Friday, August 11, 2017

Swarm of Doubt /// A Misdiagnosis Follow-Up

Before I get to the main point of this post, there's two things I'd like to say. First off, hi, I'm back! Then again, maybe you didn't notice I was missing. I actually went on vacation with my family for a week. It was a lot of fun, and very good to get away and relax. I've seen your comments, and I will respond to them as soon as possible, so don't worry about that.

Secondly, I'd like to address and clarify something several of you commented on in my post, A Misdiagnosis. I did not mean to come across as saying that doubt is the only reason for writer's block. I understand that there are many reasons for it, such as hitting a roadblock in your story or just not feeling it at your current stage in life. What I was saying is that, when we are attacked by doubt, we tend to label it as "writer's block," when it's actually something a little more . . . sinister, if you will. We underestimate how big of a deal doubt really is.

That's what I wanted to clear up. I hope you better see where I'm coming from now. And since that's out of the way, let's jump right into the thick of it: what makes up the swarm of doubt we face?

There's never just "one doubt." There are multiple kinds, and branches leading off the main ones. For example, say you doubt your ability to write. That'll look different for you than it does for me. But this won't be an exhaustive list. What I want to hone in on are a few of the major doubts writers--and people in general--face. Without further ado, let's begin.


1. You doubt that you are good enough.

Everyone has these moments in life, where they stop and question if they are good enough at what they do. They too easily see their imperfections and toy with the idea of quitting. Often, this doesn't really have to do with their skill in their craft. It's their self-worth that's being pondered.

Let me tell you that are already good enough. There's nothing you can do that will make you either better or worse. As a person designed in the very likeness of God, you have incredible worth. The DNA of the universe's Creator is programmed into you.

A song, called "Made," by Hawk Nelson comes to mind. In the chorus of the song, it says, "And you'd believe if you could see the smile on His face the moment you were made." Never forget that God deemed you to be valuable enough that He'd die for you. And if He says you have worth, what does it matter what other people say, or what that little, nagging voice in your head spews? You are good enough right here, right now.

And nothing will ever change that.

2. No one will want to read what you write.

This is a huge doubt for us, because if nobody reads our stories, then why are we writing in the first place? That's a very good question, thank you for asking that. Here's my two cents on the subject. While it's always great to have people reading your projects, it honestly shouldn't be your main focus.

I know that probably sounds weird. I mean, my top love language (I actually have two, but that's not important right now) is words of affirmation. So this sounds like a bizarre concept to me as well. I love getting feedback and hearing what others have to say about what I've written. But even if no one would ever pick up one of my books, I'd still write.

I'm like Eric Liddell in the way that I feel God's pleasure when I write. I've found that, when I haven't written for an extended period of time, I feel kind of . . . lost. Drifting aimlessly. Each day purposeless. But when I get back into it, that all changes. And I know I'm doing what I'm called to do. That's why I would never quit.

3. You'll never get published.

Another big struggle for us is wondering if we'll ever see our books on store shelves. We think our story will be lost among all the others, or that we won't even get a chance to show the world what we're passionate about.

I think that's actually one of the greatest keys to being published: passion. See, it's a contagious thing. If you're deeply excited about something, the way you'll talk and act about it will stand out. People will notice. I'm not saying passion alone will get you published, but I think it's pretty important.

In the end, though, when you're dealing with this doubt, there's only a few things you can really do about it. First, do your homework. Make sure you do all that you can to make your story ready for publishing. Secondly, pray about it and just let go of the situation. There comes a point when it's out of your hands, so the best thing to do is allow God to take care of it. Lastly, start envisioning yourself getting published. Your mind is a powerful thing. If you keep imagining yourself having a book published, you start to establish that belief inside you. Before you know it, you'll be drawn into a situation where that becomes possible.

Well, I don't really have time for more doubts today. As I said, this is definitely not a complete list. When I asked her about these, Tracey mentioned that all of these doubts are interconnected. I think I covered a few of the major ones, so I think I'll leave--

Wait a minute. There's another connection I see here. If I'm not mistaken, while doubt may a lumbering beast, it draws its energy from another source. A fouler, darker source. One that has plagued humanity since Eden. It's a simple word with huge ramifications.


It looks this isn't quite over yet. One more post will wrap up this series in the near future. In the meantime, which doubt do you struggle with the most?


  1. Wow. This post is SO important and SO true! This is something ALL writers need to read!!!

    I think I've struggled with every single one of these. But, to go along with what you said, I've realized that my writing isn't even for other people. It's for me. Even if I never get published, even if no one ever read any of my stories again, I'd still write. Why? Because I HAVE to. It's a part of me. It's my oxygen. When we're given a passion to write, we just have to do it, no matter what. I totally relate to you feeling lost when you haven't written. YES. I don't even feel like myself when I haven't been immersing in the world of writing. It's who we are! And I think that's what matters most, and what can stop all these fears: That we write because we love it. Period.

    Thanks for this post. It was fantastic. I look forward to the next one!

    1. I think it's one of those matters that everyone struggles with, but no one talks about. I'm glad you felt it was worthwhile.

      Same. No author is exempt. And you very poignantly added some very good thoughts to what I said. I totally agree that writing is my oxygen; it's built into my DNA. To not write would be to deny myself any impactful purpose in life. If you write but don't love it, then you may as well not even write at all. People can tell when you don't enjoy what you're doing.

      You're welcome. I'll try to conclude the series sometime next month or so.

  2. Thank you for this post!

    I definitely struggle with self-doubt the most. I focus on reading/writing Christian speculative fiction, which is a bit of a niche market, so I've made my peace with the other two doubting reasons. However, I tend to struggle with being good enough in multiple areas of my life, not just writing, and it's a very hard voice to silence. Thanks for the encouragement!

    1. You're most welcome! ^_^

      I think it's probably one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, doubt anyone faces in life. I read an interesting quote about self-doubt that I forgot to share in this post, so I'll have to include it in the next one. I can relate to that. Hopefully the final post can give you what you need to push past it. No problem!

  3. This post...I LOVE it! I struggle so, so much with doubts of all kinds; writing and life. It's one of my greatest weaknesses. This post gives me a little encouragement, so I thank you for that! ^_^

    1. Thanks! I don't think anyone has never doubted once in their life. We're all in the same boat. Well, if I'm able to encourage at least one person, then I have done my job. :)