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The Publisher's Notebook Ltd

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July 28, 2017

Breaking Free of Lethargy

I recently experienced a major setback.  I normally store the book files for our authors on an external hard drive.  This enables me to be able to work from anywhere.  I thought of the folly of this approach and decided that I should have a backup at least on Google Drive in case of any mishaps.  That is when the irony of ironies happened.  As I was synchronizing the files with Google Drive, I attempted to delete some duplicate folders, only to have Google Drive sync the deletions to my hard drive.  By the time I realised what was happening, the completed books and the manuscripts that were in progress were deleted.  Over the course of four weeks, I gradually pieced together about 95% of the completed files and have to start over with the works in progress.

I sunk into a state of lethargy and entered into a phase of the most unproductive weeks I have ever experienced.  I felt as if I had lost all will to work, I could not concentrate, I felt overwhelmed and was barely functioning.  It took me a while to recognize the actual manifestations of depression.  As is my normal, I turned to  the Lord in prayer.  I immediately sought out persons to pray for me, because I realised that I could not do it alone.

I sat each day since that recognition, making my list of things to do. For the first few days, it was just that. Planning.  Then I purposed to do at least one thing to completion.  Gradually putting one foot in front of the other, I have finally hit my stride.  The backlog of work is clearing and now each day now gives me a sense of fulfillment.

What is hindering you from starting our next book or even your first one?  Things can bombard our minds without us even being aware.  That is why Ephesians 6:10-18 cautions us to put on the whole armour of God and to stand in prayer.  The helmet of salvation is very important to us because the battle begins in our minds.  How is your prayer life?  As Christian authors/creators, we cannot have a life separate from God.  Our prayer life must be active.  The example of our life must match up with what we are portraying in our work.

How to break free of lethargy?

  • Set aside the time to pray.  If you are experiencing difficulty in this area,
  • Ask someone to keep you in prayer and also,
  • Ask them to keep you accountable
  • Identify what event brought the onset of lethargy.  Deal with the feelings and emotions that came with that.  In my case, I had to deal with the feelings of failure, of feeling inadequate for the job, of whether I’m in over my head, of being unfit to lead the company.  It was a dark time, but the Word of God is light and darkness must flee the light.
  • Create a list of all the things you have let slide from the onset of this lethargy
  • Purpose to do one thing to completion each day and cross it off your list.
  • At the end of each day, give yourself a reward by way of an affirming Word for achieving your goal.
  • Move on to the next item.  Before you know it, you will find yourself doing more than the one thing – even multi-tasking as you usually did.
  • If you are hesitating to start your book or whatever project the Lord has laid on your heart for his people, start by
    • planning the project
    • flesh it out on paper
      • what are the goals
      • what will it achieve
      • how will it affect persons
      • will it minister to you (in other words, is it authentic)?
    • Commit to 10 minutes per day (baby steps)
      • Set a timer and start
      • When the timer goes off, decide if you can do another 10 minutes,
      • If yes, go ahead
      • If no, plan and commit to a new time and date.  As you continue, you will find your self developing a new discipline.  Not only that, if you commit to the time and keep it, you are showing the Lord that you take Him seriously and that you value what He has shown to you.  The Holy Spirit will show up.

Was this helpful to you?  Feel free to comment and share with fellow Christian Creators.

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