Welcome to Feature Friday – the last Friday of the month, when I chat about books on the craft of writing. Being a writer takes a great deal of confidence and honesty. We are continually seeking improvement. Whether we are looking to improve our skills or improve habits, it can feel like a never-ending journey. But as I always say, “Writing is a journey meant to be shared.”
To kick off the new year, I always start with reminding myself of why I’m on this writing journey. Why do I have such a pull to write fiction? Why do I become irritable and unbearable when I haven’t had much time to sit and create? Why do I subject myself to rejection? Why do I write?
For me, it’s a calling that God has placed on my heart. I’m not on this journey for stardom or with high expectations of being a New York Times Bestseller. I’m on this journey because God gave me this gift to write stories for children and young adults. He has also given me the gift of teaching, so I create journals to help other writers and creatives. You may or may not know this about me, but God is the center of my life. I grew up with strong, independent, faithful women in my life, and I am no different. But does having God at the center of it all make it easier for me to write? Nope! Do I wish God would magically fill the pages for me? Yes, please! But God doesn’t work that way. I work for Him, and I should fulfill His calling in my life.
As a fictional writer, I often struggle with whether or not what I’m writing or creating will please God. It’s a battle other Christian authors wrestle with too. We have the likes of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, whose stories have withstood the test of time with God deeply woven into their works without many realizing it. Today’s authors include Ted Decker and his daughter Rachel Decker and Lindsay Cummings – all fiction writers deeply rooted in their faith. So how does a creative person balance their faith with creating something for all, even those who are non-believers?
About a year or two ago, I learned about a book in the YouVersion Bible App titled, Called to Create by Jordan Raynor. I was in a writing slump and facing yet another year of not finishing anything that I began. I questioned why God would give me all these beautiful ideas if I couldn’t get any of them through the valley to the promised land or, in this case, to the promised page. I struggled with the biggest question that Jordan tackles in his book, “who am I writing this story for?” If you are anything like me and your entrepreneurial business or your writing or anything that requires divine creativeness feels sluggish, get this book. It shifts your mindset into realizing that God was the first creative. He is the first entrepreneur. He is the creator of all creatives. And if someone ever asks, “why do you write if it’s so hard?” After reading this book, your response will be apparent… “Following the call to create means that we no longer work to make a name for ourselves; we work for the glory of the One who has called us.”
If you are struggling, get some quiet time to be alone with your thoughts or go for a walk and ask yourself why. Why do you write? Why do you want to write? Get to know your why, and everything else will fall into place after that. If you are struggling with a specific story or character, ask yourself or your character, why? Why are they on this journey? Why is this story important to tell?
As I always say, “Writing is a journey meant to be shared.”
What have you been called to create? I’d love to hear where you are on your writing journey. If there is a way for me to support you, please let me know!
Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching! Order your copy of Writers on Task (a task specific journal for writers) or my latest release, Scribbles and Squiggles (a doodling book to get your creativity flowing) today on Amazon!