When Pencils Become Swords

by Michelle Davis

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another”

(Proverbs 27:17 NASB).


Many days my writing seems fruitless. I struggle to identify myself as a writer. The title holds a picture in my mind of one who has achieved status with works published, contracts signed, and agents calling.


As I spent time with other writers, I realized each of them filled different roles. Some had published articles in magazines, others offered regular contributions to blogs. Some hide away scribbling their stories with little to no one reading their work. Others had published beautifully bound books in the hands of many.


No matter their status or progress along their writing journey, one thing is consistently the same; many of us struggle with insecurity. We question our purpose.

“Will anyone read this? Will anyone identify with my work? Who am I to write on this topic?” And on it goes. I often feared I would never measure up or worse yet, be discovered as a fraud. My relationships with other writers revealed the shocking fact that many feel like I do, at least at one point in their careers.


Feeling like you are the only one struggling comes easily when you spend more time alone with your laptop or hidden away with a notebook than with other people. But when we come out from behind the screen or notebook and spend time in the presence of others who share our passion for words, we can see the word come alive. “Iron sharpens Iron” (Proverbs 27:17). We sharpen one another’s skills as we mull over ideas just as we sharpen our pencils to write. Using God’s guidance and Biblical principles, our sharpened words can become powerful swords. We speak life into those who are blocked and encourage those who feel defeated by rejection letters. Encouragement and accountability fortify us when we gather. A group of fellow writers can stir us to keep trying and dare us to own the name writer. As wordsmiths, we can wield our pencils like mighty swords to write and glorify God.


Father God, I thank you for your words and for gifting me with the ability to share them. Thank you for bringing others into my life to keep my skills sharp and on point. Help me to be an encouragement to others just as you have brought so many into my life. Amen.


Michelle Davis writes creative nonfiction personal essays and devotions using stories and experiences from her own life. Some of these have been published on Inkspirations Online Mustard Seed Ministries. She has been included in an anthology for EA Publications: Anchor in the storm.  Michelle Shares her emotional and raw writing inspired by her personal accounts of just how God can transform our messes and turn them into his messages on her Facebook page: From Mess; to Messenger.

2 thoughts on “When Pencils Become Swords by Michelle Davis”

  1. Surely all who read this can identify with those feelings of insecurity. I love ” We sharpen one another’s skills as we mull over ideas just as we sharpen our pencils to write.” Well said.

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