Are you a writer? That question plagues many. Are you any good, or are you kidding yourself? Sure, Aunt Joyce may love your stuff, but does that really count? Maybe your writing is just a little hobby. These unanswered doubts can keep you from ever trying.
Over thirty years ago, I felt a strong urge to write a book about pain. For years, a concern that I had nothing to say kept me from writing it. I continued writing poetry and just playing with words. Yet, deep in my heart, God encouraged me to write that book. Working as a registered nurse and looking after my son kept me busy. I didn't have the time or the energy to write a book (and I doubted I even could).
God often plants the seeds of a dream or a goal long before they come to fruition.
The dream doesn't seem to make any sense, especially when years go by and one sees no change. Yet, when God gives a gift, He sometimes allows us to unwrap it a bit at a time.
We may go through a time of seeming inactivity. Perhaps we need to gain more maturity. Often, we need to experience things before we can write about them.
Although we spend a lot of time doing things besides writing, a true writer's desire never leaves. Somehow we know we need to convey truth to others. Even though we may have no concrete knowledge about how to write, we need to take the first step of faith by being obedient.
In the early 1990s--twenty years after those seeds for a book on pain had been planted--I visited my first writers conference. I actually brushed elbows with real writers and it exhilarated me. I also realized how little I knew.
However, prior to this conference, I had sought the Lord for guidance and had written down a lot of questions, which I kept between Him and me. The keynote speaker proceeded to answer those questions in her talk, and I felt a marvelous confirmation about going into writing full-time.
I didn't have a computer or a good typewriter. I didn't know what I was supposed to do first. However, I wanted to be obedient, so I wrote things on paper by hand.
Thus began my true career as a writer. Making a decision that I wanted this wonderful gift to be used to glorify God, I prayed fervently for the Lord to show me what to do.
These steps helped me to hear His answer:
- Accept Christ as Lord and Savior of my life.
- Ask His forgiveness for sins of the past.
- Give Him the desire to write, trusting Him to show the way.
- Listen to Him by spending quiet time alone with Him.
The following Scripture passage has become my motto for writing:
He who believes in Me--who cleaves to Me and trusts in and relies on Me--as the Scripture has said, Out from his innermost being springs and rivers of living water shall flow (continuously) (John 7:38, The Amplified Bible).
This motto hangs on the wall by my desk. It is also the wallpaper for my computer. Each day I read the Scripture verse. It reminds me of who the true Author is, and it also reminds me that if I do not live in close relationship with Christ, there will be no springs and rivers flowing. My creativity will coagulate and will stagnate, just as a pond does when the pathway for incoming and outgoing water is blocked. No other way satisfies.
I did write that book about pain, and it blessed many hurting people. But, no matter how much I have written or will write, I know the secret lies with being right with Him so I can write with and for God.