One time an evangelist was preaching to a crowd of people. A man in the crowd kept heckling him, but the preacher kept preaching, trying not to pay attention to the man. But when the man yelled, “if you’re so smart…tell me, where did Cain get his wife?”
The preacher looked directly at the man. “I can’t tell you where Cain got his wife, but when I get to heaven I’ll ask him.”
The man smirked. “What if he’s not in heaven?”
“Then you ask him,” the preacher said.
When it comes to the writing journey, you will find that skeptics line the road. They question your reason for writing, sometimes firing questions at you that are hard to answer. Or they try hard to plant seeds of doubt which will undermine your self-confidence or sense of calling. These voices from without are draining.
But they’re not the worst. The worst skeptic lives inside each writer.
I’m convinced that times of self-doubt are part of the journey. And since not everything we write drips with brilliance, we focus on those less-than-readable pages as proof positive that we don’t have what it takes to be a writer. Or we allow room for the monster called “Maybe” to live in our minds. This monster growls out questions like, “Maybe you heard God wrong…Maybe He didn’t call you to be a writer…Maybe that contest judge who hated your story was the only one telling the truth…Maybe you should consider giving up.”
What do you do when the skeptic within taunts you? How do you silence it?