This is an article I wrote for my sister's writing newsletter back in May. It is a little testimony of my writing journey and where God has led me in it thus far.
How much does a writer need to write to become well-equipped? If you research the question, you will find various opinions. But do we need these opinions to answer our question, as Christian writers?
|My sister, Rachel, who is more of a writer than I|
Though writing is a part of my life, writing is not "my life." I am a Christian, daughter, music teacher and arranger, kitchen cleaner, and part of my family's musicministry. Because of this, I cannot just pick up and write whenever I feel the writing "mood" come along. Instead, there are several things I must check.
1) Have I spent time with God?
"My foot hath held His steps, His way have I kept, and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of His lips; I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food." (Job 23:11-12)
If God's Word is to be "more than my necessary food" then surely it must be more necessary than my writing time! Writing should never come before I have had adequate devotion/quiet time with God. If I neglect reading and studying God's Word, how can I expect to write solid, Christian books?
2) Am I actively seeking God?
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33)
Added to reading and studying God's Word, I should be seeking God and His direction for my writing. "Blessed are they that keep His testimonies, and that seek Him with the whole heart." (Psalms 119:2) Whole-heartedly following after God means that I am daily surrendering my will to His. It means that I am sensitive to what He is convicting me to do -- if He says to toss out my "pet story," then I must toss it; if He says to change directions, I must change; if He says to stop writing, yes, I must stop. My all must be fully laid on His altar and I must trust that He knows best.
3) Have I neglected others?
"Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others." (Philippians 2:4)
As much as I would like to convince myself that writing is "looking out for the things of others," (after all, what about those who need to read this?) I know that when I write, I am tempted to ignore the needs of those closest to me. If my family has a need, my writing should always be set aside. Better than that, I should be sure that I have fulfilled all of my responsibilities before I even begin to write. If I am "stealing time" from others so that I can write, I will not get the fulfillment and joy in writing that God would have me to receive.
4) Now can I write?
When should I fit writing into my schedule? If I follow the first three points, will I even have time in a day to write? There are many days when my brain is just reeling to write. However, if my devotions are unfinished, dishes unwashed, house a wreck, and my family needs me, my writing must be placed last. And many days, "last" means "not at all." Though this sounds like a pitiful schedule for a writer, it is a guilt-free schedule! I can sit down and write without the nagging thought of, "I really should be cooking but . . ." And on those days, when I actually do have time to write guilt-free, the Lord gives me such peace and productivity that I would not exchange for even the most rigid writing schedule.