What to Do When You Doubt Your Writing Ability
After taking the summer off, I’m so excited to return to writing. As I sit to write this blog post, however, something happens: I feel stuck. Nothing comes to mind to write about. I am frustrated, but I’m pretty sure I know why I’m feeling this way: I’m doubting my ability as a writer.
Do you feel this way too at times? From what I hear and read, even writers who have been published multiple times doubt themselves. What’s up with that!?
Doubt derails our writing
Have you experienced any of the following?
Begin to criticize every word you write
Think your writing dream is futile
Sink into discouragement
Recall previous writing rejections
First steps for fighting off self-doubt
I know–because I’ve been in this place before–that if I don’t take action immediately, the self-doubt will just get worse and derail my ability to move forward with my writing. So I take the first step I recommend for fighting off self-doubt: I start to pray.
Then as I pray for inspiration and direction for my writing, a certain phrase keeps coming to mind: shake it off.
Hmmm…I’m not sure what that means in this situation, so I do a biblegateway.com search of the word shake and come up with powerful truth.
“Shake yourself from the dust, rise up, O captive Jerusalem; Loose yourself from the chains around your neck, O captive daughter of Zion.” (Isaiah 52:2)
Reading this verse from Isaiah leads me to visualize shaking off the doubts that are making me stuck. And I picture shaking my whole self vigorously! As I do, I pray to be loosed and set free from the captivity of my doubts. I’m shaking it all off, Lord! I pray.
Next, I read Psalm 21:7, “For the king trusts in the Lord; through the unfailing love of the Most High he will not be shaken.
Now in the Psalms I find a different take on the word shake. This verse and the next show me how not to be shaken by doubts. Just like the king, I can trust in the Lord’s love. By soaking in His love, I will not be shaken by my doubts.
And one more gem found in Psalm 30:6, “When I felt secure, I said, ‘I will never be shaken.'” Another reminder that my security–about my writing or anything else–will be found in the Lord.
Don’t you love how we find answers in God’s Word?!
Do you need to shake doubt off! Take the first step today, shake it off with prayer, and rest in the Lord’s love. You also might want to do your own search of the word shake and see what else God leads you to.
What are some other strategies you take to shake off self-doubt? I’ll blog more about this next week!
Don’t miss out on the writing opportunity below!
Next Step Coaching Services wants YOU as our GUEST BLOGGER!
We are looking for writers who can blog about their publishing journey, whether self-published or traditionally published; good or bad experience; book or any other type of writing. We’ll use these guest posts throughout the year.
If interested in this opportunity, please email Melanie at [email protected]. In your email give me a few sentences about why you want to guest blog and a brief summary of what publishing experience you can share with our readers.
Can’t wait to hear from you!
This is perfect. Just last night I told myself: “what am I really thinking?!? I am no writer! ” But still this thing on my heart is too strong to just let it go. But I am no writer. I will just leave it to the Lord!
If it’s on your heart, it’s there for a reason! That’s one of the ways God “speaks” to us, not letting us be free of something. Prayed for you right now. Keep writing! It will be fun, challenging, and rewarding to see where God takes you! And you can always get an editor to help you with that writing part:)
Thank you so much for your prayer and encouragement. 🙂
This is timely encouragement! I have been feeling paralyzed by the accumulation of criticism that comes to anyone who is in a position of leadership. I feel vulnerable and weary of putting anything “out there”. I especially appreciate Psalm 27:1.
Yes, when we put ourselves out there, we are so vulnerable, aren’t we? It’s so easy to criticize from the backseat. I prayed for you right now, that you would be renewed and refreshed. Thank you for your obedience. God sees you. I’ll write more about this next week!
Thanks, Melanie for this “just at the right time” post. I have been fighting discouragement and you reminded me it’s because my eyes are on the wrong things. Writing is for Jesus and through him, but he loves me no matter how the words are (or are not) flowing. Choosing to rest in him!
Hi Sue, Good to hear from you! I pray right now that the lie of discouragement flies off you! I love what you said – writing is for Jesus. Such a good reminder. Just like you, I’m finding that when I confess believing the lie that I have to perform, then abiding in Him becomes the only place I want to be.
Thank you for your generosity in encouraging other writers. Your guidance and your confidence in me has been a game changer.
That means a lot, Sue! Thank you!