Quote It! James Scott Bell

“Every hour you spend writing is an hour you don’t spend worrying about your writing.”

–James Scott Bell, at the 2009 Christian Writers Seminar, as quoted by Beth Thompson here. Bell is the No. 1 bestselling author of Plot & Structure, and thrillers like Deceived, Try Dying, and One More Lie. Under the pen name K. Bennett he is also the author of the Mallory Caine zombie legal thriller series, which begins with Pay Me in Flesh.

Do you worry about your writing? Isn’t that like asking a Mom if she worries about her kid? I know I sure do.

I worry I’m not writing enough (almost certainly true). That I’m writing too much (though I don’t worry about that often). I worry if it’s good enough (it’s not), if my characters are likeable (some are), and if I’m totally wasting my time (please, God, tell me ‘no’).

Sometimes my worrying is paralyzing. And that’s where I fall back on the sentiment in this quote. But you have to make a conscious decision to set aside worrying in favor of writing. If you don’t, or can’t, your success will be limited.

As a writer, what is your biggest worry? How do you set it aside?

Michael Ehret, for Writing on the Fine Line


8 thoughts on “Quote It! James Scott Bell

  1. I’m chuckling because who among us doesn’t worry? Yet scripture tells that it doesn’t add a day to our lives. In fact, constant worry can shorten a life. Then think of the stories you wouldn’t get written!

  2. If writing is your passion, it is something you can not not do. Worry comes naturally to all of us and we worry no matter what we do. I worry about folks who say they don’t worry. If you’re called to write, don’t worry!

  3. Mike,
    It may sound ridiculous, but lately I’ve been worrying that I’m not worrying about the right things. Weird huh? I’m in a bit of a fog as a writer, so I’m having trouble sorting some things out and settling on my next story idea, as well as working up the energy to create proposals for my last project.

  4. My worries revolve around choice of writing project. I always worry that once I pick a WIP, it will be the idea I DIDN’T choose that would have been the winner. I combat the worry but thinking about the parable of the talents makes me NOT want to be the one who buried his in the ground. Risky or not, God made me a writer so I write.

    • Lori, so glad I don’t have that worry! My mind can only focus on one story at a time. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but it is what it is. Good to combat worry with Scripture … and that parable is a great one!

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