With Fear and Trembling

panic-keyTwo weeks ago, I posted a devotional on a blog that I had never written for before. I was so excited for the opportunity, but my fingers almost froze as I clicked “Publish.” I didn’t need to wonder why I felt so nervous. I was not only putting my thoughts out there for a whole new audience, but every single reader of that blog belonged to a Bible study group that I had just joined a few months before. We were still getting to know each other, and I had risked sharing an honest struggle in that post. Every one of their opinions mattered to me. A lot.

But despite the cliché fear and trembling, I clicked Publish. I have been writing long enough to know that . . .

  1. Kicking fear aside is part of the job description.
  2. If my anxiety level determined what I submitted, I would never publish anything.
  3. Not everyone is going to love or even notice what I have to say, but a few might need it.
  4. Writing to a new audience is a privilege, and I don’t want to miss out on either the blessings or the opportunity to encourage others, even if “others” only equals one person.

By the time I arrived at Bible study the next morning, one friend had already read my post and enjoyed it so much that she encouraged the other ladies in class to visit the blog. See, my inner cheerleader nudged, and you were so worried. Suddenly, I couldn’t wait for my next turn to post something.

As you have probably discovered, writing is incredibly rewarding, but in order to get to those rewards, we must push past our fears. Let’s face it; writers are an insecure bunch. For some this means clicking Send or Publish while the mean voices in our heads scream, “Why do you think you are? Everyone is going to hate it!” For others it requires sending a manuscript out for a critique knowing those precious pages will come back with a lot of red marks. But how many times have we seen benefits in taking the risk?

As I tell many who take my writing workshops, “You won’t regret trying, but you probably will regret not trying.” I think this applies to the anxieties that could hold us back as well.

What writing-related challenge is causing you to fear and tremble today? What are you so afraid of? What rewards might you miss out on if you let fear win?

My challenge for you today is to send, publish, or ask for the critique anyway, knowing it is okay to be a little freaked out. You just don’t want to look back on your life and wonder what might have happened if you tried.

Submitted by a Christian Editor Connection member.