Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Writer Unplugged: Facing My Own Fears

with guest Melanie Dickerson.


Recently in a post on Seekerville, someone, I won’t say who, (Mary Connealy) said she didn’t really have any fears. For a moment I was stunned—and a little jealous too, truth be told. 

Because I am riddled with fears. Fear could be my middle name. But success is gained by overcoming fears, and I have overcome—or at least tamed—a lot of fears. 

God did not give us a spirit of fear, but He did give us a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). If we put our trust in Jesus and are Christians, we have victory. We only need to open our eyes to see it. And we need to tap into that spirit of power, that spirit of love, and that spirit of self-discipline to fully appreciate the victory we have.
What I’m about to say I don’t think I’ve ever shared before. But a year before I started writing again, I was having some issues, and I went to see a Christian counselor. I talked for about 40 minutes. Then he smiled and said, “You’re easy.”


Um . . . okay.


“Your problem is that you have low self-esteem.”


I thought the guy was cracked, and I wasn’t sure I would go back. But he was right. Low self-esteem was definitely a problem for me, even though I hadn’t realized it and didn’t even believe it at first. He helped me to overcome my low self-esteem to a great extent, but I still struggle with this. I have to go to God and ask for confidence, since I want God’s confidence, not just my own.


What does this have to do with success at writing and overcoming your fears? Well, if I had not gone to this counselor and sought help to gain confidence in myself, six months later, when God nudged me to start writing, I never would have listened. I would have said what I’d said before: Getting published is too hard. It will take too much time. What do I have to say that anyone would want to read?


But I didn’t say that when God nudged. I said, “Yes, I want to try that.”




1.    Fear of trying
Without at least a modicum of confidence in ourselves, we will not fulfill the purpose God has for us. We need confidence, or we will never be able to weather the struggles to accomplish our dreams. We will either quit when things get hard, or we’ll never even start. So the fear that we aren’t capable of writing a book or of being published or being successful at writing, is the first fear I had to—and you have to—overcome. Ask God for the confidence to try, to give it your best, especially if you know that the desire to write is coming from Him. I recommend a great book called The Confident Woman by Joyce Meyer. It is not unbiblical to be confident. In fact, it is very biblical, and God is the giver of Godly confidence.


2.    Fear of the unknown
When I was told that I should go to a writing conference, after I completed my first manuscript, I found the perfect conference while searching online—the ACFW Conference, and it was coming up in just three months! And it was practically in my back yard, in Nashville! So I signed up and paid my conference fee.


The day arrived for me to go to the conference. I was terrified. I was a stay-at-home mom and former special education teacher. I’d never gone to a conference like this in my life. I didn’t know a soul, except my conference-appointed mentor, Mary Connealy, and my roommate, whom I’d only met online. I was packed and dressed and ready to go, but I was stalling, hanging around my house. Finally, I couldn’t put it off any longer. I had paid that money! I had to go. So I got in the car and drove.


While at the conference, I was so nervous and uptight I couldn’t sleep. I took an over-the-counter sleeping pill the second night. The next morning I was having a reaction to the sleeping pill, and in the middle of breakfast, I fainted.


Believe me, this was traumatic, partly because I missed an appointment with an editor while at the ER. The bill we got was even more traumatic. Did you know that some insurance companies won’t pay for an ambulance and ER visit out of state? Me neither, but now I do. 


So the next year, when conference time rolled around, I had another book to pitch. I really wanted to go to the conference. But I was terrified. I kept reliving the trauma of that fainting incident. But even though I was scared, I went anyway. That’s how I overcame my fear. I just went to the conference anyway, scared. And of course, it was a great conference, and it was worth facing my fear.


3.    Fear of failure
By the time I had written four books and was still trying to get published, the economy had tanked, and my husband was hearing rumblings that he might lose his job. I knew, in the case of my writing, he was frustrated with money going out and none coming in, which was understandable. But I also knew that I have never been an energetic person. I’m not the type-A personality who always needs to be moving and doing. And even though I am well aware that some novelists have full-time jobs and still write very prolifically, I knew myself well enough to know that I was not going to be able to do that. But finally, under the pressure (fear) I was feeling about our finances, I took a part-time job. 


I cried every day for the first two weeks of that job. 


I had young children, and every night after I came home from the job and cooked dinner and tried to be a good mom, I was too tired to write. I felt my dream of becoming a full-time novelist was over, or at least put on hold. My drive to get published had kept me going through more than 32 rejections, but my drive was not working now. The job killed my drive.


I’d been working that job for a month or two when my then-agent, Mary Beth Chappell, called and woke me up from a nap. I’d been doing my lesson from my Beth Moore study in bed, then crying and praying that if a certain publisher decided not to publish my book, that I wouldn’t get too depressed. When Mary Beth told me they had decided to publish it, the only thing I could say was, “What are the possibilities that this will fall through?”


She explained, it’s possible it could fall through, but not likely. Finally she said, with a touch of irritation in her voice, “Aren’t you excited?” Honestly, I was too terrified it would not work out. But I must have had some faith in it, because I immediately quit my job.


4.    Fear that the success achieved will all disappear
Through the years since getting published, I’ve been through various circumstances and moments of fear that everything would all go south, especially when, after giving me contracts for four books and those books doing pretty well, my publisher refused to give me an answer on the 3-book proposal we’d sent in. For fourteen long months, I did not know if they were going to publish another book from me. I wondered if I was done. Was I ever going to get another contract or publish another book? 


But God gave me a new publisher, who gave me two contracts instead of one, for five books instead of three. How good is God? He is very, very good.


(I’m skipping the part about my husband losing his job the same month my first book released. He was out of work for 3 and a half years, and there was a lot of fear, and ample time and opportunity for me to wonder if I should go back to school to renew my teaching license and try to get a job teaching. Was it impractical and selfish to keep writing, when writing was not paying the bills? But after a few years, I can happily say that it eventually became more profitable to stick with writing. Writing turned out to be practical after all.)


5.    Fear of burn-out
I have another example of the fact that even when you are succeeding, you still may encounter fears—more fears than ever, in some cases. When I was already writing two books a year for Thomas Nelson, my amazing agent, Natasha Kern, gave me the news that my Regency series, which she’d been trying to sell for almost a year, finally had an offer. Could I really write more books on top of the ones I was already writing? I was afraid of over-commitment, afraid I wouldn’t meet my deadlines, and afraid the quality of my books would suffer.


Soon after, I was having lunch with my friend Regina. I told her, “I don’t think I’m going to accept this new contract. I’m barely able to write two books a year, and three books might be too much. I don’t want to overcommit.”


“Of course you will accept this new contract!” said my perpetually positive and enthusiastic friend Regina. “This is wonderful! God is blessing you! This is a wonderful opportunity from God! I’m so excited for you!”


I sometimes argue with Regina when I think she’s going overboard. (She’s kind of my opposite.) But this time I didn’t. I overcame my fears, figured out how to work three more books into my schedule, and signed the contract. I might not have done it, but the first two Regencies were already 50% written. I just didn’t want to waste an opportunity if it was from God. 


I’m still facing my fear of burn-out and over-commitment. But I honestly think I’ve written some of my best books during this season of over-commitment. Ha! So take that, fear!


 I don’t know where you are on your journey or what your fears are. I’m not sure we ever fully conquer our fears while on this earth. But sometimes we just have to “Do it afraid,” as Joyce Meyer says. And just remember this one thing: 


If you are a Christian, you already have victory over every fear. 

Even when we don’t understand and aren’t realizing it, Jesus has overcome every single thing we could ever be afraid of, and He has given us victory. In Jesus we have victory over the fear of trying, the fear of the unknown, failure, losing everything we’ve worked for, and burn-out. We are victorious. “But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.” 


