Monday, September 19, 2016

You Know You're a Writer When ...

By Andrea Merrell

“Hello, my name is Andrea Merrell, and I am a writer.”

Sounds like a simple statement, but it took me a long time before I had the courage to say it out loud, especially with confidence.

When you’re called to write, you know it. Or, as my grandmother used to say, “You know that you know that you know. You know it in your knower.” But even when we have that assurance, we sometimes feel we have to earn the title. We set high standards and unreachable goals for ourselves, and we constantly compare ourselves with others. It’s easy to feel like we just haven’t done enough to make it so.

One author writes, “When I was sixteen, I knew I wanted to be a writer. It took thirty years before I introduced myself as a writer for the first time because I wasn’t sure I had done enough to earn that title. Between sixteen and forty-six, occasionally, I was a writer, but I felt like a failure because I didn’t write often enough, didn’t read enough, didn’t sacrifice sleep enough, and didn’t juggle my life with enough finesse to produce bylines and fans.” **

Can you relate? Do you see yourself in this writer’s words? Are you struggling to hit the mark and discover your calling as a writer?

I’m certainly not Jeff Foxworthy—and I promise we won’t talk about rednecks—but let’s look at a few things that will help you define your calling so that you can say with absolute assurance, “I am a writer.”

You just might be a writer if:

  • You wake up in the morning thinking about writing.
  • You go to bed at night thinking about writing.
  • You think about writing all during the day.
  • You wake up in the middle of the night with a brilliant idea for a blog post.
  • You can’t read a book or watch a movie without getting inspired.
  • You get excited when something bad happens, and you can use it as a scene.
  • You think about your characters and have conversations with them in your head.
  • You take tragic events and turn them into devotions.
  • You go to the mall—or Walmart—and look for weird people to put in your story.
  • You get angry at someone and plan to kill them off in your next novel.
  • And last—but certainly not least—you write because you can’t not write. (Not the best way to say it, but you get the point.)

Do you fit into any or all of these categories? Then you, my friend, are a writer.
Whatever God has called you to write (devotions, articles, blog posts, novels, or Bible studies), step out in faith, be confident in your calling, and do what you were born to do. Don’t compare yourself with anyone or let discouragement and rejection letters derail you. And don’t worry about being qualified. God does not call the equipped … He equips the called.

Having your name on the cover of a book does not make you a writer. Having a heart to share the words God places within you that will bless someone else … that’s what makes you a writer.

** Excerpt taken from The Mighty Pen: Christian Encouragement from Writers to Writers/Guilt Trips/Nicey Eller.)

(Photos courtesy of Miles/surasakiStock/Master Isolated Images.)



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