See Your Writing from God’s Perspective
By Cathy Baker
One quiet January
morning, with coffee in hand, I sat on the couch and began talking with God
about my writing. I told Him I desperately wanted my words to matter for His kingdom,
but how it felt like my creative wheels were spinning in mid-air, refusing to
gain traction. Several minutes went by in silence before hearing these
words: You’re treating your calling like a hobby.
God obviously knew the exact wording that was needed to startle me out of my rut. Prior to writing as my main ministry, I taught women’s Bible studies and treated it like my calling. I leaned into God’s wisdom and discernment, worked hard, and made personal sacrifices to bring a solid weekly lesson. That same determination was not reflected in my writing.
God’s words fastened to my spirit and propelled me to action. I immediately got up, plunked my laptop onto the farm table, and poured a second cup of coffee. Clarity parted the confusion and now, a project I’d toyed with for three years started to take shape.
In the months that followed, I dedicated the first moments of writing to prayer, worked office hours, clung to the sharp learning curves of self-publishing, and drank more than my standard two cups of caffeine.
Five months later, Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based Devotional Guide for the Beach released at #6 in Kindle Religion and ranked #1 in the same category that summer.
Choosing to see my writing as a calling and not a hobby, continues to offer tidbits of wisdom that I pray will help and encourage you too. (I hope you’ll share one of yours in the comment section.)
Tap into Prayer Before Tapping on the Keys. Meeting with Him prior to writing reminds us that the core of our calling isn't about what we do but rather who we are becoming in Christ. It also awakens the realization that our writing is for His glory, not ours.
See God as Our Ideal Reader. Every writer knows the importance of knowing their ideal reader but seeing God as our ultimate Ideal Reader frees us from unrealistic expectations that we can sometimes place on ourselves.
Invite God to Join
in the Writing Process.
Truth is, He is already there inviting us to join Him in the work but something
divinely inspiring occurs when we voice our dependence on Him. When we hit a
wall or confusion starts to set in, let’s pause and declare His presence. He
is in me, and He is with me. We are in this together.
Stop talking, start writing. Philippians 4:13 says that we can do all the things He has called us to do because Christ empowers and strengthens us to carry it out. The verse doesn’t suggest we think about, plan for, or read about those things—we are to do. If we have time to binge on Netflix, we have time to write.
Expect Obstacles. During the five months of writing the first book, dozens of obstacles double-dog dared me to pull over and give up—brain exhaustion, the achingly familiar tape of self-doubt that repeatedly played in my head, and pneumonia—to name just a few. Expecting barriers while writing the second book helped me prayerfully prepare to write through them.
Cheer Others On. It’s easy to get hyper-focused on our writing, our time, and our energy when deep-diving into a project but staying alert to opportunities to support others is vital. We're not competitors. We are teammates going to bat for one another, cheering each other on from the sidelines. Do you know someone who would appreciate encouragement through a note, a comment on their blog, or sharing their post? Dust off those pom-poms and let's hear some sis-boom-bah!
Do these tips resonate with your writing journey today? What’s one tip you can add to the list?
We never know what doors He will open (or shut) for His glory or what we'll learn along the way. But this we know: God is with us, and He is for us. Now let's write like we believe it by choosing to see our writing from God’s perspective.
"His words are always unique and personal. If what comes to you sounds like a generic greeting card, that's probably not God's voice. He is intimate. He is also disruptive. His words may surprise you, but they will never bore you. They will never condemn you. They will stir your soul." - Allen Arnold, The Story of With: A Better Way to Live, Love, & Create
Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Stuart Miles, and IndypendenZ.)
Cathy Baker is an award-winning writer and author of Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based
Devotional Guide for the Beach as well as Pauses for the Vacationing Soul: A Sensory-Based Devotional Guide for the
Mountains. Cathy is a Hope*Writer, a member of the Advanced Writer
and Speaker Association, and Bible teacher who has taught numerous studies and
workshops over the past twenty-five years. Her work has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul, The Upper Room, and Focus on the
Family’s Thriving Family. She and her
husband, Brian, live in the Blue Ridge Foothills where she writes from a space
lovingly known as the Tiny House on the Hill. Connect with Cathy @ Creative Pauses from the Tiny House on the
Hill @ https://www.cathybaker.org,
her Facebook Group, Creative Pauses