I’m quiet because I’m scared.

on April 10, 2013 in AnnieWrites, Dreams Coming True, Let's All Be Brave with 30 comments by

I’m writing another book.

Speak Love is finished and turned in and based on how long my editor has had it in her genius paws, I’m guessing there was A LOT TO BE DONE TO THE DOCUMENT. [I’m thankful. Great editors MAKE great books.] It will be out in September and I cannot wait for you to read it!

And now we are on to the next one. Which is really exciting, don’t get me wrong.

I can’t tell you much about it quite yet, but I can tell you what I’m feeling while I’m writing it.

SCARED.

And when I say “I’m writing another book,” I mean I keep opening a word document and watching the cursor blink.

This next book is deeply personal, deeply current, and requires deep amounts of courage and to be honest, I find myself lacking. So I’ve gotten lots of other work items checked off in the last ten days or so, but when it comes to actually getting book words on paper, it’s not happening. I always find something else to do.

Emails to answer.

Meetings to have.

Purses to clean out.

Naps to take.

And then I blink and another work day has come and gone and I’ve accomplished things, but not THE THING.

The thing of writing stories that have long been held in my heart.

The thing of exposing hurts that I would rather forget.

The thing of writing the book I’ve dreamed about for years.

The thing of composing this piece of art that feels so near to my heart that I worry about every dotted i and crossed t and sentence structure and flow.

The thing of writing a book that requires every bit of the courage from me that then I’m going to turn around and ask of the reader in their own life.

“BE BRAVE!” I am going to say. But first? I have to be brave.

Ahh… isn’t this just how God works? I have to learn the lesson before I can lead the lesson and I think it is only fair to tell you that I am a slow learner.

Sooo many bloggers write books. Sooo many authors have blogs. And you see us announce “another book is coming!” or “I’m signing a 44 book contract with Biggest Publisher In The World!” or “My book just got purchased by every woman in the state of Ohio!” and sometimes I wonder if non-authors think this life is full of awesomely fun announcements.

So here’s my announcement for you today:

I’m so scared to write this book that I am not writing at all.

Blogs. Articles. Emails. Journaling. Nothing.

Twitter I’ve still got under control. 🙂 But all other forms of writing have gone to nada. It’s all dried up by fear.

I emailed my editor last week and said, “I know I can’t talk about the book, but can I talk about this part? The part where I’m trying to write a book about courage but can’t find any for myself?”

She said yes.

And since that day last week, I’ve tried to write this blog post, but couldn’t even get IT out. Ridiculous.

But finally, here it is. And here’s the hoping that this breaks the dam and the water of words begin to flow with force again. Because here’s what I know: I will find the courage. I mean, I have to. I HAVE A DEADLINE. 🙂 And I’m asking God for it.

But I just wanted you to know that this is how it really is sometimes.

What’s it like to write a book? Sometimes it is too scary to start.

But if you think you’re the only one too scared to make art, or the only one who wastes time because of fear, you aren’t. Be encouraged. We are all scared.

But fear won’t win.

Today, I will write. And tomorrow. And the next day.

Because I want you to read this book. 

I want to read this book.

I want to be brave.

I want you to be brave.

Let’s all be brave.

 

. . . . .

30 comments

  1. posted on Apr 10, 2013 at 5:36 AM  |  reply

    These two verses came to mind while I was reading this, Annie.

    Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

    Be strong and of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart.
    Psalm 31:24

    How appropriate that the last verse is from a print I won from you in a giveaway. xoxo

  2. ~VA~
    posted on Apr 10, 2013 at 5:37 AM  |  reply

    You can do it Annie! It might be slow, a few words at a time, but if God’s hand is guiding the work it will get done. I believe in you because I believe in the God that is in you! Good luck writing your next book.

  3. posted on Apr 10, 2013 at 5:48 AM  |  reply

    Whew, YES, that’s how it feels — even when all I’m writing is articles!

    Lots of empathy coming your way. And…I’ll pray for you! You can do it!

  4. posted on Apr 10, 2013 at 6:22 AM  |  reply

    Dearie, I tend to think that the more scared you are to write it, the more deeply people need to read it.

  5. posted on Apr 10, 2013 at 7:06 AM  |  reply

    Just a few days ago, in the (in)RL desktop calendar thingy, I read these words written by you – “You can stay the same, not lose anything, but never know what there was to be gained. Or you can risk, guaranteeing some loss, and yet gain more than you knew was possible.” Your risk of being brave is going to have amazing results. xoxo

  6. LisaW
    posted on Apr 10, 2013 at 7:33 AM  |  reply

    Proud to see what God has already accomplished through you, sweet friend – hugs and prayers your way for this next part of the journey!

  7. posted on Apr 10, 2013 at 8:04 AM  |  reply

    You have the strength, the tenacity and the stamina to do this. Just think of the beauty of you in the results of His refining. Love you BIG friend!

  8. posted on Apr 10, 2013 at 8:45 AM  |  reply

    dear Annie, hmm, I feel your pain. I hide behind posts, an article sent to a newspaper, whatever can justify my day. I need to be Big Brave… like you. It’s terrifying though and leaves you feeling helpless and worse…. wordless. The difference is, I can look at you and say, you have accomplished much already and proven you have the chops. I look at myself and doubt. I will be brave with you today and remind myself that God does not give me the spirit of fear and doubt. Just write. Just today:)Tomorrow … repeat.

  9. Andrea
    posted on Apr 10, 2013 at 10:30 AM  |  reply

    ra!ra!re! You can do it..I love your heart, your honesty. There is beauty in the brokenness, the mess–I cannot wait to read your words. And I find that when I’m learning and growing, being challenged and stretched and then teach on those things–well, lives are touched and ministered to in ways only possible through the power of the Spirit. Be brave, little toaster.

