Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Derailing Doubt by Christine Johnson

Christine Johnson here. I’m thrilled to be with you today. Not so thrilled that I still have to battle the Big D. You know what it is. That little voice that says your writing is horrible, that you’ll never write again, that no sane reader would ever spend real money on your book. Doubt. This one is nasty. It’ll cripple your writing. I thought it would disappear after I got published. Nope, it just thinks up new ways to sneak in and set up shop.

So how do I put the Big D on the last train out of town?

First: Pray. Surrender your writing to God and let Him remind you that not only did He give you these stories for a reason, but also He’ll equip you for the challenge. I love Debby Giusti’s Writer’s Prayer and use it constantly.

Second: Write. Write anything, no matter how lousy. Give yourself permission to let loose and send the internal editor on vacation. Be totally wild and over the top. Torture your heroine or give her the most gorgeous hero or whatever brings back the joy of writing. Most of all, just do it. Which brings me to…

Third: Pretend That It’s Just for Me. I don’t know about you, but the pressure of writing for readers or editors can make me tense. Okay, maybe it’s just me. I have no problem when the writing is going great, but when dredging up each word feels like digging a lake with a teaspoon, I tell myself that this story is for my eyes only. Yep, I psyche myself out. Sadly, it usually works. If not…

Fourth: Remember Who is in Charge. This should probably be number one. God is Creator of all, including stories, and if He never gives me another one, I must trust that He has something more important for me to do.

Fifth: Friends. Not just any friends—writer friends, those amazing treasures who both encourage and give the much needed kick in the behind when necessary. They remind me of steps 1-4 when Doubt has my mind so confused that I can’t think straight. Cherish them, for they’re priceless.

I’d love to hear what you do to derail Doubt.

Christine Johnson writes historical romances for Love Inspired Historical. Set in the Roaring Twenties, her small-town dreamers seize adventure while holding fast to home and family. This month’s release, Legacy of Love, highlights the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb ninety years ago. Inspired by the find, the heroine sets out to unearth a long lost fortune right in her hometown, but what she discovers instead will tear open old wounds and drive away the man she loves. You can find out more about the author and her books on her website at  http://christineelizabethjohnson.com  or on Facebook at Christine Johnson Author.


  1. Great post, Christine, especially for NaNoWriMo! We all need to derail doubt when we're writing 50,000 words in 30 days, don't we?

    Love your "remember Who's in charge" instruction.

    Thanks so much for sharing with us!

    1. Hi Angie! Thank you for inviting me to visit today. I'm in awe of everyone who participates in NaNoWriMo. Go! Go! Go! You can do it!

  2. Hi Christine,

    *waving from Ontario*

    Your article is very true and filled with great advice.

    I love the part about just writing for yourself. Sometimes it's fun to do that - write a crazy scene that will never make it into your book - break every rule and just have a blast!

    Love the cover of your latest. Gorgeous! I've ordered it already. Should be here by next week.

    Take care,

    1. Hi Sue! Sorry I had to step away yesterday. I thought I'd have Internet access where I went but when I got there I couldn't connect. :(

      So glad you stopped by! It is fun to go all out sometimes on a crazy scene. It gets the creative juices flowing.

      *waving back from just across the border in Michigan*


We'd love to hear your thoughts! Please leave comments. We'll moderate and post them!