Monday, August 31, 2009

Stop Doubting and Believe

Most writers have the same dream.

To write something that touches another human being. Profoundly.

So how do you do that if you're filled with doubt about your writing abilities? Who do you ask to read your work? A trusted friend, a parent or a sibling? Or have you found a safe group of other writers and begun to share a few chapters here and there?

Last Sunday, my pastor spoke about Doubting Thomas, a pessimistic man. I think some of us tend to take on his persona when it comes to sharing our work with others.

But yet, we all want the same thing--to know someone likes what we wrote and that it moved them.

God told Thomas to "Stop doubting and believe."

I sure am trying but I'll admit it's really hard. It's hard to send your work out to an agent or publisher and count the moments until it's accepted or rejected. It's hard to e-mail a story to a critique partner and then wait for the feedback.

It's plain hard to follow that writer's dream some days, isn't it?

But dreams do come true with a lot of hard work, determination and optimism.

Is your glass half-empty today or half-full?

40 comments:

Jeanette Levellie said...

Terri: This is a matter of balance, do you think? There is a fine line between confidence in the Lord and humility to serve others.

Jesus was secure in His calling but never arrogant. He did not doubt who He was, but neither did He use His gifts to show off.

It's so scary to put our babies out there for scrutiny, and hope they are accepted and liked. If we believe God has called us to write, it eases some of the pain of criticism or rejection.

Please tell me this next time I need reassurance! It's easy for me to preach to others; harder when I need help!LOL!

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

I'm not just saying this because you are a writer friend...but you are a wonderful writer! I've read many of your stories and we've shared many hours critiquing together and in our writers group and your stories are always enjoyable and well done. I'll say it again...you do an incredible job writing non-fiction and I'm envious!

My writer's glass is always half full with blessings and ready for more!

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Oh, I needed this today, Terri! Generally I'm a glass half-full kind of writer, but my cup seems to be changing as of late. I need to get back on track! Thanks for the good counsil!

Tammy said...

This was my every thought today.

I don't desire(yet)to step outside of the world of blogging. But when I write I want it to touch others. I start out with a glass half-full.

I struggle with my writing, wondering if it makes sense as I put my fingers to the keyboard. That's when my glass becomes half-empty. Yep, then doubt lifts its ugly head.

Thanks for the advice!

Jennifer Shirk said...

How my glass is filled depends on WHEN you ask me. LOL!

But in the end, I stop listening to the doubts and just push myself. It's a weekly struggle. :)

Stephanie Faris said...

Definitely. But they say in order to grow as a writer, you must listen to those doubts and conquer them. You must tear your writing apart and build it back stronger. It's just tough because it's a lot easier to write when you don't have those voices nagging at you!

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

Half full, even though I don't feel like it.

Figure that one out for me, eh?
~ Wendy

Lazy Writer said...

Half-full today, but tomorrow may be another story. :)

Yolanda said...

Terri,

Keep belieivng and praying. Psalm 37:4, Girlfriend!

Lovingly,
Yolanda

Greg C said...

My glass is totally full today. I have enough optomism for several people today. :)

Kristen Torres-Toro @ Write in the Way said...

Hey, Terri!

I know what you're talking about! Tomorrow on my blog we're talking about fear and all the voices we hear as we write.

Hmm... there's a whole in my glass and it's leaking fast. Just kidding! Today is pretty good! I'm excited to brainstorm and see what comes of it!

T. Anne said...

Wonderful post. I do try to keep it half full and prayerfully I ask the Lord to administer His will. I need Him to show me and impress his dream into my heart. I think he has. :)

sarah said...

When I put God first, half full. Unfortunately I try too much in my own strength. Great post. Sarah

Lily said...

My cup runneth over!

Andrea said...

My cup is overflowing. Blessings, andrea

Jessica said...

Today I'm feeling pretty good. LOL Thanks for the encouraging post! I def. think most people feel this way and I'm really not sure a million compliments would change that. So I guess we just need to trust God and believe, like you said. :-)
You're an excellent, solid writer, btw.

Janna Qualman said...

I've been dealing with more half-full days of late, and it's a great feeling! I think it's needed, too, if I want to succeed. That root belief has to be there, and I hope I've cultivated it enough.

