2 weekends of inspiration and encouragement

I had the blessing of scooting off for two weekends, one after the other, on my own!

The first was a weekend in Dublin. I caught up with lots of family, with two dear writing friends, with one of the first Christians ever to make a real impression on me, and I went to a baby shower. It was full to the brim.

I had a bit of a revelation while chatting to my writing friends (neither of whom knew each other – so it was nice to connect them). I consider myself a failed writer – that’s not the revelation bit, I’ve always felt that. BUT, I’ve let it stop me writing. It’s like I’ve been waiting for someone to give me permission to put my heart and soul back into it, as I did in those lovely days before I cared whether anyone read what I wrote.

It was a liberating conversation in the middle of a fab weekend.

The following weekend I was in London, blessed to stay a couple of nights with a good friend, have chats and a hot chocolate with one of my smashing nieces, and join with other Christian writers for the ACW Writers’ Day with Glen and Emma Scrivener. What I took from it, as well as some great books and practical tips, was a confirmation of what my writing pals had told me the previous weekend. Get it writ! 🙂

I asked a question during the panel time. Basically, what if the crushing doubt that writers feel is actually valid in my case? What if I’m just no good?

The answer was like a welcome splash of cold water on my face. Basically it was to stop whinging. Amy Robinson compared my questions and hesitations to Moses when God called him.

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.” Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ Exodus 3:11-15 

I’m paraphrasing here, but what I heard Amy say was, if God had given me stuff to write, then I should stop finding reasons not to do, and just write it.
Whoosh!!! How refreshing.

So, that’s what I’m going to do. My #NaNoWriMo2017 novel idea has been shelved, and I’m going to write the non-fiction book that’s been forming in me for the last year or so. Will fill you in soon… 🙂

Thank you Amy Robinson! Thanks too, to the other panellists, James Prescott, Glen Scrivener and Emma Scrivener x

A couple of the ACW members have shared their take of the day – well worth a read. You can read them here and here.

Guest Post by James Prescott – Insecurities

I’m delighted to have James Prescott as a guest on the blog today. James is a fellow
Tribe Writer and a great encourager. Today he’s sharing his thoughts on


Hiding JP guest postInsecurities. Those dreaded hangups, fears, doubts, voices in our heads telling us what we aren’t, who we’re not, or how awful we are. Sound familiar? I’ve talked before how there’s not one person without any insecurities.
And this should be of comfort to us.

But having acknowledged we’re all in the same boat, how do we navigate our way out of the insecurity storm?

In the film ‘A Beautiful Mind’ we see the main character, John Nash – played beautifully in an Oscar-winning performance by Russell Crowe – battling against hallucinations his mind is creating, of three specific people. To begin with, he struggles to deal with them – in fact early on he won’t believe they aren’t real.

He has a moment of clarity when he realises one of the hallucinations  – a little girl – never ages, never grows up. And once he realises this, he has something to hold on to. He realises these hallucinations aren’t real.

And in time, he teaches himself to ignore them. They never disappear, but he learns to not take any notice of them. In the last scene of the film, after receiving the Nobel prize, he is helping his wife put her coat on, and turns round to see the three people standing on the stairs.

He sees them, and then turns away and walks out with his wife. They are still there, but he has learned to ignore them. They no longer have any power over him. He is not afraid of them, he can look them in the eye, but he chooses not to take any notice of them.

And I think it can be like this with our insecurities.

Often we try to deal with insecurities by fighting back against them, by turning it into a war, a conflict, and this can lead to anger and frustration. Because they usually come back sooner or later.

Maybe the secret to dealing with insecurities is to learn how to ignore them. To name them, to speak them out, acknowledge them – maybe even write them down – and then to cultivate the habit of ignoring them. Refusing to give them power over us.

Almost become friends with them. So we can feel them, see them, experience them. And just smile and walk on.

It’s not easy, and it is a process. But I like the idea of instead of waging war on my insecurities, letting them walk alongside me. Recognising in specific situations I’m probably going to feel or be challenged in a specific way, and allowing myself to experience that but choose not to react to it.

Instead of responding to the promptings of my insecurities, refusing to give them any power over me. Refusing to listen to them. Almost ignoring them.

Jesus said we should love our enemies.
Maybe we need to learn to love our insecurities too.

We don’t have to like them. We don’t have to talk to them. But we can somehow acknowledge the reality of them, and make a different choice.

Maybe then, even if they are still around, they will eventually lose their power. And when they appear to us we can simply acknowledge them and walk on.

Are you with me?

James Prescott
James Prescott

James Prescott is a writer, author and blogger from Sutton, near London.

He blogs at jamesprescott.co.uk on finding divine hope in a broken world.

He is author of the book ‘5 Steps to Encouragement’ which you can download free here.

photo credits:
Lili Vieira de Carvalho via photopincc
Photo of James Prescott supplied by Jamesprescott.co.uk, used with permission