Christian writer, God is using you, and using me, “to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere.” How beautiful is that? It’s worth every struggle, and we already have victory.



In the comments, tell me your fears that you’re dealing with. Tell me how you plan to tap into the spirit of power, love, and self-discipline. Focus on the fact that Jesus is giving you victory. Sometimes you just have to open your eyes and see it. Congratulations to those of you who joined Speedbo! There’s power in doing something in community, working alongside like-minded people, encouraging each other. Take every possible opportunity to stir up your own motivation, and Speedbo is a great one!



Melanie Dickerson is the author of Historical Romances, and her two favorite time periods are Medieval, which she has combined with her love of fairy tales, and Regency England, which stems from her enduring love of Jane Austen. She earned her bachelor's degree in special education from The University of Alabama and has taught children with special needs in Georgia and Tennessee, and English to adults in Germany and Ukraine. Now she spends her time writing, hanging out on facebook, and taking care of her husband, two daughters, and two guinea pigs near Huntsville, Alabama. (Truth be told, her family mostly takes care of themselves and the guinea pigs, and she mostly writes and edits and hangs out on social media.) Visit her on the web at http://www.MelanieDickerson.com.


 Melanie is generously offering one paperback copy of her February release from Waterfall Press, The Spy's Devotion (The Regency Spies of London),and an MP3 audiobook of A Spy’s Devotion...AND a hardback copy of The Golden Braid.  Three winners.

Leave a comment to be entered. Winners announced in the Weekend Edition.




In England’s Regency era, manners and elegance reign in public life—but behind closed doors treason and deception thrive. Nicholas Langdon is no stranger to reserved civility or bloody barbarity. After suffering a battlefield injury, the wealthy, well-connected British officer returns home to heal—and to fulfill a dying soldier’s last wish by delivering his coded diary.

At the home of the Wilherns, one of England’s most powerful families, Langdon attends a lavish ball where he meets their beautiful and intelligent ward, Julia Grey. Determined to maintain propriety, he keeps his distance—until the diary is stolen and all clues lead to Julia’s guardian. As Langdon traces an evil plot that could be the nation’s undoing, he grows ever more intrigued by the lovely young woman. And when Julia realizes that England—and the man she is falling in love with—need her help, she finds herself caught in the fray. Will the two succumb to their attraction while fighting to save their country?



Find Speedbo Details here.

142 comments:

Kara Isaac said...

Great post, Melanie!

My debut novel releases in April, amongst novels from all of my favourite and much-loved authors in the same genre. My fear is that Close To You might disappear without a trace amongst all the amazing other romances that are being released at the same time. I just have to keep reminding myself that God didn't open the doors to my contract for me to be scared now :)

Trixi said...

Oh my I have struggled with the same fears as you Melanie! Especially fear of the unknown and fear of failure! The first one, God has been working on me and I now can realize that He is with me no matter what I go through, no matter where life takes me & I have to trust Him that He has my future in His hands. I'm the type of person who likes to know every detail, but I'm learning that it's to let go of that. God knows & sees everything & I think for me, comes down to TRUST! It has been so freeing :-)

The second one is a little harder...fear of failure! Especially when it comes down to if someone is counting on me and I just can't do it. I don't like to let anyone down & I sometimes let that fear keep me back from even trying. Or if I tell myself I just can't do it and then disappointment comes. I don't like that feeling!! I have to learn to get the scripture where it says that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me into my heart & mind. With Him on my side.....win or lose.....it's going to be okay! I'm human and there are times I will fail, but it's not the end of the world. As long as I relied on God and gave it my best shot, it's better than not trying. I don't have to be perfect & I can't let that fear rule my life....because you-know-who likes to tell you those lies! So, this is a work in progress for me. And to know I'm not the only one to struggle in this, is encouraging :-)

Wonderful, wonderful post Melanie! I so appreciate your words of wisdom and all that God showed you through your fears. It uplifts and encourages me to keep on plodding on in life & not let fear rule me :-) I think any of these points can apply to any aspect of life, and since I'm not a writer, I can see so many areas for me to apply it personally! I was so looking forward to you today & now I know why...thank you!! Here's another keeper quote ( I really should save these somewhere to reference for later): "If you are a Christian, you already have victory over every fear." I need to keep reminding myself of this!

I would love, love, love a copy of your newest book "The Spy's Devotion"!! I'm so excited for a new series by you, I've already enjoyed many of your fairy tale renditions. So fun!!

Melissa Jagears said...

Great post Melanie! I'm in a spot right now where I am not in control and the fear that comes from that isn't very good for the creative process, so I'll just cling to your "I wrote some of my best stuff during over-commitment" and hope that happens to me too. :)

Just Commonly said...

Yes, we have freedom from fear through our Lord, but only if we choose so. So true. Fear in general (unknown) had one time given me much grief, but with God's help, fear is not much of an issue. Much of it have to do with prayers. As I immerse myself in prayers, Christ strengthens me and allow me to handle or push whatever fear comes my way.

Great post Melanie!

Thank you for this awesome giveaway! I already have a copy of The Golden Braid, but would love to win your latest, A Spy's Devotion. Thanks!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Kara Isaac, so good to see you. It is scary isn't it? But you are correct. He called you.

Your job is obedience. The rest is up to him.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Mary Connealy your mentor at your first conference. Egads. So Mary can't even walk to the restroom without twenty people talking to her. OH MY MY MY!

Tina Pinson said...

Hmm. Great post. My biggest fear or fears are that no one really likes my books and I suppose that means in some way they don't care much for me either. I battle with confidence. And I know I would like to see my books get out there, but a part of me is afraid they will. And no one will like them. Vicious circle.

Mary Connealy said...

With no real proof, I like to claim the distinction of the only mentor in the history of ACFW (if not the world!) to ever have their mentee hauled out of a conference in an ambulance.

Melanie, I think they ended the program the next year. I believe they did this while looking nervously at MY PICTURE with a red circle around my face and a big red SLASH across it.

I apologize to all those who would have liked a mentor and can't get one.

All I can say is, she lived to tell the tale (and pay the stinking ambulance bill) and now she is a superstar.

Mary Connealy said...

PS I just had this sort of wonderful Speedbo-ish FLASH.
I am sitting here, at 1:17 at night, having just done a whole lotta work on my WIP, moving some scenes, cleaning up some inconsistancies, and now I'm in a good place to continue onward, forward march, to the end.

And the flash I had was.............late at night. Lots to write before deadline, tricky book that I need to rassle into shape.............and I am so BLESSED.

I am so blessed to have this contract, to have the pressure of SOMEONE WANTING ONE OF MY BOOKS.

It is an amazing, honestly stunning, breathtaking miracle from a loving God.

And now, I'm up to speed for speedbo tomorrow and I am going to bed.

Love you, Melanie. Thanks for being on. And I can't WAIT for the Regency, though I will always dearly love your retold fairy tales. They are wonderful

Mary Preston said...

I seem to have left most of my fears behind. I think that acceptance has freed me.

I would love a copy of "The Spy's Devotion" thank you.

Mary Connealy said...

PS Tina thinks she's all that because she'd never lost a mentee yet.

Elizabeth Van Tassel said...

