I am often nervous about how what I write will be received. I am even more anxious when I submit something I write to an outside website or publication because I want it to be received well. I tend to doubt my ability to create something that others will deem valuable or worthy of publication.
I have recently become a contributor to a website which is both exciting and scary. Whenever I have an article deadline coming up it always makes me nervous that whatever I submit will be rejected or not up to par with the other articles on the site. My first articles were accepted, why won’t this one? I am a little intimidated by the editors of the site because they are professionals in the writing industry and I am a relative novice. However, one of the reasons I applied for the position was to receive helpful writing feedback from the editors. All this opportunity can do is make me better if I can fight through the fear and submit to the process.
I know it’s the enemy trying to paralyze me in fear. He wants me to think I’m not good enough and can’t do it so that I will quit and not share words of life and hope with others. The truth is that I applied for the position of contributor and was accepted which means that they liked my style and content. I can write well. I have worthwhile things to say.
Writing is a gift and a ministry opportunity. All of the doubt and fear means that there is great promise in my ability. The enemy attacks us where we can threaten or hurt him the most. He wants to keep me from writing so that I will not positively impact others for the kingdom. He is afraid of what might happen if I am left to write unfettered and unobstructed. Chains might be broken and people healed. It is for freedom Christ set us free. My purpose is to be free and show others the way to freedom. Writing God’s truth through my experiences is one way to do that. If I don’t share my story, others won’t be able to see God’s love and grace and goodness in my life and have hope to receive the same in theirs.
I have been letting the enemy win by dragging my feet with writing. I have been distracting myself and allowing outside distractions to sidetrack me from writing. I need to see writing as God’s assignment to reveal God’s love and grace to those around me. I need to take that assignment seriously. Not to the detriment of neglecting other responsibilities, but using my weekdays responsibly. I have an obligation to steward my gift well.
I have realized that I’m still not quite able to really invest in myself as a writer. I did use unexpected money to publish a book six years ago but I have not continued to invest in the project. I have done a few random other investments – books on writing, the She Speaks conference last year, my website – but nothing consistent because I, apparently, do not feel like it will yield a significant return. I don’t have a desire to abandon this calling to write, but I am not all in yet either.
I still feel silly calling myself a writer and pursuing this path. I feel like I am indulging myself and it could never be a real career path, even though other people have done it and are doing it. For some reason, I don’t feel qualified. I doubt whether I could really be a real writer. But what does a real writer look like? I am already a writer and an author. I write articles every week on my website. I have articles published on outside websites. I published a book. What more do I need to do to believe I am a writer?
Why am I so ashamed to say my ambition out loud? Am I afraid of failure? Am I afraid declaring my dream will lead to its doom? Do I fear others laughing at or ridiculing me? Perhaps all of those things are true. But they are all being spoken by fear. They are possibilities, not realities. Anything can happen with my writing. Nothing will happen if I don’t write. That’s the only certainty. I need to opt for the possibility of success. I need to define what success would look like for me and not worry about the world’s definition. What do I think a successful writing career would look like for me? Only in answering that question, will I know what the next step should be.
Do you struggle with stepping into something God has been calling you to? What keeps you from moving forward?