Are You ‘Called’ to Write?
Are you feeling the urge to write but don’t know where to start? Do you have ideas swarming around in your heart and mind but can’t seem to discern if they are from God or your own imagination? Or perhaps you know what you are to write about but can’t muster up the motivation or the time to pen your thoughts to paper? Or maybe you have been writing but are terrified to share what you have written out of fear of what others might think?
If any or all of the above describes you, let me assure you, you are not alone. I’ll say it again, you are NOT alone! Now take a deep breath…let it out…and say, “Phew!”
One of the most common questions I get is “How did you start writing?” I think often times we have this notion that authors sit down and say, “Okay, I am going to write a book.” And then proceed to write the book. It may happen that way for some, but it certainly didn’t for me…
I began writing after I accepted Christ into my life and started walking with Him four years ago. But writing for me was a strictly private affair, in my private journal. It was my way of communicating with God and processing my thoughts, questions, lessons and revelations. I never thought of writing a book. What I wrote was for my own heart and my own understanding.
Fast forward three years and I had stacks and stacks of journals by my bedside. One ordinary day, I decided to look through some of my old entries. As I did this themes were bursting from the page. God spoke to my heart, “I want you to share what you have written.”
I wish I could say, my reply was a simple, “Okay Lord.” Instead, my response was, “You have got to be kidding Lord!” There was no way I was going to share what I had written in my private journals. After all, they were private for a reason.
But I couldn’t shake the feeling that God was serious about this, so I began to pray and ask how He might want me to share some of my writing. Start a blog? Submit an article? The idea of a book had never even crossed my mind.
The very next week I received an email about a writer’s conference entitled, “Hearing the Call and Honing Your Craft.” The word ‘call’ made my heart skip a beat. Was I hearing ‘the call’? How was I to know? I thought writing was just something I did in my own time. I had never considered it as anything more. I still didn’t know for sure, but decided to sign up for the conference anyway.
I met with other writers who were also feeling the ‘urge’ to sharing their writing and were equally as lost (and scared) about the whole thing as I was. But by the end of the weekend conference, it was becoming more and more clear. God was asking me to write. A book. About my season of singleness. Just like that the clarity came and I never looked back. I’ll spare you the details but nine months later, the book was published. I never would have thought!
I think ‘callings’ can often be like that. God tells us to do things we would never imagine ourselves doing. And that we never thought we had to skills to do. I had written academic papers for college and scripts for TV, but never did I ever think I would write a book.
I have a new understanding of what Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
It was in those early morning hours of spending time in His presence that He actually gave me the desire to write. How cool.
Eventually, God then turned that desire, that ‘urge,’ into a call. When He calls us, and we say yes, the cool part is that He enables us. 1 Thessalonians 5:24 says, “He who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.” It really is true! He won’t call us without providing a way for us to do it.
After I said yes to the call to write Entrusting the Key, God swooped in and made it happen. He helped me to be disciplined with my time, He sent me a writing buddy, and He literally breathed the Words He wanted me to write as I typed. He who called me was faithful. HE did it. Rather, He helped me do it.
Are you sensing the call to write but not sure what to do about it? If so, here are three things you can do as you wait for clarity for that next step:
1.Delight in Him. Spend time each day in His presence. Our callings often flow out of intimacy with God.
2. Keep a journal. You will be surprised what will come out when you give yourself the freedom to just write. Don’t think about what it will be or who will see it. Just write and ask God to give you the words! Be ready for new ideas and revelations you didn’t expect!
3. Embrace the process. He will make things clear in His timing. He may have some things He wants you to go through to teach you before He asks you to write. Too often we try to do things to soon and on our own strength, which leads to frustration and discouragement. God may be calling you to write, but it you don’t have clarity on what it will look like yet, then wait. He will show you and He will give you the grace and strength to complete it. If you are straining and stressing, pull back and ask God to lead you… one step at a time.
Happy writing friend! Feel free to post comments with any more questions related to writing… I would be happy to share more about my experiences so far!