If attendance at a conference is too expensive, consider attending a writing group (many libraries have one) or starting your own. Even meeting regularly with one person to share and discuss writing sharpens skills and offers a fresh perspective on work.
4. Make Serving God Your Supreme Joy
I get frustrated when I receive rejection letters from publishers. Thankfully, God showed me
that I was falling more in love with being published than with Him. It’s fine to work toward publication, but serving God must be the Christian writer’s source of contentment. If
honoring God is the goal, we always succeed, whether one person or billions of people read our work. One exercise I try to undertake regularly is to engage in writing that offers no financial compensation or widespread recognition. For me, this includes keeping a private prayer journal and composing letters to others. A simple note of encouragement or thanks not only blesses someone, but it also cleanses the heart from preoccupation with self.
5. Consider the Responsibility of Writing
There’s more to writing than a functional laptop. Prayer and contempl
ation are the bread and butter of effective writing. There is a need for these spiritual disciplines (especially before writing in a public forum) because people are likely to read and reread our written work. The more you write, the more you are likely to influence others.
Don’t underestimate the power your writing has to bring hope or diminish it. One time on
the Web I impulsively wrote critical remarks. Thankfully, the person who hosted the site agreed to delete my comments. Writing is something we need to do with a degree of fear
and trembling, knowing we’re accountable to God for everything we say.
A gifted writer can easily fall prey to putting down others. Christians are not immune to
“trash talk.” We can be so in love with an ideal or even a ministry that we dirty others’
names to forward our cause. There are times when writing something factual to expose false teaching is necessary, but our pleasure must be focused on glorifying God, not on degrading others. Proverbs 24:17 says,
“Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth,
and let not
thine heart be glad when he stumbleth.”
Even when the wicked fall, a writer’s words must
be seasoned with grace.
6. Having God as Your Audience
There is never a time when God’s glory is irrelevant to writing. Does this mean all writing
be overtly Christian? I don’t think so. Our daily conversations are not always about God; the same is true for writing. This doesn’t mean God is left out. God is still our
audience, and His Word must shape the voice of our writing. Some fiction may not mention Jesus but can be so drenched with Biblical truth that the reader is given a sense of the sublime.
That being said, Christian writing more often than not should unashamedly direct a reader’s mind to Christ. Remember that it’s Jesus Who changes lives—
not creative writing. Men will not come to Christ through good stories alone, but through the proclamation of the Word of
God. If we love God’s Word and have a passion to write, why not bring these two loves
together as often as possible?
7. Be Heavenly-Minded
Vincent Van Gogh sold one painting in his lifetime, even though he created hundreds,
because others recognized his genius only after Van Gogh’s death. Many writers today may be overlooked by the world but be encouraged that anything done in Christ’s
name will be