  10. posted on Apr 10, 2013 at 10:46 AM  |  reply

    My beautiful friend, there is more beauty and bravery in the words of this blog post than you know! I literally just opened my computer this morning to write my own post about fear and I’m antsy and nervous because I have a big theatre callback tonight that has made me scared for the first time in awhile. I thank God that he brought me to your words before I started the work I need courage for today. Thank you SO MUCH for your honesty and the ‘real life’ of this post. I am in awe sometimes when authors are always announcing their amazing book contracts and news–it’s just such a different life experience from my own, and seems so far reaching and unattainable sometimes. (I’ve decided that writing is probably one of the only other professions I think it’s almost harder to be successful in beside my chosen one of performing in theatre). Your words have ministered to me, and helped me be brave…and this is just the blog post, my friend! We are all walking alongside you, praying for you and cheering you on as you give us the gift of your story. Blessings, Love and divine Bravery to you my friend. God used you to help give me my own dose of desperately needed bravery in this moment–thank you so much.

  11. tam
    posted on Apr 10, 2013 at 10:56 AM  |  reply

    annie, you just wrote my heart.

    praying with you…

  12. posted on Apr 10, 2013 at 11:07 AM  |  reply

    Annie, while I am no published author I have to say I have been in a season of no words, no writing myself. I try to push through, as so many books/sites say to do, and still there’s nothing.

    It’s a season, take heart…it will make for a great part of your story. I just know it.

  13. posted on Apr 10, 2013 at 11:09 AM  |  reply

    I have a list-o-writer-friends who I pray for (whom, WHATEVER) in the mornings. And every time I pray for you, I write the same word beside your name: brave. I’ve wondered why that word kept coming to mind. Now I know. And I’ll keep praying. Love you.

  14. Kim
    posted on Apr 10, 2013 at 11:45 AM  |  reply

    Annie, I always appreciate your honesty and how you share real life with us. Just wanted to let you know that every once in a while the Lord brings your name to my mind when I’m praying, and I pray that He will continue to bless and guide you. It’s been so exciting to see your dream come to life, and I’ll keep praying for you and this next book.

  15. posted on Apr 10, 2013 at 12:05 PM  |  reply

    love this… and you! praying for you and your be brave moments.

  16. posted on Apr 10, 2013 at 1:15 PM  |  reply

    So perfect & beautiful. This is why you MUST write. Much love and prayers!

  17. posted on Apr 10, 2013 at 2:27 PM  |  reply

    “The doors … were locked for fear…” (John 20:19) May you find Jesus in the room speaking peace and breathing Holy Spirit!

    Love you….

  18. Hillary
    posted on Apr 10, 2013 at 3:42 PM  |  reply

    Annie-
    You can totally do this. And it’s going to be amazing, and it’s going to reach your readers, and it’s going to teach you fantastical things about yourself. You. Can. Do. This.

  19. Laura
    posted on Apr 10, 2013 at 10:37 PM  |  reply

    In the years I’ve known you I’ve watched the Lord knock down walls of fear in your life over and over again. With moving to Nashville, and your first book and then moving again to Scotland and back. You’ve had many opportunities to be afraid. I certainly would have been. This may be a different kind of fear but He is the same God. I am so proud of you and knowing you is a blessing. I’m praying the Lord will give you reminders of all the obstacles He has taken you through as reminders that He fights the battle against fear for you. Keep going! I can’t wait to watch what the Lord does!

  20. posted on Apr 10, 2013 at 11:02 PM  |  reply

    Yes. Let’s.

  21. posted on Apr 10, 2013 at 11:26 PM  |  reply

    I can’t say anything better or different than everyone above. Just know that I believe in you, and am so grateful for your friendship. I can’t wait to read whatever comes.

  22. posted on Apr 11, 2013 at 4:00 AM  |  reply

    These verses came to my mind as I prayed for you while reading your post. I understand disabling fear in a very real and personal way. They have helped me on more than one occasion…I pray they help you, too! “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ … For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’ – Isa 41:10, 13 NKJV
    “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. – Psa 16:11 NKJV

  23. Katie
    posted on Apr 11, 2013 at 2:18 PM  |  reply

    Praying for you Annie!!!

  24. Stephanie
    posted on Apr 12, 2013 at 7:53 AM  |  reply

    You can do it! If God has called you, I firmly believe that He will grant the grace and, yes, courage to do what needs to be done.

    I can’t wait to see the final product!

    Oh, and thank you for being honest. I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one facing this. I want to write, but no words come. I guess I need to just keep trying?

  25. posted on Apr 12, 2013 at 6:17 PM  |  reply

    You can do this and I’m so excited for this new book! I have read Perfectly Uniqe so many times! September is my bday month so I can wish for this book as a present from mom, YAY!

  26. posted on Apr 15, 2013 at 9:33 PM  |  reply

    Annie -your vulnerable heart here – it has so much to teach us about what bravery is and isn’t. Praying words come and the process you’re working through refines those words into glitter. (I was going to say gold, but somehow glitter seems appropriate here? Gold glitter, maybe?)

  27. posted on May 07, 2013 at 11:12 AM  |  reply

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! For being so honest. You are not alone in your feelings. At all. This post is exactly what I needed right now.

  28. posted on May 18, 2013 at 1:43 PM  |  reply

    I’m late to reading this post but I so relate to this, Annie. I wish I didn’t. I’ve been praying for courage for my own writing process and I’ll be praying for yours as well.

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