Thursday, July 23, 2015

Reasons To Be a Writer

My last alley post gave a few reasons why you should dump this whole writing business into the trash and go sip a fruity drink on a beach somewhere instead...

This post is kinda the opposite.

This is reasons why you should say goodbye to the beach (albeit tearfully...) and sit your booty in a chair and write.

THOSE VOICES WON'T SHUT UP. You know. The ones in your head that whisper to you when you're in the mall and you overhear an amazing conversation that would totally make great fodder for your next book. The ones that are relentless in their torture of your daydreams and the only thing that relieves it is letting their story flow out of you onto the screen/paper/voice recorder, whatever your pleasure...

THAT MOMENT WHEN A STORY CLICKS. For you plotters, maybe it's while you are plotting and you get an amazing idea for your black moment. For you pantsters like me, it's when you are writing and something is missing but you can't put your finger on it until--it hits you and your heart-rate hikes a notch and you can't stop the silly grin that comes over your face as your fingers fly over the keyboard.... The exhilaration of that moment is one that can't be duplicated.

THE CALLING. For me, this is the biggest one. I write because in 2007, God called me to this journey. I'd had the voices before... I'd loved to brainstorm stories before... I even wrote a little off and on, but nothing ever went past a few chapters. I never felt like writing was what God wanted me to do before that summer.

And if I might be honest for a moment, the last month or so, I've been doubting my calling big time. I've always said (and still say) just because God calls you to do something for a time, doesn't mean He won't call you away from it later. Life is full of seasons, and God never promised that we'd be called to be on the same journey from the moment we start it.

Wise people recognize that and keep their eyes on Jesus... not on the path.

So at a time when I'm coming to a new chapter in my personal life (my youngest is starting kindergarten and my oldest starting high school...) I really felt the need to reassess. The Christian publishing industry is shuddering from bad news of bookstores closing, publishing lines ending, and sinking earnings for authors. My own sales aren't anything to write home about (how is THAT for honesty in the form of a great cliche....) and I'm just questioning the large chunk of TIME I'm spending on this while writing thing. Is it worth it? Are my books really doing anything God-glorifying? Is this still what God is calling me to do, or am I so in love with my DREAM of writing that I've been focused more on the path and less on God?

The answer I came up with is this:


I have been focused on the wrong thing. I've let the business side of writing, while important, become a bigger focus than the God who I am doing all this for. I've been doing this writing thing because *I* wanted to do it, and not focused on what God wants me to do.

So I've been reassessing. Seeking God and asking Him what He wants me to be doing. Recommitting myself to walk HIS path, not my own.

No, I'm not quiting writing. I'm just focusing my eyes on Jesus and recommitting myself to walking toward Him, wherever THAT path might lead me.

And as of today, He still has me writing. YEAH. He's still letting those voices go crazy in my head, giving me those fun ah-ha moments.

Could He lead me away from the writing path at some point?

Yup. Total possibility. It might even happen tomorrow. But I could also be a fragile grandma in a nursing home someday still writing my heart out for Jesus. Only God knows our future, but what HE calls us to do is to be obedient to him today.

So has God called YOU to be a writer? Are you walking daily in tune with Jesus and seeking HIS will over your own--focusing less on what he's called you to do and more on the One who calls you to do it?

Krista is a follower of Jesus, a wife, a mother, and author of Sandwich, With a Side of Romance, A Side of Faith and A Side of Hope. She blogs about finding JOY in the journey of LIFE at She is represented by Sarah Freese of Wordserve Literary.


Jill Weatherholt said...

This is a beautiful and honest post, Krista. I do feel God has given me a voice to share. Whether my words are seen only by family and friends, that's up to Him. I try to write for the joy it provides and not focus on the business aspect. Thankfully, I'm blessed with a job that covers my bills, so I don't depend on income from my writing.

Tracy Krauss said...

Yes and Amen!

Krista Phillips said...

Jill, I tend to focus TOO much on the business aspect!

But even that aside, it still takes up a LOT of my free time, time that I would normally have been volunteering for other things or spending with family. So it is definitely something I check back in with God on periodically to make sure I'm still in tune and still spending time wisely!