The Man Who Couldn’t Write, Part 2: Diagnosis and Prescription


The original article has been broken up into two parts now for your reading pleasure. If you’ve  read this, then you already know the diagnosis and prescription, please leave a comment. Knowing what you think, helps me be a better writer, and Lord knows we need all the help we can get. Now for Part 2 of “The Man Who Couldn’t Write: Diagnosis and Prescription.” Thanks for reading.

Bill visited Dr. Sharon’s office for his yearly check-up, but expressed his concern that he had some “secret disease” that was keeping him from fulfilling his dream of writing. She begins a thorough exam and then gives Bill the prognosis.

She leans in and checks Bill’s ears, then his pupils, nostrils, throat. “Bill, I see it now. You’ve been trying too hard. You somehow have come to believe that you aren’t as good as others you’ve read. You question whether you have anything of value to say. You’re focusing on yourself and what others will think of you instead of just being yourself.”

“Wow, Doc, you learned all of that from just checking my eyes, ears, nose, and throat? That’s amazing. What else did you see in there?”

“Bill, I can see that the very root of it is a fear of failure. We’ve talked about this before. It’s listening to the wrong voice, it’s a voice of discouragement. I’m going to give you a prescription, and I want you to continue to take this for the rest of your life. Don’t let more than one day go by that you don’t take it. Can you do that?”

“Well, that sounds like a tall order, but if it means I can keep writing, I’ll do it.”

“Bill, you’ve just given yourself the prescription I speak of. Keep writing.”

“But, but, but Doctor Sharon. . .”

“I know, Bill. You think that your problem is you can’t write, but it is actually your solution. That is often the case. The solution is found in the problem. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it this way, “Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain.” If you can’t talk, talk. If you can’t pray, pray. If you think you can’t do something, do it anyway. You will be amazed at what happens. Keep in mind what my friend, Joyce Meyers said, “No matter how difficult it would be to do the thing we are afraid of, it would not be as difficult as being afraid of it all of our lives.”

“Let me get this straight, you want me to keep writing? Almost every day? No matter what? And that is going to cure me? Are you sure about this?”

“Yes, absolutely! Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain! And tell yourself you can do it. It’s going to be important to stop listening to the voice that says you can’t, then go ahead and do it. This applies to anything in life, Bill. You can share this with your readers if you like. Everyone has fears, Bill. They need to hear what you have to say.

What is the worst that could happen? They might tell someone that they have just read the worst thing they’ve ever read, and people will come right over and read it to see what could be so bad. Or as you have already learned turn your fear inside out. The best thing that could happen would be thousands of people read it, and are encouraged by it, but what if just one person is encouraged, wouldn’t it be worth it for that?

And, Bill, by the way, don’t try to do this by yourself. Ask God for His help, His wisdom, His strength, His inspiration. With that you cannot fail! How do you think I got to be such a great doctor?”

“I’ve often wondered that myself, Dr. Sharon. I will do exactly what you said. After all what is the worst that could happen? See you next year, Doc and thanks!”

Today’s Verse:  Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
What is it that you fear, and do you agree that doing it anyway with God’s help would cure you? Please join the discussion by clicking the comment icon by the title, and let us know your thoughts.

The Man Who Couldn’t Write: The Examination

Dr Sharon3“Bill, come in, come in. I see it’s time for your yearly check-up. I know you went through a lot last year. How are you feeling?”

“Dr. Sharon, It is good to see you. You are right last year was rough at times. I faced hopelessness and fear, and then remember the time I came to you because I was feeling too good and people were looking at me strangely? You gave me great advice and I recovered rather quickly each time. I suppose you know I have since started my own blog where I share some of the ideas you taught me. It has been fairly well received, Doc, but sometimes I wonder if there isn’t still some secret disease that you haven’t cured me of yet. Do you think that’s possible?”

“Well, Bill, I am surprised to hear you say that. I had the impression everything was going well, and you were just here to help keep your insurance premiums down by getting the routine check-up. What are your symptoms?”

writing2“I’m embarrassed to tell you this, Doc, but, well, uh, I can’t uh, write.”

“What?” she exclaimed as she dropped the stethoscope. “Bill, I saw you writing when you checked in and filled out the forms, the nurse asked you to fill out. Are your hands shaking, do you think you have arthritis, pain in your joints?”

“No, ma’am, but sure enough, I might have authorwriteus! I can’t write! Every night I sit down to write 500 words. . .You see, I’ve taken on the 500 Word Challenge with a great bunch of people called Tribe Writers in which we all  try to write 500 words every night. But what happens to me is I start typing, then stop, then think, type, erase, type, think, type, erase. It’s just no good anymore! I can’t write! I’m helpless, hopeless, and going nowhere, accomplishing nothing. Is there anything you can do? I used to have so much fun writing, and I have the feeling I could really say something that might help someone, if I could just think of something that would be worth reading. I want it to be short, and funny, powerful, and life-changing.”


“Hmmmmmm, let me take a closer look.” Dr. Sharon leans in with her otoscope and peers into Bill’s ear, muttering her customary, “Mmmmmhuh,” leaving Bill wondering what in the world, she is seeing in there.

Read “The Man Who Couldn’t Write: Diagnosis and Prescription” to find out what Dr. Sharon saw and what diagnosis and prescription she offers for Bill’s disease.

What would be your best guess at what his problem is? Have you ever had a problem doing something you wanted to do as if there’s an invisible grip on you that prevents you from doing what you want to do? Join the discussion by clicking the comment icon to the right of the title and tell us what you have faced. Maybe, just maybe, Dr. Sharon can help, as she helps Bill in “The Man Who Couldn’t Write: Diagnosis and Prescription.”