Thursday, May 17, 2018

Insidious Doubts of the Writer

Writers are a weird breed. Stuffed with loads of creativity, a writer's brain can veer off in tangents that can make even the sanest of humans look psycho.

We are powerful wordsmiths. We are the worst writers to ever put pen to page.

We are the queen of the kissing scene. We are the dumbest person to ever have written a love scene. 

We can write 10,000 words in one day because we are inspired. We bang our head on the computer screen, begging for at least one word to put on the page. 

Bah....and then there is the doubt that creeps into our hearts. Even after being offered a contract for your story, you begin to wonder if you are ready. Can you really do the required edits? If there are so many changes necessary, why did they even want to publish the story? Were you wrong to put the story out there before it was ready to see the light of day? Will you ever to learn to write well? is an insidious evil that all writers must learn to face and banish from their minds and hearts. As Christian writers, this rings especially true. When you doubt yourself, you doubt God. You doubt His ability to use the creativity He has gifted you with in order to speak to someone.

Here is some advice I've been given this past week from sweet Alley Cats when I was overcome with doubt:

  • We are equipped not because of our credentials, but because of our calling from God.
  • Deep breaths and baby steps! 
  • Remember that God has given you everything you need to do the work - it's inside you, waiting to be released. 
  • You are doing something scary, but it is right where God has you. Trust in Him to carry your dreams through to completion.
Great advice from fantastic, experienced writers who have been there and overcome. We all need truth-sayers in our lives who will help us grow and overcome the paralyzing doubt that can creep in to destroy our dreams. Listen to them, but foremost, listen to God, the giver of dreams and the creator of all.

What doubts are you wrestling with, whether in writing or any other pursuit? Who are the truth-sayers in your life?

Photo credit: geralt @

Sherrinda Ketchersid is a born and bred Texan, preacher’s wife, mother of 4 children, and works part-time as a bookseller at Amazon. With the children grown and out of the house, she weaves tales of fierce knights and their ladies in a time where men were warriors and women had to be strong enough to keep them in check.

After taking time off from writing, she has returned with a new motto in place to spur her on. “Writers write. Everyone else makes excuses.” ~Jack Bickham.  No excuses this time. She is weaving her love of romance with history to bring joy and the hope of love to those who may one day read her stories. Her first book, tentatively The Lady's Masquerade, will release April 2019.

You can connect with her through:

Personal blog:
Twitter: @sherrinda
Instagram: @sherrinda


Joanne Sher said...

Such great reminders for us doubters out there. TOTALLY there with ya. And totally needing ALL of the Alley Cat wisdom this post has to offer!

kaybee said...

Sherrinda, what a great post. Here is when I doubt:
1. When I receive a rejection.
2. When I get contest feedback that doesn't "get" the story. I'm usually pretty good about contests, but occasionally the judge and I are not on the same page. Possibly not on the same planet.
3. When I'm away from the keyboard for too long and I let the doubts take over because I have nothing else to think about.
4. When I read something that is much, much better than I could have done, at least at this stage of my career.
5. Used to be, when an online or physical friend signed with an agent or publishing house that I hadn't had success with, or when someone got published in a relatively short amount of time. I've grown out of that, I realize that in today's market a success for one is a success for the rest of us. A metaphorical rising tide lifts all Christian fiction boats.
6. Whenever I try to do it myself instead of depending on the Lord, and His timing.
I'm contracted now but still feel doubts. Am I a one-trick pony? Am I a pony at all? We'll see.
Kathy Bailey

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Joanne, I don't know what I'd do without these Alley Cats and all their wisdom. They are such wonderful ladies.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Yesssssss, Kathy! All of your points, I have and still do wrestle with. I wonder if the doubts ever go away completely. I know it is something I struggle with, especially when I get caught in the comparison game. And I'm sure you have a ton of fabulous stories waiting to get contracted. :)