There is a group of us writers from Topeka that try to get together throughout the month. With all the snow in January and changes in each other’s schedules it hasn’t been easy. But when we do find a way to fellowship it is often filled with wonderful encouragement and insights, not only with our writing but with our relationship with the Lord.
I’m typically an upbeat kind of gal, especially when it comes to talking about my favorite subject, Jesus. Yesterday however, if you couldn’t tell from my post, I was a bit on the down side. And when I get down, I DON’T want to spend time with anyone. PERIOD. Often because I feel as if I have a certain role to play in this grand scheme of the Lord’s. To encourage others. And when I’m down there is no way I feel like encouraging others. Sooo, last night I ground my teeth together. I really didn’t want to go to my writer’s meeting, especially since I only had an hour and a half to run and errand, make it to the meeting and then pick up my daughter from dance class. But I knew I needed to. Somewhere along the way, God intervene and the beginning of my manic-depressive attitude disappeared. Thirty minutes before I was to leave, I became excited and knew I had a purpose in going. That intended purpose had been to share encouraging scriptures with a friend.
Imagine my surprise when my friend had an encouraging scripture for me along with bold red letters.
It looked something like this.
1 John 4:18 (NKJV) There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. Be he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
Below in bold red she wrote this.
YOU CANNOT STOP ME!
Now I’m not sure how to relate this to my fear of getting back into the saddle and writing but I know it’s there. The only thing I can come up with is that I’m not loving the Lord enough to trust him with what I perceive as ‘crap’. If I trusted him then it really wouldn’t matter how the words come out on paper. They’re all fixable, right? But for some reason I’m expecting absolute perfection (kind of ironic since I’m the least anal person I know) this first round of revisions. And that simply isn’t going to happen.
I once heard Cathy Maxwell, a New York Times best-selling author, say even round seven or eight of her drafts can be ‘crap’. So why do I expect perfectionism from myself so early in the revision process?
Perhaps because I fear failure. Perhaps I feel as if I don’t get it right the first time then I’ve somehow failed. Hence my torment. I’ve thrown myself into a vicious cycle. All day long I feel blocked from writing and once the evening rolls around there are a multitude of errands to run, and wouldn’t you know that is when I feel the most like writing, but once I get home and settled in, NOTHING! It’s easy to want to write when I physically can’t.
I want to write to glorify my Lord. I fear failing Him. If I can’t succeed then I feel I failed. But if I believe 150% that I’ve been called to write, then why can’t I just trust Him? I haven’t quite received an answer to that question yet. But since I now know the problem I have faith the solution is around the corner.
4 responses to “Perfect Love Casts Out Fear-A Writer’s Angst”
Question (& answer to think about by someone who is in ah of you as a writer and Christian)
Q. Do you truly believe God has anointed you to write ?
Ok, so write. And in that writing, regardless of what it is or how good/bad/indifferent it is – YOU ARE FOLLOWING GOD’S INSTRUCTIONS. You’re fulfilling your obligation to be obedient to Him by writing and therefore you are NOT failing Him or you. You’re writing and sharing your writing with God with every strike of your keyboard!
The issue of failure or success of writing is not how or when the writing is shared with people, but the act of writing.
Okay, Frank! I hear you. 😉 And you are so right. Awesome advice as usual.
And . . . thank you!
Well said, Candace! Now, I’ll try to take your same advice for Christina and apply it to myself. Snort! Giggle! My excuse for not writing has been that I’ve been busier than I’ll get out and having a struggle getting my bottom in the chair and my fingers on the keyboard myself. But I have had some inspiration and have done some writing here and there with pen and paper when I’ve been out and about waiting places. So, yay.
However, I totally get it, Chris, how you want it to be “just so” the first time around. I KNOW it’s not even remotely possible for ME, but it’d sure be nice. Make the writing go a lot faster, ya’ know? ha ! ha! But that’s not how it works and we’d be missing out on so much of what God has to show and teach us on our journeys that way. SO, let’s rejoice in the process, be obedient, and bask in the love and mercy that God gives us each and every day. Oh! And write on, sister! Love ya’!
You know, Susie, I’ve never read anything of yours that I would consider ‘crap’. I’m not liking that word anymore so I’m done using it.
Here’s to get those chapters revised.