Home About Hartline   Our Agents   Our Authors   Submissions   Blog   Contact Us

Saturday, August 14, 2010

When we have doubts - Terry Burns

Why would writers have doubts? Just because most of our feedback comes from form letters that do little to inspire us, maybe cause us to wonder if our words are really good enough?

Perhaps because we tend to work alone with little feedback, sometimes little support from family or loved ones? I'm lucky to have tremendous support at home but I know a lot complain that isn't true for them. Maybe we feel if our words were what God
wanted us to do that he would cause them to get out more effectively? There is no shortage of such questions.

It's a recurring problem. We publish and start feeling better about things, then time goes by, more rejection letters come in, and the doubts begin to creep back in. There is an immediate round instantly after I finish a work, "What if this is the last one, what if I'm out of ideas?" Then a new idea pops into my head and I'm off again.

Satan is good at planting seeds of doubts, it's one of his specialties. Because writing is something we have to do alone, our minds are fertile grounds for it. But Satan doesn't bother to chastise anyone who isn't a threat to him, so if he isn't after us we must not be doing what we're supposed to be doing.

The best cure for doubt is fellowship with others who understand writing and writers, that's why I'm in several writers groups and share my concerns with those at church who understand. Getting to conferences such as the upcoming conference of the American Christian Fiction Writers in Indianapolis is a great fure for this.

The second thing is to understand that publishing will happen in God's time and even though we may not have the required patience (not my strong suite) His timing is always perfect.

The third is to realize when we get these little barbs from editors and agents that they don't know us well enough for it to be personal, it's just business. We're either a fit for them or we aren't.

The main thing is to keep writing, keep perfecting our craft., and keep interfacing with our support group. Then comes the biggest support mechanism of all, a letter from someone who loved our work and said it touched their life. It doesn't take many of them to make us feel good about what were doing, to offset all of the negative correspondence that is so much a part of this crazy business, and to make us feel like our words are making a difference after all.

I can run for months on just a single letter.

14 comments:

B. J. Robinson said...

Enjoyed reading this, and it really touched me, as it hits home. Instead of encouraging, some people say, "You can't write," but I know with God's help, I can do anything, and in His perfect timing, it will happen!I have one more chapter to go in my novel, and it's taken three years to perfect. It's not a first draft either. Those chapters have been gone over and over, except for the one left to go :)

Kelly Freestone said...

Well, now I feel better about those questions of doubt, lol, I know I'm doing what God would have me do. :)

My family is SO supportive. My husband voiced that he WANTS me to do this as long as I want. :,) I thought that was so sweet.

Thanks, Terri.
Just what I needed to hear today.

Martha Ramirez said...

Oh, Terry,absolutely beautiful! Such a great reminder. Thank you for posting this.

Deanne said...

Thanks for sharing this. I sure do relate. The afterglow of the last book doesn't last long. And, I never know, for sure, that I can write the next one. My husband laughs at me because after 23 books he knows about the doubts that follow the afterglow. He also believes I am able to write another one... I wish I found it easier to believe him!

hidenmighty said...

Thank you for sharing this. Your words encouraged me.

Kelly Freestone said...

*Terry*
Sorry.

Clella said...

Terry, I needed to be reminded that God's timing is not always my timing. Thanks Clella Camp

Raquel Byrnes said...

"His timing is always perfect."
Well said, Terry. Always nice to be reminded where my eyes should be.

Debby Mayne said...

What a great post, Terry! I have support at home, and occasionally I get letters from fans. But there are still times when Satan sticks his ugly head in and whispers things that create self doubt.

Terri Tiffany said...

Thank you for the encouragement. I have those days when I think what am I doing? LOL

Cher Green said...

Thank you for the encouraging words.

Linda said...

Run on...I appreciate you.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Amen! Well said. The devil wants to discourage us, so we better be plugged in to the Holy Spirit when the father of lies starts to tell us discouraging things! The devil's aiming for us if we're writing what will impact people and bring glory to God! Your post is so right on ...

lindayezak said...

I am so looking forward to the ACFW conference. I'm one of those who gets very little encouragement at home and am craving fellowship with those whose eyes glaze over when I start talking about writing.

Good post, Terry. Thanks.