Called to Write
by Jan Powell
(2 Peter 1:10, ESV).
I have struggled many times with confirmation of my call to write. After suffering through these challenges, I learned steps of analysis to rise up from the emotional dilemma and center more clearly upon my purpose. As writers, we may examine our calling using six words: Who, what, when, where, how, and why.
Who is called? I felt joy when my parents read to me long before I attended school. My deep longing for stories words remained. Just as God formed Jeremiah in the womb and set him apart to be a prophet, he called us to a ministry of words (Jeremiah 1:5). In the same manner, we need to seek intentionality about who we are and those to whom we are called to minister through our writing.
What style of writing flows through us? I was initially drawn to children’s fairy tales. Later, I was drawn to the Oz books and the Nancy Drew series. I learned to try new things. We use different genres to express God’s truth, challenge thinking, or give insight. God encourages us to explore many styles. One friend began writing a memoir, expanded to blogging and devotionals, then settled on historical fiction. The more we share and polish our writing, the more opportunities we have to give.
When do we write? We write morning, noon, and night. Some seasoned writers establish routines and compose best while their families sleep. There are others who arise before dawn. Many writers rely on caffeine. We must all find a way to stay on task. Wasting too much time on social media or the latest Netflix series proves counterproductive. We keep our computers busy, fighting the good fight against distraction and discouragement.
Where do we get our inspiration? My favorite ideas often come while exercising or driving. Inspiration can strike from unlimited directions, such as news headlines, casual comments, sermons, or podcasts. One author I respect says, “Life is fodder for writing.” When we look and listen, we can observe and write. We make the commonplace into our treasure trove of ideas.
How do we write? Like me, some writers love sharing the journey and brainstorming with friends. A few keep their work secret until near completion. Some start with legal pads or journals. Others only write at the computer. One style or genre doesn’t fit all, hence the varieties of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Of course, we all share the goal of writing well.
Why do we write? Our desire to obey the Lord’s call and glorify God compels us. As 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “we…are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory.” Through the transforming work of the Lord, writing affects us as well as our readers with mutual blessings.
Thank you, Lord for this challenging and wonderful calling. Amen.
Jan Powell, a graduate of the University of South Florida has two small businesses. Through Writing with You, she offers writing services: editing, rewriting, coaching and ghost writing for fiction and non-fiction. She loves to help polish manuscripts for others. She has been published in The Wordsmith Journal and Splickety Magazine.