Hi, I’m Deena, and I’m a scaredy-cat.
Now that I’ve let that cat out of the bag, (sorry, couldn’t resist J) I’ll explain. I’ve never been much of a risk-taker. I tend to play it safe and escape pain and broken bones—and a broken heart—any time I can.
As a new writer, I deal with fears like rejection, failure, inadequacy, being judged, and getting hurt on a regular basis. If I succumb to these fears, I’ll be paralyzed and unable to move forward in God’s calling on my life to write.
When I attended my first writer’s conference in May 2019, I fought against several of the aforementioned fears. What if I make a terrible first impression? What if I choke when someone asks me what I’m writing about? Is my hook and pitch catchy enough? Will a publisher or agent tell me I’m wasting my time?
These are just a few of the possibilities the enemy whispered in my ear during the conference and over the last year and half since I began my writing journey.
As a believer in Jesus, I’ve had to practice what I’ve always encouraged others to do when fear comes knocking. Cling to God and His truth.
Here’s what I’ve learned about my fears:
Rejection will come but that doesn’t mean I’m no good.
An agent asked for a proposal at the conference. I worked hard on it for months and finally hit send on my computer only to receive a rejection about six weeks later. God remined me that my identity doesn’t come from an accepted or rejected proposal but is rooted in Him. And so is yours.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
Failure only happens to those who try.
God asked me to write so I do, and sometimes what I produce isn’t very good. God asks for obedience, not success. The results of our efforts are up to Him, not us. And success in His eyes may look different than what the world tells us.
“Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3
My inadequacy highlights God’s glory.
I’m not perfect. I have many weaknesses and can only do a few things well. God determines which gifts each of His children possess. We’re not granted all of them, so we must fight the human tendency to compare ourselves to others. We’ll lose every time. The beauty of my inadequacy is that God’s glory shines even brighter.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
There will always be someone who will judge me, but only God’s opinion matters.
I’ve spent way too many years worrying about what other people think of me. Living to please everyone ends with pleasing no one. Someone won’t like my book. It won’t be their style or they’ll find the one typo in a 350-page manuscript and point it out in a review.
We must live for the audience of One, for the applause of One. God is the ultimate Judge we will all stand before one day, so why not let go of the attempt at people-pleasing and just obey God instead?
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
As a writer for Christ, I’m going to get hurt.
Following our dreams and taking risks guarantees hurt. We shouldn’t expect smooth sailing. If we’re writing for God and sharing His truth, persecution is promised. We can take comfort in the fact that when others hurt us, God draws us close.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Be encouraged brothers and sisters. As children of God, we have no need to fear. We are fully loved by God, fully accepted. He never leaves us, and He protects us from enemies. When He looks at His children, He sees beautiful masterpieces completing the good work He planned for us.
So, when fear threatens to immobilize you, remind yourself what God says, and kick fear to the curb. Fear is from the enemy, and the enemy is a liar.
About the Author:
Deena incorporates her vast array of experience as a thirty-year Christ follower, a Navy/pastor’s wife, and a court-appointed special advocate volunteer into hope-filled stories.
Her mission to etch hope on broken hearts shines through in her fiction writing and on her blog, The Advocate’s Pen. Deena is an active member of ACFW and several writer groups, secretary of ACFW Virginia, and a multi award-winning writer.
She and her husband live in beautiful Virginia. When she’s not writing, reading, or serving in her church, you’ll find her hanging out with family and friends and doting on her six grandchildren.
Connect with Deena on her blog, Facebook, and Twitter.