Sunday, September 23, 2007

Kicking out the Fear (My Writing Journey, Part 1)

I got to thinking lately about what sort of blog posts you would find interesting, and what type I would enjoy writing. And while my writing journey has not been as interesting as Brandilyn Collins', there might be something of interest hidden in there somewhere.

So, I will try to put down where I've come from in my journey to becoming an author in the hopes that some of you will glean a nugget to help you in your own journeys. For we're all on a journey. Maybe you're still wondering if you're meant to be a writer. Maybe you know you want to be but don't know how to attain the goal. Let me start off by saying, don't give up. Ever. You can succeed as a writer (or as a doctor, mother, lawyer, etc.). Set your mind to it, commit it to God, put in the hours, and trust He'll take care of you. He will.

Fear is the bane to a writer's life. It will tell you you'll never make it. You aren't good enough. You don't have enough time. Fear is what will sneak into your thoughts as you lay awake at night. You can't do it because you didn't go to college. You can't succeed because you have a full-time job. You can't make it because your kids are little. Catch a theme here? It's called Can't Syndrome. And it comes from you know where.

The biggest step you can make in your writing life is to kick your fears in the shins---boot it out of your life entirely. I know this isn't easy. Just two days ago I was practically incapacitated in my writing because of fear. But with the help of my family, I realized my problem: I was letting fear run my life. It takes some discipline to say no to fear. But you have to in order to succeed. So step #1. Kick fear out of your life! When thoughts of doubt, discouragement, and fear try to enter your mind, don't even give them the time of day. Say outloud, "I refuse to fear. I will not let fear run my life. I will succeed as a writer." You might have to confess that multiple times in a day, but trust me. It will build your confidence.

As a Christian writer, I can't even begin to tell you how it has helped me to know I'm not alone, that God is right there with me ready to help. Turning to Scripture can be the best balm to a fearful soul. God isn't the author of fear. What was the first thing the angels said to the shepherds when announcing Jesus' birth? Fear not. I could go on about this because it's near to my heart right now having just come through a trying time. But I'll spare you.

Know this: You can be as called to write as a preacher is called to preach. If that desire is in your heart, I believe it's there for a reason. There could be one life out there right now that needs to hear the words you write. You could literally save someone's life through your words. Wouldn't all the hardship and trouble be worth it then?

I suppose my journey begins like many writers---as a youngster.


WordVixen said...

Excellent post, and very true. Keep 'em coming! :)

Sheryl said...

Great post C.J.! I look forward to reading more of your journey. I know it will encourage not only me, but all of your readers.

C.J. Darlington said...

Thanks for your encouragement, ladies!

Rel said...

Well, I am not a writer, at least not of the novel kind, but that doesn't stop me appreciating what you write, CJ :) Thanks for sharing!

C.J. Darlington said...

And thanks for reading, Rel! But you ARE a writer! You don't have to write a book to be one, but you already know that, I'm sure. :)