Writing God’s Words
by Amy C. Williams
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me”
(John 10:27-28, NLT).
I used to do quite a bit of ghostwriting and teased my nonfiction clients that representing their voices would not present a challenge. Since I prefer to write fantasy novels in which I might write from an elf’s perspective, a CEO’s voice should prove easy by comparison. In reality, writing something intended to represent another person requires extra care. After all, your job is to make sure your work communicates what your client wants to say in the way they want to say it.
Have you ever tried to ghostwrite for someone you’ve never met? You’ll probably need more than one stab at it because your first draft will fail to represent the client. How can you effectively ghostwrite for someone whose voice you’ve never heard?
I’m sure it can be done, but it’s doubtful the job would be done well.
As writers, our job is to communicate God’s words to the world. Whether we write fiction or nonfiction, followers of Jesus have a responsibility to accurately portray Christ in our work.
But if we don’t know God’s voice when we “hear” it, how can we write his words?
I get super focused on the do’s and don’ts of the Christian life sometimes, especially when it comes to writing. I thought having an approved list of what I can and can’t write about would help keep me on track.
But sometimes I wonder if my list limits me to writing about easy topics, my preferred content, or what makes me comfortable rather than what God calls me to write.
Obviously, boundaries must exist. While nothing prohibits us from writing things we love, we need to remain mindful of our genre and audience. But writing for God requires paying attention to what he’s saying rather than what everyone else tells us he says.
Let’s avoid getting so focused on seeking the next right step in our author careers that we forget to seek God’s face. As we spend time with him and get to know him, he’ll guide us on how to represent him well and which direction to take.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your mercy. Please forgive us for the times that we focus so fiercely seeking your will rather than just seeking You. Grant us clarity, creativity, and courage. Amen.
Amy Williams is an author and writing coach with thirteen published books in both fiction and non-fiction. A Selah Award finalist in devotions, she writes bite-size daily devos at www.alwayspeachy.com. She’s also a popular monthly contributor to two blogs ranked in Writer’s Digest’s Top 101 sites for authors. Follow her adventures and learn more at www.amycwilliams.com.