Dear Melanie,

Wow, thank you so much for your honesty and candor with this post. It is so refreshing! I'm up late finishing a video for my new YouTube channel (coming soon :) after some stretching weeks and events. It is helpful to hear of another fantasy writer who's living with reality while crafting lessons in another world! I'm so grateful you faced your fears. It's so critical and a big part of my work helping others with resilience, both in the real world and in my kids' books. Bravo for going to the conference and following God's timing. Fear can drag us back or propel us forward, if faith is involved too. After my husband's stroke a few years back, and numerous interruptions to my dreams, I still get pretty focused and concerned something will keep me back. It's in those moments that the muscles we've developed in faith really start to work for us. I'm believing that I can hit my goals for Speedbo (new website all written and components ready to hand over to tech people) and also take on exercise goals at the same time. A want to and a need to.

Bless you and I'd love to read your book! Thanks again for being so real!

Keli Gwyn said...

What an encouraging post, Melanie. It's nice to know I'm not alone in my fears. They bombard most all of us at times (with the exception of Mary =), but you've given us some great tools to shove in our fear-fighter tool belts.

Cindy W. said...

Thank you for this wonderful post Melanie. I can't tell you how often I have grabbed on to 2 Timothy 1:7. Before I had my knee replaced in January I was clinging to it. Fear can overtake us if we let it but we need to always remember, fear isn't from God, it's from the enemy. Once we can overcome that and fully rely on God we will be over-comers!

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Melissa Jagears said...

I wrote a chapter, it has a terrible non-hook at the end, but since Ruthy is likely up with her coffee, I need to head to bed!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Ruthy is up and has had her coffee and is laughing at Melissa Jagears, but she knows that a terrible non-hook can be easily fixed!!!!

Good morning, Melissa!

The best part of waking up is "soldiers in your cup"!!!!! :) (cue the little soldiers from Toy Story!)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Melanie, what a great post! I think what we all need to realize in this crazy (and competitive) biz, is that we're all different, but that's why it works. Remember the line from The Sun's letter to Virginia, about imagining a world without Santa Claus? It would be like imagining a world without Virginias!

We all bring something different to the table, to the shelves and to the readers, and that's exactly how it should be.

I'm all about kicking fear to the curb. I don't see fear as weakness, I see it as temptation from the evil one himself... not the fear of a dangerous situation, that's self-preservation. But fear of failure, fear of success, fear of trying... God gave us talent to use, at the right time, and heck, if we fall down, we dust off our knees and get back up again! We learned to ride a bike by falling repeatedly, and possibly face-planting into the neighbor's bushes/fence/step, etc.

This is no different.

Except on a world-wide stage.

Oops. That last sentence might not be HELPFUL!!!!!

Love you, Mel, and I faint every time I'm around Mary, too.

It's a trend.

Jill Weatherholt said...

Great post, Melanie! Kudos to you! After that first conference experience, I'd say you've conquered your fear by attending the next year. My fears revolve more around my family and what the future holds than my writing.

Jackie said...

Oh, Melanie, how I needed this post today. Thanks so much for sharing!

Low self-esteem? I think you nailed me.

My fears have mostly been writing related until yesterday. (But that's another story.) I may have to get the book you recommended. I'd also love to be in the drawing. Thanks!

Jackie said...

Oh yeah, how was everybody's first day of Speedbo?

I edited early in the morning. After a LONG day of work, my brain was mush, so I prepared suppers for the next three nights.

I hope we all have productive writing days! Blessings!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, MELANIE! I think all of us (except your one "unnamed person") can relate to what you've so beautifully shared from your heart.

I'm sure many who are venturing out into Speedbo this month (and a few who are still sitting on the fence--it's NOT too late to sign up!), will be encouraged by your words. Thank you for sharing --this will minister to many today at many levels.

Kate said...

Melanie, thanks for sharing. You are refreshing!
And what a beautiful cover! Hoping for a win!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Kara, I totally understand! It's so easy for a fear like that to take hold. But I also see that victory in your statement, " I just have to keep reminding myself that God didn't open the doors to my contract for me to be scared now :)"
Hold on to that faith! Even if it only feels mustard seed size sometimes. God bless!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Oh, and I forgot to say, CONGRATULATIONS, KARA!!! What an amazing accomplishment, to have a debut novel coming out in April! I'm excited for you. Get ready for a wild ride. :D

And GOOD MORNING, Seekervillians! So fun to be with you this morning!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Hi, Trixi! Thanks so much for your insight and kind words! I love your statement, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me into my heart & mind. With Him on my side.....win or lose.....it's going to be okay!"

That is SO TRUE and also SO HARD for me to learn. I want things to work out the way I think they should, and if they don't . . . I melt down. LOL! I have a lot of growing potential in this area, to say it nicely. :-) Thanks so much for coming by! You are definitely in the drawing, Trixi! And if anybody likes audio books, the narrator for this book was so great! She does different voices and has a great accent! So fun.

Keep facing those fears, Trixi! God's power is transforming.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Melissa, I was really encouraged by that Seekerville post--can't remember whose--that showed the study that said the artists who painted/sculpted the most actually were better than those who only worked on one piece during the time frame. Our work is improving because we are pushing ourselves to write more. :-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Thanks for coming by, Just Commonly! One measure of how we're doing in overcoming fear is to do something challenging and out of our normal comfort zone. :-)
Good luck in the drawing!

Ruth Ann Dell said...

Thank you for sharing your fears and how you faced them, Melanie. My fear is that I won't be able to write a satisfying ending to my story. That is partly why I'm participating in Speedbo- to have an incentive to write every day even though I don't know the ending yet.

I've achieved my goal for today :)- a few less words than Day 1, but still more than I had planned.

Mary Hicks said...

Melanie, you are so brave! I enjoyed reading your post and I'm glad you persevered. I bet your husband is proud of you too! :-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Tina, I haven't heard this story about Mary not being able to walk to the restroom without 20 people talking to her! She was a good mentor, though, all kidding aside. I felt so blessed to be able to bug her with questions as a newbie. :-)
Mary, would you say that I owe my success to your mentorship? I could make a case for it. But then you'd have even more people talking to you and you'd never get any writing done. Never mind!!!
;-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Tina P, fear of rejection! I know the feeling well. :-) You just have to want success so badly it overrides this fear! I think that's what did it for me. Don't let fear hold you back. Kick it to the curb!!! Trust God and let him be your cheerleader. God bless.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Kara, the premise of your book, The Lord of the Rings tie-in and the setting... Oh my land, child, this has to be a go-to book!!!!

Raise your hand if you love "Lord of the Rings" and Tolkien and romance!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Actually that was sort of a back handed compliment, Connealy. You are so popular that going to the restroom requires an entourage. You simply are unaware this is going on. People jostle each other to talk to you.

I was talked to to once when I was with you..I that would be the toe incident. Then there was the gal asked me to get more ketchup when I returned.

Tina Radcliffe said...

It took some doing but I am up at 5:46. FOR MELLY. I brought bear claws and nothing nutritional~!

My pattern has been staying up until Ruthy gets up and sleeping until nine.

Barbara Scott said...

Melanie, no wonder I couldn't sleep in this morning! I needed to read your post before I faced my fears about how I'm going to work out my crazy schedule this month. I won't go into details, but let's just say God has perfect timing and your post reminded me of that. As my husband would say, "God's got this."

