Deborah Anderson

In 2000, Deborah Anderson left the medical field to care for her elderly mother. Soon after, she began writing. Her articles have appeared in Cross Times, Focus on the Family, Sisters in the Lord, Riders and Reapers, Rainbow Faith, FaithWriters’ Books, FaithWriters’ Magazine, and the bulletins for Dayspring Foursquare Church. She is a member of TWV, ACFW, CWG, and FCW and is currently working on her first novel. Married 28 years, Deborah and her husband enjoy country living in the Midwest. She also spends her time rescuing cats, reading novels, and taking nature walks. You can contact Deborah at DAnderson955 [at] aol [dot] com.

Writing Interrupted

Have you ever felt as though someone, or something, tries to stop you from writing? You know, an evil force on a perverse mission to hinder you from finishing an article, a short story, or perhaps even that next breakout novel? It may sound crazy, but I’ve encountered this more times than I can count.

Several years ago, I landed an assignment with a wonderful publisher. The two editors I worked with were the nicest people. After turning in my first article, one of them asked me to submit two more. Before I could finish, a shortfall occurred.

And it was over.

Just like that.

Around the same time, a white dove I’d had for over twenty years died. The day after my husband and I buried my feathered friend, I broke out with poison ivy—in the dead of winter, mind you—and had a severe reaction. As a result, I had to go on a steroid pack that made me want to do nothing but sleep the whole time, which was probably a blessing for my husband, since I can’t talk while I’m sleeping. And my writing waned further.

But that wasn’t the end of it.

My elderly mother had a heart attack.

One of my cats died.

Seriously, I’m not kidding.

Overwhelmed, I plopped onto my bed and sobbed. As I sat there, thoughts floated across my mind: Why bother? You’re never going to make it anyway.

So I surrendered to those thoughts and walked away from writing—for a few months.

I finally returned, made it over the hump, and just like before, strange things started happening all over again.

As I sat in front of my computer one day, fingers flying across the keyboard, I decided to reward myself with a piece of chocolate candy. (I won’t mention the type or brand because I don’t feel like being sued at the moment.) I bit into the luscious morsel and chewed slowly, savoring the burst of flavor in my mouth—until my bottom molar cracked.

Days later, as I sat quivering in the dentist’s chair (I have a phobia of dentists), with a root canal looming in front of me, the tooth broke off the rest of the way and had to be pulled. At least I avoided pain from the root canal. Right?


The next day I developed a dry socket. That’s what I get for thinking I avoided anything.

Then another one of my cats died.

I wish I were kidding.

A few days later, as I tooled around on our riding lawnmower, sniffling as I passed by one of my cats' graves, a swarm of bees chased me. I also had an encounter with some snakes farther down in the valley.

See what I mean? It’s perverse, I tell you.

I guess what I’d really like to know is, well, do these kinds of things ever happen to you? If not, somebody please stop me before I really get hurt.

Why this happens to me every time I get a good head of steam going on a project, I’ll never know. I keep telling myself that I’m on the cusp of something big (it works for me, Dr. Phil), and that there’s a huge blessing waiting for me if I can just hang in there and clear the next hurdle. I do wonder, though, how many more of these obstacles remain in front of me. I don’t think I really want to know.

And people wonder why I have such a sparkling personality.

Anyway, I’ve decided to keep moving forward. I didn’t come all this way to get pushed around by minions, tragedies, insects, and reptiles.

Wow, now that I’ve vented, I’m suddenly feeling a bit stronger.

All I know is that if things try to get in your way, keep moving. Don’t let anyone, or anything, steal the gift God has given you. Who knows? Your blessing, and hopefully that next breakout novel, could be waiting for you on the other side.