When You Have Doubts About Your Writing

Doubt. As writers, we all experience moments of doubt. It can lead us down a rabbit hole of self-disappointment or leave us paralyzed with fear. It’s hard to write under that kind of pressure, but the wonderful news is we don’t have to! If you’ve ever doubted yourself and your ability to write, we encourage you to read on, friend.

Do doubts about your writing keep you stuck and unproductive?

Maybe you can relate to the following thoughts:

There are so many books out there. Maybe I don’t need to write one. 

Someone else is writing on the same topic as I am, and they’re well known. So why should I write about this?

They’ve got thousands of followers, and I don’t. What’s the point?

When I first started thinking about writing, I had so much fear about sharing my story. As a result, I did pretty much nothing other than fret.

These Scripture verses in Deuteronomy catapulted me forward in my writing journey. I hope they do the same for you.

We read Moses’ words as he recounts the Israelites’ journey in the wilderness, one filled with their own doubts and questions.

“Then we turned and set out for the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea, as the Lᴏʀᴅ spoke to me, and we circled Mount Seir for many days. And the Lᴏʀᴅ spoke to me, saying, ‘You have circled this mountain long enough. Now turn north … For the Lᴏʀᴅ your God has blessed you in all that you have done; He has known your wandering through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lᴏʀᴅ your God has been with you; you have not lacked anything.’” (Deuteronomy 2:1-3, 7, NASB)

Let’s read these words through the lens of our writing journey. 

“You have circled this mountain long enough.”

I had sensed in my prayer times a nudge in the direction of writing, and this was coupled with some experiences making me realize the value of sharing it with others. But my doubts about being vulnerable and my writing abilities had kept me stuck circling the mountain of my fears and questions, over and over.

What about you? Can you hear God saying — in the most loving way — Enough already!

Now turn north.”

Turning north means turning toward God and toward the adventure He has for us when we obey Him. 

And as we do, we need to focus on simply taking the next step. We don’t have to have our writing journey completely figured out.

What might that be for you? For me, it meant I got up early most mornings to write in my journal about my challenging marriage. Eventually those journals became a blog … and one day became two books.

“You have not lacked anything.”

God is with us, and that’s the number one thing we need. As we continue to seek God and keep responding in obedience, we can rest assured we will not lack what we need in our writing journey.

Today we have a choice: keep circling the mountain or turn north? And if we choose to turn north, what’s the one step that will cement that decision? Maybe it means blocking out time on your calendar to write and letting nothing interfere. Can you take time to listen to and to read teachings on COMPEL? Or maybe it means you reach out to another writer friend and hold each other accountable. There’s joy found in obedience, as we choose not to let our doubts keep us circling the mountain.

Happy writing!

Melanie S. Chitwood

Choose something concrete, maybe today’s verses, that you write and frame, or a rock, and keep that visible as a reminder that you have turned north, away from circling the mountain of your doubts.


Melanie Chitwood is a writer, writing coach and editor. She’s the author of Harvest House books: What a Husband Needs from His Wife and What a Wife Needs from Her Husband. For the past six years, she’s been a writing coach and editor, working with Christian nonfiction writers of all abilities. Her favorite times are spent with family and friends around her farm table, playing games, telling stories and laughing hard. She’s a former Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker and writer and is excited to be back with Proverbs 31 Ministries. You can connect with Melanie on her blog at melanieschitwood.com.

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  1. This was much needed today, thank you.