery of the Gospel." (Paraphrased from Ephesians 6:19)


  1. I needed this today, Sharon. I have procrastinated this past few days in the most noble of ways - tackling big important projects, all the while knowing that when they're done, I will have no choice but to open the file on my computer that hides my current WIP, one I know God is calling me to work on, but feels way bigger than something I'm capable of handling.

    You remind me that this is the place the Lord needs me to be. If I'm not capable, then I'll turn to him.

    Thanks for your honesty. I will now go and pray through my fear.


  2. Sharon, I'm sure you have expressed what most of us feel at least some of the time.
    Our sense of inadequacy can be our greatest resource, for it thrusts us into God's presence for His guidance.
    Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Oh Sharon, I so enjoyed your post. I felt privy to your 'confessions', totally recognizing myself in them.

    Although I much appreciate the whole piece, I am especially drawn today to the line you quote from The Message:

    "Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me--the very thing you've been unwilling to do."

    Settling down... ah yes.... there's my key.

    Thanks so much for working through your fear about this month's theme right here... we're blessed for your honesty, perseverance, and especially for recognizing his voice when you asked for a reason.


  4. After reading your post, I feel way more normal:) I LOVE the quote from the Message!

  5. Thank you, Bobbi, Bryan, Brenda and Loretta for your supportive comments. Thankfully, I too don't feel all the time like I did while writing this blog. Yesterday, however, I most certainly felt challenged to account for my procrastination and allowing Satan or the Bogeyman to discredit my confidence in God's direction.

  6. Sharon, thank you for this post. Since signing on to do a blog post I have been using my procrastinating tendencies to their fullest. Now it's time to pray through it and get started. I just may write out that verse from The Message and put it up by my writing desk. That's not procrastinating is it!

  7. I certainly relate to the procrastination ...
    and appreciate the Martin Luther quote as well as the verse from The Message.

  8. That quote from The Message is so great--and your honesty about what happens when we allow fear to get the best of us and so we try to procrastinate it away. I'm glad God doesn't ever procrastinate in His love and goodness towards us.

  9. Sharon I loved the part about being 'ordinary and unschooled.' I struggle all the time in my writing that I don't have enough formal education to be listened to or to have anything real to share. Thanks for being so honest about your struggles. I think I can relate to just about all of them.

  10. Thank you Sharon for allowing the Lord to work through you, even if it was not quite as timely as you thought necessary. The Lord's timing is always perfect.
    These words spoke loudly to me "We don't have to be great and wise in ourselves. When Jesus walked the earth, he chose common people to get his message out, which made their work all the more remarkable."


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