by Yvonne Lehman, @YvonneLehman

During morning devotion time, I flipped through a few pages of my favorite devotional, Magnificent Prayer, to look at underlined statements. My eyes stopped on a passage and I read, “To pray is to tell Jesus what we lack.”

My thoughts immediately went to an experience the day before during a verbal exchange. So upon reading the “what I lack” statement, I said, “I sometimes lack ability to make myself clear in conversation, or in relaying what I mean in a concise way.”

Then I added, “Jesus, I even feel inadequate when talking to You.”

He instantly confirmed in my spirit, “You are inadequate. That’s why you need to talk to me.”

Well, duh! I had a fit of laughter. How simply true.
When feeling that I’m inadequate to express myself well in talking to Jesus, I shouldn’t quit.
We learn by doing.
I need to keep on talking.

As happens in about every experience in my life, my thoughts went to how that might apply to writing.

Many writers I’ve encountered in over-forty years of being in this profession express their feeling of inadequacy. At conferences, the greatest fear seems to be of talking with an editor, agent, or critiquer. The feeling of inadequacy comes to the forefront.

If I’m about to give a critique, and I pause and simply look at the writer, they will invariably say, “It’s not any good, is it?”

I don’t know how to pitch.
What’s a one-sheet?
How can I tell 95,000 words in 10 minutes?

So many, especially beginning writers, talk about feeling so inadequate. Are their words coherent, worthy, meaningful, expressed in a clear, concise way?

How to alleviate the feeling of inadequacy?

Keep talking
Keep praying
Keep practicing
Keep learning
Keep writing

… until we gain experience, and become confident in our adequacy.

We can take the instruction the apostle Paul gave to the younger Timothy, “Work hard so God can approve you. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15 NLT).

When we experience the attitude of, “Your writing’s not good enough. It’s inadequate.”

Say, “Thank you.”
Don’t quit.
Learn more.
Keep practicing.
Never quit talking to Jesus.
Never quit practicing writing.

And, there’s always room for improvement, to become more adequate, so blessedly, the writing journey is never over.

With time, effort, and practice we can begin to have a feeling of adequacy enough to be confident in continuing to talk to Jesus, and practicing our writing.

That way, we receive His abundant blessings and, with our words, pass it on to others.

INADEQUACY by Yvonne Lehman (Click to Tweet)

We learn by doing.~ Yvonne Lehman (Click to Tweet)

Keep talking; Keep praying; Keep practicing; Keep learning; Keep writing!~ Yvonne Lehman (Click to Tweet)


Yvonne Lehman is an award-winning, best-selling author of more than 3,000,000 books in print, who founded and directed the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference for 25 years, is now director of the Blue Ridge “Autumn in the Mountains” Novelist Retreat. She earned a Master’s Degree in English from Western Carolina University and has taught English and Creative Writing on the college level. Her latest releases include Have Dress Will Marry (Heart of a Cowboy collection, Mountainbrook Ink), Better Latte Than Never (Winged Publications), Stupid Moments and Additional Christmas Moments in the non-fiction Divine Moments series (Grace Publishing). Her popular 50th novel is Hearts that Survive – A Novel of the TITANIC, which she signs periodically at the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge TN.