What If?

By Sarah Hamaker, president of CCWF

What if I actually can’t write?

What if the plot’s a mess?

What if I start and don’t know how to finish the book?

What if no one else likes it?

What if it’s published and no one buys it?

In our writing life, we entertain many What If questions—usually negative in nature. Rarely do we ask the questions with a positive spin. That pessimism can tarnish our writing, hinder our progress, and turn us into ungrateful writers.

Our challenge is to focus on cultivating a thankfulness in our What Ifs, a concentrated focus on the positives rather than the negatives. When you find yourself thinking about What Ifs in relation to your writing, try flipping the equation and being optimistic about the answers.

What if I discover a hidden talent for romance writing?

What if I find myself with a three-book series out of one plot line?

What if a publisher loves the book?

What if my relatives are very blessed by the family history I wrote?

What if only one person who reads my book comes to a better understanding of what it means to be a Christian?

What if my writing is an encouragement to fellow writers—even if I’m never published?

What if I write for the glory of the One who gave me this story and stop worrying about being a “success” in the eyes of the world?

What if my writing teaches me more than I teach others?

By refocusing our thoughts on a positive outcome, we can rewrite the story of our own writing journey. Rather than hyper-focus on what we haven’t accomplished as writers, what award we didn’t get, what contract we haven’t received, or what readership we haven’t achieved, we can become writers who realize our God-given talents will shine in the way God has ordained.

Let’s become writers who encourage others, who build one another up, who flood social media with songs of praise and thanksgiving for our setbacks as well as our progress, and who embrace our calling to write, no matter where we end up career-wise.

3 thoughts on “What If?”

  1. Johnese Burtram

    Thank you, Sarah, for reminding us the true purpose of our gifts. If God smiles at my writing, that is all that really matters.

  2. Thank you Sarah! I’m making a written list of positive “what ifs” so my own thoughts won’t hinder my commitment to write and leave the results to the One who called me to write. Thank you for this timely reminder and great exercise for flipping the “what ifs” into praise in place of worry!

    1. Yes, when we do that–flipping worry into praise–it can transform not only our writing, but our entire attitude! It’s something I have to work on daily:)

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