October 08, 2014

Facing Fear by Sheila Webster

We're pleased to have FellowScript Editor Sheila Webster as our Guest Blogger today.

It can happen to any writer, that moment that fear limits our writing life. We feel prompted to write something that would reach someone God is trying to bring good news to in a different way – through unique perspective and voice, but we doubt and we freeze. We choke, and back away from an opportunity in case someone misunderstands what we are called to write, or worse they reject or blacklist us.

In my writing life I have a large trunk in the back closet of tricks I pull out to overcome fear if it roars and demands my attention instead of focusing on the at hand task or project. These have even come in handy when I solicit or chose to publish something new as an editor.

The well-worn tactics sit on my desk, eroded by time and use. The tattered fragment of a scripture, ‘if any of you lacks wisdom, let Him ask of God who gives to all generously…’ has etched its way into my writer psyche so much it is a default setting when writing. So often I have lacked wisdom to approach a certain topic, the genre I should use or the timing, but I have never been denied access to wisdom.

There are handwritten notes, from people who were impacted by something I had been afraid to write or publish, they are touchstones in an altar of praise for what God does through obedience.

Certain songs are on replay as they lift the worn fear bubbles in my mind and waft them away with their words and music. They have inspired me to be more fearless. Steve Bell’s songs, Comfort my People and Here by the Water, have been my magic potion many a time.

Coffee shops suffice for fodder to contemplate as I realize the world is hurling forward at an alarming rate to a predestined future without God. It fuels my resolve to face down the fear and preach, pray, write or die at a moment’s notice, but mostly I need to die to myself.

Online writer’s groups, physical writer’s groups, tangible education, a stiff talk by a friend or even foe can fuel my resolve and steel my courage to continue to write with grace and publish what I fear most.

In the end it comes down to this for me. Dr. Paul Magnus of Briercrest said this in the opening chapel of my first year of seminary, “Is the Work Well Done, Is the Word Well Used, Is God Well Pleased.” To me it resonates with what should be our ultimate goal of hearing, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

As Christian writers we have no excuse for letting fear stifle the words we are called to write.

Sheila Webster is the editor of FellowScript magazine and is currently serving as Inscribe's 'Spiritual Advisor'.


  1. Great suggestions, Sheila. I like the idea of having strategies at hand - almost like an arsenal of weapons ready to do battle with fear. Proactive is always more efficient than reactive, too. I'm going to get mine ready now!

  2. "It fuels my resolve to face down the fear and preach, pray, write or die at a moment’s notice, but mostly I need to die to myself." This is powerful stuff.

  3. Your last line is a great kick in the pants for me, Sheila--in a good way. And the quote from Dr. Paul Magnus is so apropos for the writer. Your whole post is both encouraging and energizing. Thanks.

  4. Thanks for such practical thoughts on a topic we all struggle with from time to time. Onward, forward, Word Warriors!

  5. Words like this is one of the many reasons why I am so grateful to have you part of my writing life. You are a wise women Sheila. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, they spoke loudly!

  6. Sheila, you are in inspiration to us all. I can't imagine you having fear, but all of us have them.
    Thanks for your honesty and advice.

  7. Thanks, Sheila, for your big boost of encouragement and support for all of us. May God bless you in his mysterious ways.

  8. Yes, thanks for the practical encouragement.


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