I love the cover for A Spy's Devotion!! It totally made me want to read your book, and your blurb sealed the deal. Please put me in the drawing for a copy.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Mary, they may have ended the conference mentor program because of us, but I still say you were a good mentor. :D

It can be easy to forget (believe it or not) how blessed we are to have contracts and great publishers and books on library and store shelves, especially when we're stressed (like I am right now over an April 1 deadline) but we do need to remember how blessed we are. I'm so thankful that God made my dream come true. It's amazing, it really is. Thanks for the reminder, Mary. ;-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Oh, Tina, how did you know I love bear claws??? :D Thanks, girl! You're the hostess with the mostest.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Mary P, you should try something challenging, out of your comfort zone, and then you can join the rest of us in our struggle to become better. ;-)

Mary C, don't be hating on Tina. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. ;-) My one talent is writing. And some would say, not even that. LOL!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Elizabeth, thanks! I think we all have to room to grow. If we're not growing, we must be sitting in our plot of dirt, not doing much of anything. LOL! But that's just a theory.
I wish you the best with your dreams and endeavors! Thanks for coming by!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Thanks, Keli! I was a little worried about being so open. I don't like people to know I'm such a mess, but I figured, what the heck. Especially if it helps someone else. :-) Thanks for your comment, sweet friend!!!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh Melanie what an inspirational post today. Thank you so much for your candor and encouragement. Thank you for sharing with us in Seekerville. We all have fears to face, don't we?

Have fun today.

And Tina I'll take a bear claw. smile

Melanie Dickerson said...

Thanks, Cindy! I hope everything went well with your knee surgery! Glad you are overcoming your fears!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Melissa, you wrote words, and that's great! You can fix what's wrong later, especially since you know what's wrong. ;-)

Ruthy!!! You amaze me with how early you get up to write! Amazing. Crazy, but amazing.
Ruthy, you're so right about fear being a temptation from the devil. Fear certainly doesn't come from God. We have to stand up to it, no matter how hard it seems. God is right there giving up a spirit of power over that. We just have to not give up. You are a great example!!!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Jill, fears about family. Oh yes. I have LOTS of those too. Hang in there. We shall overcome.

Jackie, Thanks!!! I'm so glad it helped. The Confident Woman is a great book. You'll love it. And I did not do very well on my first day of Speedbo. I think I got about 800 words. I was attacked by financial aid forms for my college-bound daughter and trying to e-file my taxes, and one obstacle after another, after another. I even had computer problems on top of everything. I cried more than once yesterday. It was a bad day all around, and lack of words was only a portion of it. I'm so stressed over my April 1 deadline. Overcoming stress. I guess that will have to be my next post topic.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Aw, thanks, Glynna! You're sweet. I hope you have a great Speedbo!

Thanks, Kate! I am refreshing! :D I love that. Good luck in the drawing!

Ruth Ann, sometimes you have to give yourself permission to fail! It takes the pressure off if you just force yourself to write it and not worry about perfection. Onward! You can do it. I believe in you.

Thanks, Mary Hicks! Not sure I've ever been called brave before, but I'll take it!!!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Aw, Ruthy looked up Kara Isaac's debut novel! That's so sweet and supportive, Ruthy! Lord of the Rings and romance does sound like something that will stand out, Kara!!! And God is able to make your book stand out from the crowd. He is our biggest fan and supporter.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Tina, not everybody can be so knowledgeable about cows, and not everybody can be Mary Connealy. But we love her. Oh, Mary, I made your Connealy Crunch last Christmas!!! It was really good. ;-)
Oh yeah, back to Tina. Sorry, Tina. Your plan for staying up till Ruthy gets up to write and sleeping till 9 sounds like a good one. :-) I wish I could do that, but I have to get my daughter to school! I'm the driver today, so I'll have to slip out in a minute.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Thanks, Barbara Scott! I can so relate to your fear-inducing schedule for March! I need to write 60,000 words this month, and it's not exactly an appointment-free month. Fighting my fear even as I type that!
A Spy's Devotion was really fun to write! I love it when I fall in love with the characters. And it was fun infusing it with Jane Austen flavor! JA is my fave. I hope everyone gets it!!! :-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Thanks, Sandra!!! God bless you in your writing as you enjoy your pickle ball and traveling. :-)

Janet Dean said...

Melanie, love this inspiring, transparent post and your lovely heart that just shines through your southern drawl and sparkling eyes.

Thanks for this: Christian writer, God is using you, and using me, “to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere.” That's a huge Calling! I'm grateful to be part of it!

Joyce Meyer's "Do it afraid." is the bottom line. I think of Moses reluctance to obey God's Call. He gave him Aaron. I'm thankful for the Aarons in our lives, people like your Regina.

This is a lost week for me but I'm going to break Speedbo rules and tack another week on in April. :-)

Janet

Caryl Kane said...

Great post Melanie! I fear missing out on what the Lord has for me....

Congratulations on the release of A Spy's Devotion! The cover is stunning.

Please put me in for the drawing

Janet Dean said...

Melissa J, do it, then redo it. You'll get to The End!

Janet

Suzanne Baginskie said...

Melanie, your blog addressed the doubts we writers face daily. The fear of rejection surfaces continually. Even before and after you submit a story. A writing teacher I once had said the worst fear is when you sell, can you do it again? Thanks for all you great input. I am pushing fear to the wayside and trusting in God to guide me on my writing path. Thanks for sharing. I wish you continued success.

Elaine Manders said...

Melanie, what a beautiful testimony. I think every writer has experienced these fears at one time or another. So glad you're doing that Regency series. Love Regency. Is it March already? I'm only about one month behind my schedule. Better get busy.

Renee McBride said...

Melanie, thank you for sharing from your heart. Admitting that we're fearful leaves us even more vulnerable. You honesty is inspiring.

Renee McBride said...

Yes, please!

Connie Queen said...

I love your story, Melanie.

In the back of my mind, I fear that if I become published and am on a deadline that my ideas will cease. I don't really think that, but kind of.

I absolutely love your cover.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Melly, what exactly is it you are working on during Speedbo? Care to share?

Cindy Regnier said...

Great story Melanie. I'm so glad you signed the contract and let God bless you in that. Very inspiring. I am resolved to write afraid if I must, but give those fears to the Author of the universe.

Candee Fick said...

Melanie, thanks for being so transparent in sharing your journey and for having the courage to face those fears so we can enjoy your stories!

My primary fear right now is that "sophomore" novel paralysis. Except my second contracted novel was already written and under contract before the first debuted so you could call this my "junior" novel instead. The bottom line is that I'm facing the blank screen of the first manuscript to be written after being published and I'm stressing over every word instead of trusting the editing process to fix it later. Thanks to Speedbo, my goal for March is to plow quickly ahead to The End and then use that momentum to surge into the last book of the series and get these characters out of my head as fast as possible before the doubts catch up again..

I know readers enjoyed my debut and I KNOW they will love September's release, but I've been letting fear tie me in knots over this next book. No more! It's time to get 'er done. ;-)

Angela K Couch said...

Thanks for the encouragement. Fear does have a way of lurking. I have felt a little more than usual the last couple months as it's my first time writing a novel that is already contracted by a publisher. Not worried that I'll get done in time for my deadline-I have Speedbo to get me through the revisions-but just the underlying fear whether it will be what they expect/want. :) But then, how could they not love it? I do. ;)

Myra Johnson said...

So inspiring, Melanie! Thank you for sharing your writing journey with us!

I love your Joyce Meyer quote, "Do it afraid." Sometimes--actually, a lot of times--that's the only way we get through our fears. And I can vouch for the fact that, no matter how many published books we can claim, there's always a certain level of fear involved.

And poor MARY--she's been terrified of ever being a conference mentor again!!!!

Jeanne T said...

Melanie, I loved this post. After some disappointments I've faced, fear does try to step in and take control of my thoughts, my attitudes and my actions. I loved what you said about doing it afraid. yes, sometimes we just have to press on, even when we're afraid. This is one lesson I'm walking through right now.

Thanks so much for sharing your story, Melanie. It really inspired me. :)

Rachael Koppendrayer said...

