Doubting Your Writing Abilities - Do You?

photo courtesy lusi,
Does doubt ever jump on your head? Okay, maybe that should be does doubt ever jump into your head?  Either way - does it?

It does for me when it comes to my writing. I know that I'm a writer. I have been gifted to write. I love writing, but still - I struggle with writing.

First of all, I know that writing devotionals and short (very short) fiction pieces are what I do best and what I love to do.  I have several blogs that I enjoy writing and have more ideas for blogs than I could possibly keep up with, but occasionally I begin to wonder if anyone is really reading them.  I wonder if they are making a difference in anyone's life. I wonder if I my posts are just floating out into cyberspace oblivion.

I check stats and wonder why people look, but don't leave comments. I visit other blogs and experience blog envy.

Time and time again I've tried to write a novel. I do great for about 3 chapters, then I freeze up. Can't think of a thing to write and that's when the doubt begins to grip me. I start thinking that if I were a "real" writer, I would be able to write a novel.

I know that's goofy thinking. You don't have to write a novel to be a writer, but I have 6 or 7 three-chapter book started on my computer that scream otherwise.

Doubt is a crippling disease.  Sometimes I delete entire blogs, only to reinstate them a few weeks later.

And then something amazing happens. Someone will leave a comment on one of my blogs telling me how much a particular post meant to them. How they were at a particular place in their life and how God led them to that post. They say it was just what they needed. It ministered to them, encouraged them, increased their faith...and that's the moment when doubt flees and faith rises in my heart.

It's then that I realize that I need to quit trying to be like my favorite novelist or like the popular bloggers I read. I just need to be me and write what God puts on my heart, then trust Him to take the message wherever He wants it to go.

I know that blog comments should not be the measuring stick for confidence in  my writing. I should just know that this is my calling and settle into it, but hey....I'm human.

So, fellow writers/bloggers - do you ever experience anything like this?

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(Copyright© 2012 Jan Christiansen. All rights reserved.)


Carol Moncado said...

I don't think you can call yourself a writer unless you do ;). I've talked to sooooooooooo many writers [and you know how many writers I know] and ALL of them - EVERY ONE - even the ones with 90 or 100 books out - feel this way from time to time. And everyone of them would tell you the same thing - do what God called you to do - not what called someone else to do.

I feel like that right now... And pretty much all the time... ;) But I also know I can't NOT write.

Love you mama!

Jan Christiansen said...

Thank you, Carol. If anyone could understand - you can. We started at the same time, but you have surpassed me and that makes a Mama smile. I will see your books in print and enjoy reading everyone of them!

Carol Moncado said...

Surpassed in the novel writing aspect maybe but maybe that's not what you're supposed to be doing right now. But I am. I firmly believe that.

A couple lines from my "Finding Mr. Write". A sneak peek just for you. I need to post the one line on my mirror...

Beth followed with her one page synopsis then Jeremiah showed us his one sheet.

It was... much better than mine. To the point I wanted to cry. How could I compete with something like that?

You're not, the still small voice inside me said. You write what I give you to write, the words come from Me. You aren't competing against anyone – not when it comes to My will.

I knew the Voice spoke the truth. I didn't compete against anyone as long as I did what God wanted me to. And Jeremiah and I wrote very different genres. Even if it was a competition, we wouldn't be competing against each other.

Peace settled over me. It would all work out the way God intended.

Jan Christiansen said...

So glad you shared this! That's good writin', gal! I'm working on something entirely different and FUN. Will let you know when it's ready to unveil.

Modern Day Disciple said...

Hi Jan, I am so glad to find you through Kelly 's blog today! I so relate to all you have said...Why do we do this to ourselves? "I just need to be me and write what God puts on my heart, then trust Him to take the message wherever He wants it to go."
Let's live in this well articulated truth! I have pondered these things daily and decided to stop! OK, it will continue to be an ongoing battle I know! But at least we know we are not alone! I would love for you to visit me, and also am interested in your Fellowship of Christian Bloggers group! In His Grace, Dawn

Jan Christiansen said...

Thanks for dropping by, Dawn! I was intrigued by your question, "Why do we do this to ourselves?" because it's absolutely true, most of the time WE do it to ourselves. Oh, there's an occasional negative comment from someone else that may start the doubt process, but we snatch it up and let our minds run with it.

So, why do we do it to ourselves? One of the main reasons is that we write for the accolades. Big mistake! We should be writing because we enjoy it and/or because we feel God has gifted us in this area and that we must use our gifts for His glory.

Instead we get caught up in the "is-this-good-enough-to-get-published syndrome."

I have stepped back from the pursuit of publication so that I can enjoy the writing process once more and I'm lovin' it!

Off to check out your blog!