The Greatest Fear of Writers

I stared at the blank screen as I pondered ideas for a new article.

I could write about time management, I thought. Or maybe handling stress? Nah, I don’t feel like it…

I was experiencing a bad case of writer’s block, but that wasn’t what was really bothering me. Though writer’s block can cause plenty of frustration and uneasiness, that is probably not the biggest fear that we face as writers.

I include it in the list of lesser fears, as well as these:

What if I don’t get published on this website? What if I don’t win this writing contest? What if I have to re-write my entire book? What if I get bored with this story? What if I run out of ideas for stories and articles? What if no one likes my writing? What if I don’t know how to start this chapter?

But there’s one giant fear that all these little fears revolve around. It plagues me constantly, especially while I’m writing. I often wonder…

What if all my writing leads to nothing?

In other words, what if I write countless blog posts, articles, poems, and guest posts, but I get rejected by book publishers?

In other other words, what if it’s not God’s will for me to be a published writer?

Then I would feel like all my efforts, time, energy, and worries will be wasted.



Mean nothing.

Do me no good.

Be done in vain.

Simply take up space on my hard drive.

I’m not saying that He’s dangling writing opportunities in front of me but plans to snatch away my chance of publication. I’m saying that He might have other, better plans for me that don’t include writing—but that thought still scares me.

What if I blog for five years and then realize God has another career plan for me? What if I write a hundred articles for different websites and then realize I don’t have enough money for an agent? What if I spend countless hours writing and polishing a book proposal but never get a book contract?

These thoughts describe my worst nightmare.

But that’s when I have to remember God’s promises to me.

Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it. (Psalm 37:4-5 NASB)

You don’t have to tell me what you’re thinking about this passage. You’re probably thinking about how badly your heart desires a book contract.

So does mine.

But we need to remember that God knows what we need better than we do. We can’t even comprehend His plans for us. He made a map of your future before the beginning of time.

And it is a perfect map.  

When you decide to follow that perfect map and the perfect Mapmaker, it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get a book contract. It doesn’t mean that you’ll never get an agent or do a book-signing or win a short story contest or write an article for a popular website. It doesn’t mean you won’t get published.

But it does mean that you’ll learn to accept God’s will, rather than your own. My friends, He will never fail you. He will never disappoint you. He will never let you down.

Just please don’t misunderstand me about your writing dreams. You don’t have to stop plotting stories or submitting articles or writing poems or blogging. You don’t have to stop using the opportunities God has given you. Like I discussed in my recent post about dreams coming true, it’s not sinful to dream or set goals or have plans. But it is sinful to place more value on following our plans than following God’s plans.

I want to advise you to use new opportunities He gives you. Maybe He has put an exciting new opportunity in your life that you’ve been too busy to see because you’ve been too focused on signing a book deal. I know the feeling, and I’ve done the same.

So we don’t have to worry about not getting published. We do have to worry about not following God’s will. And we don’t have to stop writing; we just have to be willing to open our hands and let go of our plans.

Because you never know where new opportunities will lead on the amazing map God has created just for you.

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