Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I Should Quit Being a Writer

I'm a writer. 

I probably always have been.

I've been a writer since I got my first Lisa Frank journal and wrote about my giga pet (throwback alert!) in big, sloppy, purple letters.

I've been a writer since Y2K, when I heard a parody of the YMCA song that told people how to prepare for "doomsday," and I decided to write my own book to advise people about what to do, including putting lots of money in the bank so they wouldn't have to worry about losing it. (Hey, I didn't say it was GOOD advice . . . )

I've been a writer since I got an old word processor that I thought was the coolest thing ever, and, at about 8 years old, started writing poems, which are still engrained in my memory (and, to my simultaneous chagrin and delight, posted on my mom's fridge):

My mom is sweet
My mom is kind
If I wake her up
She does not mind.
She's always nice to everyone,
Thank you Mom for all you've done! 

And of course:

Look at the trees so carefully made
So many colors, so many shades
I wonder what people would think of me
I wonder, I wonder, if I were a tree.
I would be the maple, so willing and able
Or would I be the oak, strong and free?
I wonder, I wonder, if I were a tree. 

But I'm at a writers' conference this week, and if there's anything I've learned, it's that I should stop being a writer.

Sure, I'm pretty good at it. I've even had some encouraging news about my work this week--possible publication in a prominent children's magazine!

But when I think of myself as a writer, my one concern is this: Is anyone going to read what I write? And that's not what my focus should be as a writer. That's not going what's going to inspire my best work.

Psalm 45:1 says,
"My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer." 

Oh. You mean I do my best writing when I write for God? My most heartfelt words are inspired by him? 

Frankly, I've believed God has called me to write for a long time. But in my best (or worst, maybe) moments of writing, I make the assumption that it's all about me, myself, and my keyboard.

What if I stopped being the writer, and started being the pen?

What if my words weren't written just so I could show my work to others and be famous someday? 

What if He used my life as a pen to write on hearts of those who need to hear Him most?

When I hold the pen, I have control. Or so I think. But there are all sorts of influences vying for me and my words.

What if, instead, I was a pen, held by an Author? What if my words were no longer mine?

What if I stopped writing?

I have a theory that no one would miss me. 

They wouldn't miss me because they'd be busy reading the work of the One who holds the pen.


  1. That's really neat! I've noticed the same thing in my own life; when I write for God, its more powerful and memorable than anything else I've written. Thanks for the reminder and the challenge!

  2. A long time ago when my husband first came to know the Lord and was filled with the Holy Spirit he would hear these songs . He would hurry and write the words down and he would sing the songs to me. You see he couldn't play an instrument or read music so he couldn't write the music down. Long story short he become discouraged over the years because he couldn't find anyone to help him with the music God had given him. So all this beautiful music was gone, all these beautiful words of God never heard, except for one poem called Our Church which Pastor Piedmont had printed on the back of a bulletin. And Mick walked away from church and God. Discouragement sets in and satan uses it. Your words are powerful. Your plays were an assignment from God. As I'm always telling my son the reason I do the things I do is not for any reward or thanks here on earth but I do them to the very best of my abilities unto my Lord as if it were for Him. If whatever your writing you do your very best unto God as if He were the only one that was going to read it and you know within your heart it has His stamp of approval then what others think won't matter. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that our Lord has something good in store for you. So you keep writing. You have a gift a real talent.
    Don't ever give up.

    1. Thank you, Pat! You're certainly an inspiration as well

      Colossians 3:23-24 NIV
      [23] Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, [24] since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.