Considering it took 24 hours to work up the nerve to open up the requested edits on a 700-word short story I sold, and then upon reaching the first one I suddenly had to run out and sweep the kitchen . . . yeah, there's a bit of fear there. Of what, exactly, I'm not sure, since I know the story can't be terrible if they acquired it. It took several hours (intermixed with a lot of work done around the house) to alter all of four words. I can't imagine selling an 80,000 word novel. Maybe at that point the edits are so overwhelming that there isn't the luxury of cleaning the kitchen?

So I guess I need more practice at not being afraid of edits. Note to self: keep submitting.

Thanks for your post, Melanie - it's encouraging to see you work through your fear and know that I can get there too!

Mary Connealy said...

Melanie, I'm here for you, for everyone, with my COW knowledge.

Little did I know as a poor child growing up on a Nebraska dry land farm, eight children in a three bedroom farm house, that I was being trained for greatness...well, greatness in the context of explaining cows anyway.

Mary Connealy said...

I have this saying about my writing that for all the research I do, in the end when I'm writing, if I find some tidbit that is DIFFERENT from JOHN WAYNE or LOUIS L'AMOUR........I IGNORE THE TRUTH AND GO WITH JOHN AND LOUIS! And I don't do this to be lazy.
NOPE
I do this because no one's gonna believe I'm right anyway.

Mary Connealy said...

ps I had a point when I started to write my previous comment. But I forgot what it was.

:(

Tina Radcliffe said...

All these success stories and honest fear.

Candee, Angela, and Rachael-what wonder places you are in!!!! Congratulations on your success!!!

Jeri Hoag said...

The most amazing post and God's timing is perfect! I really needed to read this today. I started out my year saying I was going to be fearless. I joined RWA and my local chapter. I set goals on for my 4 MS I have laying about, but here I am in the editing process and fearful I will make it worse. I love to write and I know its my calling, but the what if's are so scary. Thanks for your help!

Kav said...

What a perfect blog post for the beginning of Speedbo! Thank you, Melanie. Truth and candor and tons of great advice.

I'm with Melissa -- not being in control can be a fearsome thing. Of course, I know that only God is in control and I should be alright with that but....Well, let's just say that since I wasn't, God has arranged some telling life lessons in the hopes I might latch on to a teachable moment. :-)

Right now a stubborn and painful health condition is my chance to let go and let God. It's been very frustrating -- I've lost mobility, range of motion, strength and the ability to do the simplest of tasks. When I was first diagnosed I was determined to fix myself. I took control and made some debilitating mistakes. It wasn't until I learned to release that control and hand it over to medical professionals that I started to level out. I'm still not in a place where I can lead a normal life but I'm learning to adapt. So, instead of angsting over the fact that I can't sit at the computer for more than fifteen minutes at a time, I take responsibility for how productive I can be with that quarter of an hour. Baby steps will still keep me moving in the right direction.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Wow, Jeri! Good for you. Way to hit the ground running fearless. So proud of you.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Praying for you, Kav.

It's not what you can't do...but what you can do, that matters.

Proud of you for figuring that out. It took me about twenty years longer to figure out the same thing.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Aw, thanks, Janet. I don't think of myself as having a Southern drawl. I think of it as normal. The rest of y'all talk kinda funny, though.
;-)

You are sweet, Janet! I love friends like Regina! And you! So encouraging. Everyone needs encouragement. And we will all keep Speedboing into April! I know I will! Ha! I don't think I'm going to be able to meet that April 1 deadline, not to be negative or anything. ;-) I'll also have more edits to do in April. But hey, I'm living the dream!!! :D

Sharee Stover said...

Melanie, I loved your blog post because fear is a huge issue for me. The dream of being a writer felt safe in my little brain and stepping out to actually accomplish it is TERRIFYING. I'm so glad you had Mary at the conference with you. She's amazing! I have to tell you that my 18 year old daughter LOVES your books and has read every one of them. So your audience is far reaching into all age groups. Thank you for the encouragement in today's post. And yes please, enter me in for the drawing.

Meghan Carver said...

Ooo, Melanie! The Regency Spies of London?! Sounds divine!!! It's immediately going on my tbr list!

I'm in for Speedbo, so of course I have fears. I'm right there with you on every single one. Thanks for the much-needed encouragement on this day when my family has evening activities and I'm afraid I won't get my word count done. :-)

Melanie Dickerson said...

Thanks, Caryl! Don't worry. God keeps pursuing us. He won't let you miss too much.

Thanks, Suzanne! Keep pushing that fear aside and your eyes on the prize!

Elaine, one month behind schedule doesn't sound too bad to me right now! LOL! Thanks for your comment! I know God will help you get done what is truly important. That's what I'm telling myself.

Thanks for stopping by, Renee!

Connie, I know. I have that fear too, to some extent. There's never any shortage of fears, it seems! :-) We just have to want the goal more than we fear the fears.

Tina, for Speedbo I'm working on my third book in the Thornbeck series, also known as A Medieval Fairy Tale series. It's a cross between a Goose Girl and a Prince and the Pauper retelling and doesn't have a title yet. You will meet the heroine, Magdalen, in The Beautiful Pretender, which comes out in May and is currently available on NetGalley if you're a blogger/reviewer. I also have to finish up some macro edits for The Silent Songbird, which comes out in November. And we won't even talk about the taxes I'm also currently engaged in spiritual warfare over. Lord, give me strength!



Melanie Dickerson said...

Cindy R said, "I am resolved to write afraid if I must, but give those fears to the Author of the universe."
Wow, I truly love that!!! You said it all right there.

Candee, I know that feeling of fear that no one will like the next book, or that you'll never write as good as you did before, and on and on. I'm glad you are powering through and letting God carry through! Keep up the good work!

Angela, keep encouraging yourself! That is awesome! Let the joy of a contract buoy you up past the fears!

Thanks, Myra! And you're right! Mary does have a fear. She's afraid of being a conference mentor again! Come on, Mary. Don't be afraid to talk about your fears. It's okay. You're safe here.

Aw, thanks, Jeanne! So glad it was helpful. And disappointments can be so crushing. I pray you overcome them in a huge way!

Congratulations, Rachael!!! God is preparing you for bigger things! Once you have had the experience of facing edits on a short story, you will be able to handle edits on something bigger. And I still feel a little bit shell-shocked when I get those first edits. I have look at them tentatively at first. And sometimes I will read a comment or request for a change and I'll have to get up and go do something else for a few minutes. So see? You are on your way! It gets easier every time, and you are not the only one who reacts that way! :-)


Melanie Dickerson said...

Mary, I have always loved your self-deprecating sense of humor. NEVER CHANGE!!! I love you just the way you are. You're so fun to have an exchange with. :-)

CatMom said...

WOW, Melly!! This is awesome - - thank you sooo much for sharing your heart with us today. I'm sure many of us can relate to some of the things you've shared today.
This post is going into my Keeper File. :)
CONGRATULATIONS on your SUCCESS (and more to come, I feel certain!).
Please toss my name in your drawing, and thank you again for sharing.
Now back to my Speedbo story!
Hugs, Patti Jo

Melanie Dickerson said...

Aw, Jeri! I'm pulling for you! Trust your instincts. If you've written 4 books and you read Seekerville, you will be able to revise very well. When you do get to the point where you're not sure if you're improving it or just changing it, put it aside and work on something else. Then you can come back to it weeks later with fresh eyes. God bless!

Oh, Kav! I'm shocked and dismayed about your health struggles! I'm so sorry, and I'm saying a prayer right now that God will heal you. It's so hard to know why we go through bad things. We know God uses them to help us grow and mature, and He also makes good things come out of them, but it's still really hard. Sending you hugs!

