How to Persevere in Writing for God
By Lori Stanley Roeleveld
Let’s be honest. The life of a Christian writer is fraught with doubts, fears, and decisions.
We have a
skill that others have acknowledged. We believe in using every talent God has
given us for the kingdom. We’ve set out to use our writing in His service.
But it’s hard.
We knew it would be challenging, but it often feels impossible. When it’s not the demands of daily life, earning an income, caring for family, balancing ministries, or trying to stay healthy, it’s the hurdles of the publishing world that daunt us.
What if we’re not good enough? What if we don’t find enough readers? An agent? A publisher? What if we invest considerable time and energy only to fail.
When we sense the call on our lives to write, it’s wise to prepare for it just as anyone prepares for a great challenge. Sadly, most writers just skip directly from hearing the call to grabbing the keyboard.
If God called you to be a surgeon, would you just set up a folding table in the back yard and start slicing into the neighbors? No, of course not. You’d prepare. You’d imagine it would be hard. You would know that success and failure didn’t all depend on you and your skills. There would be factors you can’t control.
Writing is much like farming. We can invest in the supplies. Do the work. And still face seasons of drought, locusts, or years when our crops are just not in demand. Preparing our minds, hearts, and loved ones for the writing life is essential to persevering when it feels impossible.
If God has called you to write, understand that the result may be completely different than you’d originally envisioned. There are as many ways to serve God through words as there are people with the skills to do it.
So, first, don’t lock into a single vision of the writing life. God certainly works through books, but He also works through articles, devotionals, greeting cards, and notes of encouragement. Expand your vision of what a writing ministry may be.
Second, set realistic expectations (and inform your inner circle) about what you’ll face—like the surgeon, farmer, soldier, or Olympic athlete who trains for years and has just one opportunity that will likely end in the agony of defeat. God’s plans aren’t all about accomplishment. Some endeavors are simply worth undertaking even if they don’t pan out for earthly glory.
Third, take every thought captive. All writers have it hard, but Christian writers even have an enemy sending all manner of trouble our way. Armor up. Have a plan for mental resilience. Ask God to help you envision yourself pursuing your God-given purpose with a Christ-centered confidence that grounds your emotions while releasing your creativity.
Trust your words are doing the ministry and work God intended, even if they never become a best-selling book. Even if your name is never recognized by more than your inner circle. Even if your writing life looks nothing like you anticipated it would look. Then harness the power of the written and spoken word to further God’s kingdom with your inner circle, your community, and the world, leaving nothing on the mat as you cross the threshold of eternity.
Visualize yourself working beside Jesus, the Living Word, in His workshop. Crafting, shaping, imagining, playing, scrapping, starting over, laughing, sweating, creating with Him, not for Him. Find joy in the work and satisfaction in obedience. Leave the outcome to Him. This is how we persevere against all odds.
(Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Stuart Miles.)
Stanley Roeleveld is a Christian coach, writer, speaker, and disturber of
hobbits. She’s authored four award-winning books, co-authored a fifth (Colorful
Connections:12 Questions about Race that Open Healthy Conversations), has a
sixth in process and contributed to ten+ others. She is owner of Take Heart! Coaching and
Freelance. Though she has degrees in Psychology and Biblical Studies,
Lori learned the most from studying her Bible in life’s trenches. She speaks
her mind at www.loriroeleveld.com.