Have You Ever Felt Small? Advice for Writing and Life

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by Kathleen Y’Barbo

Have you ever felt small? Really, really small? The kind of small where someone could walk right past and not even notice you?

Maybe it’s the people in your world who just don’t seem to know you’re there. Or it’s a goal you’ve long since given up accomplishing because it seems there are so many others doing it already.

The writing life can be that way.

Sometimes writers conferences, especially conferences the size of the ACFW conference, can make a person feel really small. And invisible. After all, there are hundreds of talented people all gathered in one place at one time seemingly vying for the attention of a much lesser number of agents and editors. Others sometimes seem to nudge their way to the spotlight, be it at a table during a meal or in conversations between workshops. It’s all enough to make a person want to fade into the wallpaper or hide behind a potted plant.

And yet…

But God…

The odds of an idea in a writer’s mind becoming a book in a reader’s hands are large enough to make even the most intrepid would-be author feel small. Tiny. Afraid to even try.

And yet if you don’t try who will write your story? Maybe it will be published. Maybe it won’t. Maybe the story you were meant to tell was created only for you. And maybe if you don’t write that story, no one will.

Maybe God is depending on you to be faithful even while you wait. While you’re feeling like He has forgotten he even put the desires on your heart. Maybe the real test is not in the skills you learn or the conferences you attend. Maybe the real test is doing the job you were meant to do. The job God has been preparing for you to do.

Feeling small? Not up to the task? Do it anyway. I guarantee Someone will notice.

“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.” Luke 12:6

Bestselling author Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee of over forty novels with more than one million copies of her books in print in the United States and abroad. A certified family law paralegal and tenth-generation Texan, she was recently nominated for a Career Achievement Award by Romantic Times magazine. Find out more about Kathleen and her books at www.kathleenybarbo.com.

Comments 0

  1. Your article is timely and true on so many levels for many writers. As a first time author, I found myself fighting off feelings of failure and frustration. I didn’t know how to go about publishing and now marketing my book for others to see.
    Thankfully, I’m not one to wallow in self-pity and quickly reminded myself that I write for enjoyment. I have a story to share, a message of love to rekindle in peoples heart. So, I’m finding my way through all of my ignorance and tackling each task one at a time letting God lead again.
    I don’t write for money, I write because it’s a gift from God. I’ve given so many books away because sometimes the message is more important than money and God will add increase. Thanks Again!

  2. Great advice Kathleen! And so true. I tell everyone to push past their insecurity and trust God. His timing is everything and He gave the talent and put the desire inside of a writer for a purpose. Great, encouraging advice.

  3. Thank you for this, Kathleen. Having just returned from my first ACFW conference, where I indeed felt small and somewhat lost in the shuffle, I appreciated your reminder that we serve the God Who Sees.


  4. No matter how small I feel, there is always someone who is feeling smaller.

    I’m not a naturally outgoing person, I love attention, but not a crowd of new faces. I went FAR out of my comfort zone this summer and discovered a new side of me that had lurked but never presented itself.
    I did a road trip with Karen Antone and Kathy Antone Arbeau. Their family are very well known in the Evangelical Native American community. Like, “they’ve been in the Oval Office” well known. We were in a small Navajo church in Arizona and umm, I sorta stood out. Kinda. Just a bit. So instead of waiting for all the people who wondered who I was to come to me, I stuck my hand out and said “Hi, I’m Jennifer, I’m with the girls”.
    Instead of allowing myself to hide in a corner, I went out on a limb and jumped right off. When the people found out why I was touring with these two amazing woman, the conversations lit up like wildfire. When they learned that someone was writing a novel that included their history and a very awful time period for their people, they were quite amazed.

    Many, many times, it is daunting shyness that inhibits great potential. One kind word, one smile and someone’s world opens up and we find a treasure that is happiest under a blanket, but really just wants a hand to hold until bravery reigns.

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