Wow, thanks, Sharee! And you look too young and gorgeous to have an 18-yr-old! Tell her I said hello! You know, you are so right; writing IS terrifying! Don't tell the newbies! :-) I had to grow and learn to trust God a LOT on my writing journey, just to get to each new place. That's why a big theme in my novels is overcoming fear, especially for my heroines. If I struggle, they have to struggle even more!!! :D

Melanie Dickerson said...

Bless you, Meghan! I hope you will like my Regencies! I know what you mean about fearing the outside activities and obligations! Sometimes I panic and think, "I'll never get my writing done!" but it always gets done, eventually. I might have to ask for a little more time, but it's not brain surgery, after all. :-)

Thanks, Patti Jo! God bless you in your writing! You're in the drawing!

Come on, Blogger! I would think you would have figured out by now that I'm not a robot.

DebH said...

hi Melanie
Thank you for sharing your fears and how you're overcoming them. It's very encouraging for those of us who share similar fears. I love your books. Which is why I'd love to be in the draw for any of your offerings. I know I'll have a good read.

Thanks again for sharing. I really appreciate it.

Crystal said...

Great pist, Melanie! I can totally relate. Currently my biggest fear is I am wasting time and money on something that has been my heart's desire since I was a kid. For years I was and am content just to write for myself, but God has pushed me forward. I am investing more time and money into this than I have ever done in my life. I also fear that where I am not making a single penny at this point that there isn't value in what I am doing. I substitute teach after working five years as a full time elementary teacher, mainly so I can be more available and energized for my oldest son who severely struggles with school and ADHD. My husband is super supportive, but I am truly terrified of the whole process that pushes me beyond my four little walls at home. I keep praying that God would close doors if this is not truly His will, but doors keep opening. I loved the verse you shared Psalm 68:11-12, and I have been going back over and over to Colossians 3:17"And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." Every prayer and every time I sit to write, I pray it will be His words and not mine and give Him thanks for this opportunity to move beyond myself with the stories He has given me. Now to eat a couple bites of lunch before my next class. I am hoping to write during planning in a couple hours and then this evening after church when my kids are in bed. God bless al you Speedbo writers in your journey and Melanie for you encouraging words that remind me to face my fears. I will catch up on everyone's posts later.

Crystal said...

*post, typing on my phone is not as easy as the computer. ;-)

kaybee said...

I'm afraid a lot because the more I do this, the more I realize how hard it is and how badly I want to be good enough. But it's a healthy kind of fear, because it makes me try harder.
Kathy Bailey

Jana Vanderslice said...

MELANIE the Great! I'm rereading your books & they are BRILLIANT!! You are Shining the LIGHT of Christ on important issues for our young girls!! I'm so glad you stuck it out!! Working with students/teenagers is my 1st love, & anyone who writes for them is a HERO in my book!

Fear? I'm not fearing the fiction publishing yet. That's too far in the future. I'm focusing on writing the Ferocious Faith prayer bible study right now. It's God's job for me right now (and we need it by April), so I just do it! Then I get to watch & see what He does!

*please put me in the drawing, my friend! and thank you again!

kaybee said...

Please enter me in the drawing for the books.
KB

Meghan M. Gorecki said...

WOW this hit home. I'm pretty much right there in many ways. Thank you for this--for your transparency in sharing where your heart has been and what you have learned. This post will be reread many times over.

Cheryl St.John said...

Amen, sista! Great blog. I shared it with the online rwa class I'm teaching. I hope they all visit.

CatMom said...

KAV, praying for you!! I'm so very sorry about what you've been enduring, and will keep you on my prayer list.
Gentle hugs from Georgia, PJ

Leslie McKee said...

Melanie,

What a wonderful post! Unfortunately, I can identify with way too many things in it :( I chose "Trust" as my one word for the year, in hopes of overcoming some of the fears, and boy, has that word been put to the test! My logical mind knows there's no reason to fear (because, as my pastor likes to say: "I've read the end of the book, and I know we win!"), but it's not always easy to remember that in the moment.

Please enter me in the drawings.

Tina Radcliffe said...

CRYSTAL! If you see this, please email me privately at tina at tinaradcliffe dot com

Cara Lynn James said...

Great post, Melanie! I've had lots of fears over the years, some personal, and some dealing with writing. Lots of fears are more difficult to overcome than others.

One of my greatest writing fears was being unable to know what to put in the middle of a story. Beginnings and endings were 'easy' enough, but that long sagging middle usually scared me. Happily, I'm improving in that area.

Christina said...

Melanie, what a great post and what perfect timing. It's comforting to hear about your writing fears, several of which I can relate to. I need to print out this reminder "If you are a Christian, you already have victory over every fear" and keep it within sight.

Please enter me in the drawings and thanks for sharing such inspiring words!

Debby Giusti said...

Melanie, thanks for sharing your journey and your fears with us today. Your post is inspiring. We all have fears. Really. Some have fears of success, others fears of failure. Some include fear that people will realize who we really are beneath the mask we're created to protect our wounded past. (Thank you, Michael Hauge, and his fantastic book, WRITING SCREENPLAYS THAT SELL.)

You've encouraged fearful people everywhere to keep moving forward! And that's huge!

Congrats on your success! Your stories are wonderful!

Hugs!

Lisa said...

Fear of burnout is the one for me right now. I have a post it note on my computer monitor that says, "I am anointed to accomplish my assignment." It helps me pause and give it to God first. It reminds me why I'm doing this.

Rhonda Starnes said...

Hi, Melanie! Thanks for the wonderful post on facing our fears.

I would say the greatest thing I've learned in the past three years since starting my writing journey is that it's okay to fear the unknown as long as you don't allow that fear to take root and choke the life out of your dreams. Fortunately, my sweet Mountain Man has learned to recognize when I'm starting to let fear take over, and he pushes me to act before it can take root. As a result, I've faced several of my fears in the past few years: writing a book (working on my fourth one now) and submitting to editors, flying without a friend or family member (okay this was scary because you don't have control over your seatmates and some people are very grumpy), and attending a writers' workshop (thankfully, I had Seekerville friends take me under their wings).

My biggest fears? Tornadoes!

Oh, you meant writing fears? At this moment in time, I can honestly say I don't have any of those. Within the past six months, I've found peace in knowing God's in control. I will become published in His time. And worst case scenario, I don't sell a book, so what? While this would be sad, it's nothing to fear, because this writing journey has already brought me so much...new friends, self-confidence, and a willingness to try new things.

God's in control. Where He leads, I will follow.

Mary Lawson said...

I retired fr teaching 2 years ago and am now starting to sub...biggest fear? Facing kids again...I got this!

Pam Hillman said...

Melanie, our journey's are different, but our fears are the same. You sure have started off this year's "Face Your Fears" theme with a bang! I talk a big talk about facing my fears, but inside, it's a raging battle every day.

Julie Lessman said...

MELANIE!!!

I can't believe I'm so late in getting here, girl, because this post is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!

WOW, what a journey, girlfriend, and I even remember the commotion you caused when you fainted at ACFW and went to the ER!! I also remember a time when you were squatting between Mary Connealy's chair and mine at an ACFW banquet, actually crying because you didn't think getting published would ever happen for you. We three prayed together at that moment, as I recall, and I literally laughed when I heard you got a contract (or two?) within mere months. "Take that, fear," indeed! :)

And I agree -- I DO think you've "written some of (your) best books during this season of over-commitment" without question! I ADORED your upcoming release, The Beautiful Pretender, and was SO honored to endorse it, my friend!