On a separate note, the song Doubting Thomas by Nickel Creek is a beautiful one. You should check it out!

Keli Gwyn said...

I do my best to experience joy on the journey. I find that focusing on producing the best stories I can rather than fretting about selling, which really is something over which I have little control, helps.

When doubts assail me, which they do, I turn to my super supportive hubby and awesome critique partner, who lift me up. They are a real blessing, and I'm so grateful for them.

Jody Hedlund said...

Some days my glass is brimming and running over and other days it's guzzled to a dry sticky residue. I wish it was always full, but then maybe I wouldn't appreciate it so much when it is!

Cindy said...

My glass is definitely half-full today! But there are other days when it's been less than half-full and that's usually when I let myself doubt. I am trying to remember that no matter what progress I make, or if I get rejections, as long as I'm doing my best there is no reason to doubt.

Diane said...

Thank you for the good reminder. I need to "just believe" and kick myself in gear! :O)

Nancy said...

Your first line gripped my heart. That is why I write. I want to "write something that will touch another profoundly." I couldn't have said it better. May it happen for you and me, too.

Heather Sunseri said...

Great post, Terri. In life, I try to be a more than half-full kind of person, but with my writing, I struggle at times. The dream is always there though.

Galen Kindley--Author said...

I think anyone who has every penned a word with the intent of having it read by others has doubted the value of what they wrote. Everyone..the big name guys and gals, too. So, it’s completely normal and if doubt is touching you…just realize it touches everyone. It’s also, if you’ll just think back, transient. Comes and goes quickly. So, fogedaboudit.

Best Regards, Galen
Imagineering Fiction Blog

Jill Kemerer said...

Oh, it's half-full today, Terri! And it is hard to wait :)

Gaia said...

I feel encouraged today. thank you.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

Fiction challenges me at every turn. I'm grateful for the small successes in the non-fiction area. It keeps me pressing on with the long projects.

I keep telling myself that writing comes in seed form and needs time to grow.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Sassy Granny ... said...

My pastor is often heard to say: "Why is it we doubt our beliefs, and believe our doubts? Let's believe our beliefs, and doubt our doubts!"

Some day (soon), an amazing something will happen that will bless your socks off. The doubts will then cower beneath your confident joy!

Me ... hubby calls me the Sugar Plumb Fairy for reason. I think it means I drink from a half full cup (or leaf).

Hugs and more hugs,
Kathleen

Need More Words said...

Thanks for the encouraging post to keep on following my dream.
Diane

Lin said...

my glass is all the way full-check out my blog today

Abraham Lincoln said...

I am a little late to comment on this post but I don't think I have ever written anything that wasn't published. Having said that, there are ways to explain it but I marvel at those who accept rejection slips in good faith -- most rejected by a high school kid or college freshman working part time. There is a reason Edsel like Henry J both flopped and the lesson learned was to stop making Edsels and Henry Js. The secret is in those cars who have been successful over the years. I used to teach writing to authors, and ordinary moms and dads. I will have to post Lesson #1 one of these days and see who can solve it.

Abe Lincoln

Warren Baldwin said...

I don't think we've ever truly failed until WE think we have. This agent might think we are the worst writer ever; the next agent may think we have unbelievable potential. What a loss if we hang our hopes on the first editor and never move on to the next one!

Jeanette Levellie said...

My glass is usually full to overflowing, but some days I waste energy on stupid stuff like being touchy; that can drain you fast.

God is faithful. He has never let me down, even when I've acted less than ideal.

Love you,
Jen
Audience of ONE

Diane said...

Yes, Terri, it is hard to follow the writer's dream some days. I'm only beginning to allow myself to dream.

When we share our writing, our hearts are so vulnerable - that is the scary part. We all need encouragement and that's why your blog, and your beautiful writing, is so important!

Today, my glass is half-full!

Gaia said...

Hi Terri, so nice of you to drop by and following my blog. I was half-empty till I read your post that day. Cheerz.

~PakKaramu~ said...

Pak Karamu reading and visiting your blog

LauraLee Shaw said...

Your posts always help to fill me up. Thank you!

Tea With Tiffany said...

Full cup for me.

Thank you for encouraging writers to believe.

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