DisABLED Writer—Dealing with Fear and Focus

by Cherrilynn Bisbano

Many writers endure physical and/or mental challenges as they try to get their words on paper. I have a friend who died in a car accident. God revived him and called him to write. His traumatic brain injury doesn’t keep him from obeying God. He studies the craft and edits his manuscript, but it takes him three times the effort. He amazes me and encourages me.

I know of others, like Joni Eareckson Tada, who are paralyzed and use their mouth with a pen to peck out their stories on a computer.

I have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).  I did not realize I had it until my son was diagnosed with it 12 years ago.  I finally had the answer to my fidgeting, lack of concentration, unfinished projects, and my urge to blurt things out during a conversation because I’m afraid the words will escape me.

I liken my thoughts to a squirrel scrambling to collect nuts. There are so many acorns that he stops in his tracks. “Which way do I go?  Which nut do I focus on first?  Which one is the biggest?”

I am that squirrel, with a hundred thoughts flashing around in my brain.  What chapter to I focus on today? What will touch the reader’s heart?  What Bible verses do I use?  I need to dust my bookshelf. LUNCH!

I sit at my desk, head in my hands.

“Lord, I need your help!”

I knew God would not call me to write and then leave me scurrying about gathering up words that don’t make sense. I continued to pray.

A friend of mine mentioned an online Discipleship Counseling Course through Eternity College. The course was free. I like free. He said he grew closer to God after the class. I signed up and found myself with ten hours of homework each week. Homework that would change my life forever.

We had to complete the book, You Can Change by Tim Chester. The book states to pick one thing you want God to help you change. I chose procrastination and lack of focus. Working through the book helped me realize why I procrastinate—fear of failure.

As a child, my biological father told me I would amount to nothing. He was abusive and called me an animal. If my earthly father did not believe in me why would a Holy God? I had a mindset to always expect failure.

How did the fear dissolve? I replaced the lies with truth.

I recited these verses daily.

“Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” Ephesians 1:4 ESV

“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16

I said to myself, If God chose me before the foundations of the world to be holy and blameless knowing everything I’ve done and will do, salvation has nothing to do with my works. He must truly love me.

I wrestled daily with the truth of the Word. The lies I believed were deeply rooted. The Word took hold in my heart and dissolved the lies. The transformation did not happen overnight. After months of proclaiming this truth, the shackles loosened, and the fear of failure released its grip.

I believe the Word and know I have the power to overcome. God proves Himself faithful over and over.

So what about my lack of focus? Fear caused some of my attention deficit along with my brain chemistry. I learned to make a schedule and follow it. When I’m overwhelmed with all I need to do, I turn to my schedule, knowing I blocked time for everything, even rest.

I also keep Bible verses by my desk to motivate me. I pray they inspire you.

“Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.” (2 Corinthians 8:11 NIV)

“Be confident and determined. Start the work and don’t let anything stop you. The LORD God, whom I serve, will be with you. He will not abandon you, but he will stay with you until you finish the work” (1 Chronicles 28:20 GNT)

“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13 NLT)

At times, ADHD allows brain squirrels to invade my day. I don’t mind my scattered ideas being named after my furry friends. I’ve learned from them as they chase each other up and down trees, scurry across the yard, hang from the bird feeder, and gather acorns like it’s a relay race. It seems nuts, but their work gets accomplished and they have fun while doing it.

No, you won’t find me hanging from my chandelier anytime soon, although I might climb a tree or two. However I’m determined to have fun and accept my ADHD. I’ve shortened this to ADH because there is no disorder in Gods Kingdom. Our Heavenly Father will get all the glory for using this squirrel chaser and he will also use you!

Do you chase squirrels? What keeps you from writing?

Cherrilynn Bisbano is an author and a book proposal writer, and a vendor for AuthorsCommunity.net.

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11 thoughts on “DisABLED Writer—Dealing with Fear and Focus”

  1. I like the encouraging words from the Bible. They buoy my spirit and enlighten my soul. I’ll add a paraphrase from Proverbs: With all they getting, get going!

  2. Hi Cherrilynn, I made copies of “1 Chronicles 28:20 GNT” in large print with the title :
    “I WILL PUBLISH MY BOOKS” and posted in front of my computer.
    Thank you for your inspiring article. I needed it to keep me going.

  3. While like you, I was never diagnosed adhd (nor dyslexic, which I clearly am also), the tell-tale signs are all there for me. But not knowing while in school was okay because I knew in my heart I had ability. GOD and hope direct us further than any limitation. Your perseverance and GOD’s Word prove it. Thanks for sharing.

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