What are my fears as a writer? Only one comes to mind, and that is that the human side of me (getting caught up in sales, contest, and reviews) will try to steal the joy of the spiritual side of me, the writer who craves deeply spiritual stories laced with lessons I've learned, hopefully to impart application of God's precepts to romance readers who may not be exposed to them any other way. Most of the time, I have this fear licked, but every now and then, it rears its ugly head, which I suppose just confirms that I'm human and still alive and kicking! :)

Great post, Mel!

Hugs,
Julie

Tina Radcliffe said...

OH LISA!!! I LOVE THIS AND YOU CAN BE SURE I AM MAKING A MEME OF THIS FOR THE WEEKEND EDITION THIS MONTH!!!

Mary Connealy said...

Melanie all the best mentor in the world can do it help you get noticed, help you figure out ways to present yourself.

In the end it's all about how you write your books and do that all by yourself.

Mary Connealy said...

Myra you're right. My mentoring spirit is broken.

And that's probably for the best.

Debby Giusti said...

Julie mentioned licking her fear...more or less.

I'm nodding along with her.

I used to be fearful about not making a deadline or being able to pull the story together in time. I finally realized fear was useless and not what God wanted for my life. Now, I give it all to him. Plus, I try to live in His Perfect Time. He lets me do everything that needs to be done and still finish my projects on time.

Jan Drexler said...

Great post, Melanie. Wonderful. :)

Heidi Robbins said...

I admire that you've continued to work through your fear. Right now I'm worried about the future of my family and where we will end up- my husband is a teacher and has a great job here in southern CA, but we can't afford to buy a house. He got his credential to teach in Nebraska since that's where his extended family lives and the housing is much more affordable, but it would be difficult to get a job without a connection to someone influential in the districts there, not to mention the $20,000 pay cut... I feel like every spring when the jobs start posting we are in limbo and praying to know God's will for where our family needs to settle.

Please enter me in the drawing for a print copy of A Spy's Devotion :)

Ginger Solomon said...

Congrats, Melanie. I'm so happy for your success.

Melanie Pike said...

I haven't even finished reading and had to comment on "It is not unbiblical to be confident." Think of all the biblical heroines who were confident! (Guess I'm picking on women since it's usually mostly women here, but the confident men in the Bible are outstanding, also, of course. :) )

I have dealt with fear probably just about every day of my life--fear of the unknown, fear of failure, sometimes fear of success ("What if I do this well/get published? So much more will be expected of me, and what if I can't produce?"), fear of others... I was 44 years old when I found Jesus--just over 12 years ago--and I am still fighting those many years of being without Him. Lately I have cried many tears and prayed many prayers due to illnesses and financial issues, and you know what? He has responded re the latter, courtesy of a smart tax preparer. It isn't a long-term solution, but right now, when we really need it, it's going to help.

I have always had very low self-esteem and self-confidence, and it isn't an easy way to live your life. Is it something about the name "Melanie"? Because I recognized a lot of me in your descriptions!

Speedbo is passing me by this year which means I didn't sign up. March came before I knew it (basically lost the entire month of February due to various illnesses in the house and an infection I am beating back), and I couldn't think of writing and Speedbo without a knot tightening in my stomach. (My infection could have been partly caused by stress. Who needs more stress in her life???)

Please toss my name into the ring for a print copy of either book! I don't believe I've read any of yours yet, sad to say.

Thank you for the wonderful post! And for letting me know that I am not alone in my fears...which need to take a hike! ;-)

Blessings!

Janet Dean said...

Melanie, nice to know I'm not the only one who'll be Speedbo-ing into April. Pulling for you to make the April 1 deadline! Our dream entails a whole lot of work but it's very satisfying.

Janet

Crystal said...

Melanie, I love Jane Austen as well. Today was Read Across America day at the school I subbed at, and we all dressed as our favorite character. I dressed as Elizabeth Bennett. Of course I looked more 1910 than 1810 but it was fun!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Hey, guys! Please forgive me if I don't reply to every comment! I so want to. Right now we're having a bit of a tax crisis over here, but I will reply to as many as I can.

Thanks, DebH, Crystal, Kaybee, Jana, Meghan, Cheryl, Leslie, Cara Lynn, Christina, and Lisa!

Crystal, I can relate to worrying that you're wasting time and money at this! And with Mom-Guilt. Mom-Guilt should be an actual disorder, but I guess it's just too common to be thought of as a disorder. I wish you the best, Crystal! Keep praying and let God encourage you forward!

Jana, you are so sweet! Thank you for your encouraging words. Bless YOU for wanting to bless teens. They are a wonderful mission field. May God bless your writing endeavors!

Thanks, Debby! You are such a great encourager to other writers! I respect you so much!!!

Lyndee H said...

Great post, MELANIE. I'm definitely a fear of success person. When I'm successful, people ask for more, and my well is often dry, then I have to say no and I'm a yes person, not a no person. Ugh...

Congrats on the new book.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Rhonda, I'm very afraid of tornadoes, after April 27, 2011, but also kind of fascinated with them. I love weather. I wish you the best with your writing!

Thanks, Mary Lawson, Pam Hillman, Julie, Heidi, Jan, and Ginger.

Julie, I so appreciated your sweet endorsement of The Beautiful Pretender! Can't wait for everyone to read it. :-) You know I am right there with you in my struggle with getting caught up in reviews, contests, and such. I still have a ways to go in that struggle. But I'm working on it. I feel like God is really working in my heart this year, as I have made it my goal to draw closer to him and walk in the Spirit this year. I wish God would change me overnight. Maybe he will. ;-)

Heidi, that does sound hard! I pray God will make a way for you guys that you had not even thought of. It's amazing how he does that sometimes.

Thanks, Melanie Pike! I feel you, girl. It's hard to concentrate on writing when we're stressed about other things, serious problems, no less! And I once illustrated the struggle to go through life with low self-esteem and no confidence as trying to tie your shoes with your hands tied behind your back. It just takes so much more effort, and makes some things impossible. Maybe it is something about the name Melanie, but most Melanies are nice, I think. :-) Hope everything starts getting better for you! God is always there for us, cheering for us, ready to encourage us!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Janet, it's true. It's the only job I've ever really wanted. We are very blessed.

Crystal, I bet you looked awesome! Would love to see a photo!!!

Oh, Lyndee, time to break free from that fear of success and fear of having to say no! Give it to God! He will reward you!

Dana R. Lynn said...

Melanie, great post. I have been looking at your new regency for weeks, knowing that sooner or later I would be getting it. So yay to your friend Regina.

Fears...right now I have two that I am claiming freedom from. The first is the fear that I won't be able to complete this contract, having never written on proposal before. The second, is more personal. The second is concerning my husband's job, as he is an elected official. Those jobs are never secure.

I remind myself that God is in control, and that I need to trust and do my part.

Sandy Smith said...

Melanie, I really appreciated this post. I think fear really holds me back. My fear is that I can't right well enough to get a book published. I have had many short stories and articles published in the past, but I keep holding back on the book. I started it in Speedbo last year, but really have done nothing since. Now I am continuing on it but that fear of failure is coming back. Thanks for your encouragement and for the reminder that we do have victory over fear with Jesus.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Heidi! You could be near all those lovely Nebraska writers and VILLAGERS!!! Pay cut will equal out as cost of living is cheaper in Nebraska. I love Nebraska. I'd move there in a heartbeat if I could.

Where in Nebraska is your hubby?

Tina Radcliffe said...

Melanie Pike. I'm with you. FEAR CAN TAKE A HIKE!!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Rhonda, I love that you have found a place of peace. Good things will follow. Hope you feel better.

May the K9 Spy (and KC Frantzen) said...

Oh Melanie...

You continue to AMAZE me.
Just sitting here, trying to digest what you've shared here.
WAWZAH.

What a blessing to continue to be for so many. (and YAY to Regina!)

