By Kathy Lipscomb
I’ve finally realized something and I don’t know why it took me so long to figure out. When I feel anxious or resistant to doing something, like writing, it’s all the more reason to do it. And it’s okay to ask our loving Heavenly Father for help.
The first time I let people critique my work in front of me was at an LDStorymakers conference (I believe I’ve told this story). I was so nervous, so, so nervous that I contemplated getting out of my chair and running as fast as I could. Me. Running. I don’t run. I hate running as a general rule, but I was so sick to my stomach that it was a serious contemplation. After a silent prayer, God helped me through those thoughts, and before I could get up and run, the words I’d written came out of my mouth. I did it. I ended up with fantastic critiques. I had things to fix, but I also gained a little more confidence in my work—something I desperately needed.
I’ve since let many, many authors critique my work, and it’s scary every time. I keep waiting for that fear, that anxiousness, to go away, but for me, it hasn’t. I even get great critiques of how much an author loved it (not always J), but that fear comes back. Every. Single. Time.
Fear and anxiety are not from God. They are from the adversary. God wants us all to learn and grow, to develop our talents. He isn’t going to do things to make us stop, but the adversary will. Don’t listen to that fear. When you have a day that for some unknown reason you have such anxiety over writing that you would rather do anything else in the world…those are the days you need to write the most. The adversary will work against you. Fight back by praying for help. It’s totally okay to pray for help with your book. Now, I’m not saying you should pray to be a best-seller or famous or rich. But to genuinely pray that you will write a book to the best of your ability, that you will inspire and uplift your readers, that you will learn and grow in your writing talent—those are all great reasons to pray. Those are all ways to fight against the fear, the anxiety, the feeling of incompetence.
Pray. God will guide you. He loves you.