Mandy Baker Johnson

Living without Shadows

Wibbly-Wobbly Writer

When I first thought God might be calling me to be a writer, I was excited: a childhood dream come true!

But it didn’t take long for doubt to set in, and those of you who know me can testify to my teetering back and forth.

Who do I think I am trying to do this? Is this really what God wants? Do I even have a gift?

It’s draining.

I even do the ‘right’ thing and take my doubts to God: ‘Are You sure You want me to write?’

It’s kind of inevitable that I tie myself in knots and end up chained by fear. Fear of failure, fear of what people think.

Too often my confidence is affected by how many Facebook likes I get for a blog post or whether it’s retweeted on Twitter. A comment on my actual blog makes my heart sing and dance.

But this is a dangerous position to be in. I’m settling for praise from people, which is nice, but not what I should be aiming for. My aim should be the heavenly ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!’ from Jesus. It’s His opinion that really matters.

While it’s helpful to know if I’m reaching anyone through my writing, ultimately I need to focus on writing for an audience of One.


I love that the Father had adventures planned for me before I was born: things to do, places to be, people He wants me to mother. How exciting is that?! The Father must be pretty passionate about me because He puts these desires in my heart, and is guiding me step-by-step into all He has for me.

So, how ever much I have wibbly-wobbly doubts, my part is to respond to the revelation I have right now.

For me today, this means taking writing seriously and giving it time, energy and prayer. If I’ve misheard, my Father will graciously redirect me.

The Father doesn’t clobber me over the head for getting it wrong. Nor does He operate through fear. He is love and perfect love casts out fear. So when I detect that knot of fear in the pit of my stomach, you can bet it doesn’t come from God.

What if I don’t pursue this dream because I’m scared of getting it wrong or failing? On that day when God is giving out rewards to His faithful ones, is it possible I could miss out because of being scared to go for it?




  1. Karen Money

    09/04/2016 at 3:11 pm

    I’m constantly worried that my writing is a self indulgent waste of valuable time. Was great to read this! I might need to read it before every writing sesh. Thank you! 😊

  2. I gave up writing for about twenty years because I wasn’t getting the encouragement I needed. However nothing lost, the years the locusts have taken. ..

  3. God uses the wibbly wobbly moments. There have been times I’ve gone the long way round, but my writing has been the better for it. It may not be exactly how or when we imagine, but it does bear fruit!

  4. This seems to be every writer’s worry and from what I hear from famous writers it doesn’t necessarily go away, no matter how many books one has published or how many prizes one has won. The ‘next’ project is always scary and nothing seems guaranteed. Onwards and upwards, nevertheless!

  5. Writing is hard, Mandy. He didn’t put us on this earth just to do the easy things. You’re OK.

    And btw we all of us have the old wibbly-wobbly doubts, particularly me. I have a plot-hole in my now completed Poland novel that you could drive one of General Jaruzelski’s army tanks through.

  6. Fiona Lloyd

    09/04/2016 at 8:08 pm

    I sometimes think my writing life has more wibbly-wobbley bits than a strawberry jelly! It’s good to know I’m not the only one who struggles with self-doubt. Thanks for your honesty, Mandy. F. xx

  7. We all feel like this I guess but not everyone is prepared to be honest about it. Thank you Mandy 🙂

  8. Gosh, I relate to this. Reading this post I am challenged to once more make writing a priority.

  9. Mandy

    10/04/2016 at 5:26 pm

    Glad this post was useful! Thanks for commenting 🙂 x

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