Several years ago, when I had braces, I would see my orthodontist four or five times a year. Dr. T knew that I liked to write, and he would always ask me how it was going. He would always excitedly tell his nurses that I would be the next J.R.R. Tolkien.
Rein those horses back in.
That’s a little much.
Don’t get me wrong, part of me liked his praise, but the other part cowered in fear, because I didn’t think I could ever be that good.
So the beast that is discouragement took hold, and anything I wrote seemed awful to my eyes.
If Dr. T thought I would be the next J.R.R. Tolkien, he was sadly mistaken.
I think all of us as writers have discouragement at one time or another. It can be hard when family asks, “so how’s the writing coming along?”
Um. It isn’t coming at all.
We’ve all been there, when writing doesn’t seem worth it. When we want to throw everything away and never pick up a pen again. Because how can anything we have to say be worth hearing, with all the voices clamoring for attention?
One thing I’ve tried to tell myself (I don’t always, I am human) when that question of doom is asked is this:
Yes, you read that right. It’s okay.
Tell your family where you are in your writing (if you aren’t an introvert like me and dread telling your family how you’re killing off your characters because it’s better than having to deal with them).
God has a plan for my writing (and yours!) that is greater than what Dr. T can imagine.
When his words from so long ago ring in my ears, I take it as a challenge. I can do great things; Dr. T. thinks I can, too. And you know what? I can do those great things with Christ, who lives in me.
Here are some verses that help me when I feel discouraged. I hope you can find encouragement from them too.
1 Peter 5:7 ESV Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Proverbs 13:12 ESV Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
Jeremiah 29:11-14 ESV For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord.
So how about you? What do you do when you feel discouraged? I would love to hear from you.