I've been truly struggling with May the K9 Spy's 4th book.
And a very wise mentor told me the other day, "You're still grieving."

/sigh/ Truth. It's been extremely difficult to write in May's voice, but then said mentor reminded me that God's calling to write for children is an important one... To look through some happy photos with kids and May and our books, etc.

and that has helped.

It's also helping that I *really* want to have a new book out this year!

So, there it is.

Congratulations on answering God's call and may you have many many more successes on the journey!

And thanks as always to the wonderful Seekers who give us such a place to gather and share. <3 y'all!

Natalie Monk said...

Melanie, thank you SOOOO much for sharing this! Your post hit home with me today, so much so I'm having trouble holding back tears. I know others are being blessed by your testimony, but I can't help but feel God spoke this post directly to me today.
Some non-writing related things are kind of up in the air right now for me, (of course things would go "up in the air" just in time for Speedbo, lol) but God's got this. I'm just having to learn to trust and pray for wisdom. I may not be able to meet my original Speedbo goal (or God may surprise me and help me do just that) but I'm going to keep trudging and do what I can and pray the Lord works out the rest. Thank you so much for being willing to share your experience. It really ministered to me!

Loraine Nunley said...

What an amazing post Melanie! My biggest fear is probably the fear of failure. It is cleverly disguised by my procrastination and excuses. I am trying to combat that with prayer and connecting with other readers and writers. Thanks for the much needed encouragement. I would also love to be entered into the giveaway.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Melanie, thanks for taking time from your deadline, Speedbo and your tax crisis to encourage us! Praying for you!!

Marianne Barkman said...

Great post. Is low self esteem a direct result of pride goeth before a fall? Because it seems to be prevalent among my friends. Except for those who have a lot of self esteem. Seriously, though, I see this in myself after talking to my own counsellor. Thanks for a great post, Melanie. I'm having a hard time deciding what to spend my gift card on. Well, I know it will be books. Print books! From Seekerville authors.

Tanya Agler said...

Melanie, Thank you for this post. You've come such a long way on your writing journey, and thank you for sharing those fears with all of us who are still on "unpubbed" island.

Thank you for the encouragement and the wise words.

Mary Connealy said...

I'll say as the day winds down, that when I saw I HAVE NO FEAR that doesn't explain it exactly, it's more like...when I try to put my fear into words, I have to think about it and turn and face it to define it...and when I do, it fades. It becomes less the monster under the bed and more just...oh, that edgy, annoying, fretting thing I'm doing about that? Waste of time. It's Not a Big Fear it's just one more little annoyance that slinks away like shadows shrinking before the rising sun!
(poetry alert)

Mary Connealy said...

PS just got the email MORE THAN A PROMISE
has SHIPPED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lara (Storm) Hitchcock said...

Wow, Melanie! You really hit the nail on the head. I've struggled with almost all of the fears you mentioned, and I suspect I have more in common with your personality than that of your friend Regina. I still remember when I first decided to try my hand at writing a novel. I started, promptly gave up, and then started again, somehow managing to stick with it. So many times, after a bad day of writing, I felt like I just wasn't good enough, didn't have enough ideas, etc, to go on. But one thing that kept me going was the truth that failure would be a certainty only if I didn't try. Giving up = failure.

After spending so much time writing and giving up (at least temporarily) on several long-term projects, it would be easy for me to convince myself that I've just been wasting my time and I don't have what it takes. But when I look back on what I've done, it's not too difficult to see that, even though I may not have anything published (yet), I've learned a lot in the process. Writing is a learning experience, a journey … and I think the journey is just as important as (if not more so than) the end result. So I try to focus on enjoying the process—the journey. To focus on enjoying the passion that God has planted inside me. After all, when I set my ego aside—when I'm not stressing about how I much I've accomplished or how good I am—writing is truly fun.

... And may you all enjoy the journey!

Olivia said...

Wow! All the talk about fear after my last blog. Melanie, you spoke to my heart and all of the reservations I have had were listed. After the reminder from Mary last night about the speedbo motto, I was able to go back to my WIP despite the fact I fell asleep over the computer Tomorrow I am taking an office in a women's organization and the day was spent preparing for the work it entails. Tomorrow is another day and after the meeting, I will write again. Thanks Seekers!
Please put my name in the cat bowl for either book; I am a confirmed Anglophile

Melanie Dickerson said...

Thanks for an awesome day in Seekerville! I am continuing to read your comments. It makes me really happy that I had a positive impact on some of you with this post! God bless you all! Thanks so much for the comments.

Jess * Jessie * Jessy said...

Oh my goodness! What a wonderful post. If I didn't know better, I'd think you were me ... or me, you. :) Because fear is MY middle name. A few years ago I was fed up with fear and decided to tackle things that scare me. Wow! Did God open doors. I still have moments of self-doubt (yes, self-esteem is the problem) but I just remember that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

bonton said...

Hi, Melanie!! Thanks for your encouraging post - and for being so honest concerning your struggle with your fears.

I have "concerns" - serious health issues in myself, father, mother, and aunt (all of whom I help care for), however, don't really see them as fears because I know God has control of it all and I trust Him to work the trials to my good (something I wasn't able to say many years ago). I feel that as I've matured, both mentally and spiritually, and endured trials - I've become more aware of my many blessings, less concerned with problems, and better able to prioritize things in my life. That's not to say I've conquered all of this - I'm human, and it will always be a learning/growing process. However, I am better able to cope with, and have a peace with - it all, whether on a daily basis or at times, even an hourly basis.

Congrats on your accomplishments - please enter my name in the drawings for one of your wonderful books!! Thank you!!

Jan Christiansen said...

Squeezed in a couple of hours this morning to organize my manuscript, add some supporting documents and switch it from Scrivener to Word. I'm much more familiar with using Word. Now I'm ready to add to my 13,000 word WIP.

Jan Christiansen said...

Tina - He called you. Your job is obedience. The rest is up to him.

Love it. This is going up above my desk.

Missy Tippens said...

Melanie, I'm so sorry to be late! I was away from the computer all day. This was such a beautiful post!! Thank you so much for sharing and for inspiring us.

The Artist Librarian said...

Amazing post, Melanie --thanks so much for sharing. It's also been encouraging reading the comments. I think sometimes as Christians we're afraid to reveal weaknesses or fear, but so many of us are going through the same things or fears.

For me, my biggest fear is fear of the future ... finding a job, all that fun stuff ... ;-)

Pat Jeanne Davis said...

I appreciate your candor and for sharing your heart here, Melanie. Your words are a blessing.

Winnie Thomas said...

Thanks for sharing with us. It helps to know that others have fears and are able to overcome them. Thanks for sharing your talents with us.

Una said...

Please enter my name in the drawing.

Mikal said...

Oh Melanie, thank you for sharing. Fear is my biggest obstacle in writing, and those five fears you mentioned? They're mine, too. Fear of rejection, fear of success, fear of not being good enough, fear of not having the creativity to carry the momentum if and when I become published...you name it. So thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It's a relief to remember that writing is His gift to me, and He wants me to use that gift. Thank you. <3

cynthia said...

Thank you for your post. I fear the unknown and struggle with God's timing. Our family is in the process of trying to sell our current home and trying to buy another home as my daughter will be attending kindergarten in the fall. I need to keep remembering that God has His own perfect timing and provision. It's hard not to be anxious though. Thank you for sharing your faith journey in writing.

Julie Lessman said...

MELANIE SAID: "I wish God would change me overnight. Maybe he will. ;-)"

LOL ... I wouldn't hold your breath, my friend ... it's not His style, and blue is definitely not my color ... ;)

Hugs!!
Julie