December 27, 2016

Don't Miss Out on These Great Opportunities

As an InScribe member, there are so many great opportunities coming your way in the new year! InScribe will be publishing a Christmas Anthology set to launch at the 2017 conference and now is the time to get those submissions in! Sally Meadows, our new InScribe press coordinator, has been working hard to get things aligned and she has written a blog post with all the details on how to submit. Check it out here:

On this last 'promotional' post of the year, I thought I would repost an article I wrote for the professional blog that seems to fit here since it talks about the many other ways you can get involved. Enjoy!

It's Just Fear Talking

There are many common ‘writerly’ fears, but nothing worth doing comes easily, or so it seems, so it makes sense that this also applies to the writing life. To quote writer Jeff Goins, “Do it afraid.” Good advice. Some of the best learning comes outside our comfort zones.

At the risk of sounding like an advertisement, there are plenty of ways to step into the discomfort zone right here within our organization. For instance, InScribe offers a variety of contests throughout the year, with judges ready, willing, and able to tear your darling entry to shreds.

Just kidding, of course! That last bit was FEAR talking. In reality, our judges are caring individuals who are unbiased, experienced, and truly have your best interests at heart. You’re a winner even if you don’t ‘win’ because they always give constructive feedback. If you’ve been afraid to enter a contest, why not do it this year?

Another opportunity that often causes anxiety is submitting a piece to one of our publications. Did you know that any member can submit to Fellowscript? You don’t need to wait to be solicited. Just follow the guidelines, take a deep breath, and hit ‘send’. The worst that could happen would be that the editor would laugh in your face and then email the rest of the executive so that everyone would know how preposterous you were to even think you could get something published.

No! Of course that’s not going to happen! Darn that FEAR. He keeps trying to get in your head. Instead, your piece might actually get accepted and they’ll even pay you for it.  You may have to make some changes, but the editorial staff is made up of nice people. They’ll guide you through the process, and even if your piece doesn’t make it into that issue, they’ll probably offer some encouragement and suggestions for future submissions. 

How about attending a writers’ conference? I’m surprised to hear how many people are fearful of attending their first conference because somehow they don’t feel worthy to hob-knob with ‘real’ writers. I have news. We’ve all been there. Of course, new attendees will be grilled about their publishing credits in front of the entire assembly and made to feel inadequate if they aren’t up to a certain standard.

Oh dear… FEAR has really crossed the line this time. While there may be certain individuals who operate this way at some conferences, this has not been my experience at an InScribe conference. Susan King, editor from The Upper Room, described the recent conference as ‘a party for the soul’. Conference is warm inviting, inclusive, and fun – just the kind of atmosphere to knock FEAR onto his butt.  

There are so many other ways you can get FEAR to whisper in your ear, but by now, you’re getting wise to the sound of his voice. Join a writers’ group. Ask a ‘silly’ question on the listserv. Submit a piece to the IWO blog. Ask for a blue pencil critique. FEAR will try to respond, but you know better. Just laugh in his face and do it anyway – afraid. 

*This post originally appeared on InScribe's professional blog on October 28, 2016.


  1. Tracy, you'd think you knew FEAR intimately, or at least you've been in my head and heard him shouting at me! For me, I had to stop listening to FEAR long enough to hear what God was whispering. Turned out following His instructions was what brought me to the unexpected place of being published - on the blog, in FellowScript, in an InScribe Anthology, and finally with a book. Two voices. Yes: listen to the second and do it even as the first is echoing in your ears. We need to hear all our InScribe voices!

  2. There are so many opportunities that people don't take advantage of!

  3. I loved your chiding, but real fear voice, Tracy. Being the actress (or drama queen--Ha!), you do a good job of exaggerating and speaking that fear voice inside our heads. Thanks for showing us how ridiculous our fears can be.

  4. Thanks for your light-hearted look at fear - which plagues us all. Let's "Do it afraid" and give glory to God!


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