Write On… – Encouragement for Writers (and Anyone Who Doubts Their Ability)

This blog is for participation in the writing contest: “You Are Enough,” hosted by Positive Writer –http://positivewriter.com/writing-contest-you-are-enough/

I wrote most of this about a year ago in the midst of a difficult time of many challenges and doubts. Sometimes we writers write for ourselves. At least that’s who I thought this one was for. Then I discovered the “You Are Enough” writer’s contest to encourage other writers. So, I share it with you now as proof that “you are enough.” 
Write On…
Writing can be scary. It’s vulnerability. It’s turning oneself inside out. That’s particularly frightening because many writers are introverts. Consequently, writing and all the publicizing that goes with it are counter-intuitive.
As an introvert myself, writing creates a battle within me. I’d surely rather go hide in a bunker, safe from attacks, keep my vulnerability to myself and never produce anything that can be scrutinized. But the words in my heart and the desire to inspire and encourage others won’t leave me alone. I can’t escape them even in the bunker. They follow me there and beg to be given life. I can’t keep them shut up. I must return to the battle so I can set them free. So I will be free.
But there’s other words that threaten me. Maybe you hear them, too – the voices in your head. They follow me everywhere. They shout, “You’re not good enough!” They mock, jeer and scoff at my meager efforts. “You’ll never do this,” they laugh. If I’m not diligent, the voices in my head will obliterate the words in my heart.

In addition to the inner voices, there’s outer voices. Have you heard them, the voices of criticism or rejection? They are the most intimidating and seem to confirm, you really aren’t good enough. (Beware, sometimes they communicate silently as a lack and affirmation.)

If I weren’t an introvert to begin with, they’d surely make one out of me.
“Run, Penny, run!” the voices in my head plead.
Not to mention the land mines life has put in my path as deterrents – sicknesses, deaths, hurricanes… All in all, I feel like I’m in a war zone trying to find my weapon that was blown out of my hand by the last grenade that exploded in my path.
That’s just what it is – a war. It’s a war with doubt, fear and insecurity. It’s those enemies who keep bullying us and throwing those grenades, chasing us back into the bunker.
But, just because there’s a war doesn’t mean we shouldn’t fight it. Just because there’s enemies doesn’t mean we can’t win. What if those enemies are just trying to get us to stop the good words that could bless others? The Bible says there’s an enemy who tries to stop anything good.* Perhaps it’s him who shouts the lies and throws the grenades. He always aims at the very heart and mind. He’s determined to warp the voices and halt the words. He’s been lying and opposing God’s good words since the beginning of time.
Good things don’t come easy. We are to fight the good fight** because our words are needed in a hurting world. Realizing this, we must write on. God will be with us in the battle and will give us the victory.*** He hands us back our weapon and whispers, “Write on, warrior. I am with you.”
Author Robert Benson said, “Anyone can write when it’s easy. Writers write when it’s hard.” And so I write on. I write what I cannot contain. As I continue to write the words in my heart they become louder than the other voices, even though they may be gentler.
You, too, were given words. Listen carefully. Can you hear them? The very fact you were given those words is proof they are meant to be shared, and they are enough. You’ve been entrusted with them because you are enough. 
Please do not withdraw into the bunker of insecurity and fear. Someone in their own kind of war needs your words. Your words are a reprieve from their battlefield, healing to their battle wounds.
So rise up out of the bunker, warrior. Grab your weapon and write on…
(I’m so thankful I did. I recently signed my first book contract!)
*Ephesians 6:12
**2 Timothy 4:7
***1 Corinthians 15:57-58

 “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ~Maya Angelou

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” ~Richard Bach 
 “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” ~Ernest Hemingway