Christian Writer: Moving From Maybe

“Stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”  – 1 Corinthians 15:58

I am a writer. For too long, I mumbled this admission like it might lead to my arrest and lifelong imprisonment. I lacked confidence. I let insecurity mouth a noncommittal maybe. I thought I could try on writing like a seasonal garment and only wear it when weather dictated. I wasn’t a writer; I was a wannabe.

Are you a writer or a wannabe? Do you want to move from maybe? Here’s three tips that propelled me from wannabe to writer.

1) Faith Over Feelings – Do you write only when you feel like it or regardless of your feelings? While it’s true writing is an art, it is also a practice. Practice requires regimen and tenacity. It asks you to write from faith not feelings.

2) Practice Over Perfection – Do you strive for perfection or do you sustain yourself with practice? The pursuit of perfection is illusion, an impossibility we fool ourselves into believing is possible with endless edits and a large lexicon. A true writer practices with excellence not perfection.

3) Discipline Over Dabbling – Like a marathoner who never misses his Saturday long run, a writer disciplines himself while a wannabe dabbles. Discipline is the hallmark of professionalism. Discipline writes in the dark before little ones rise. Discipline sets and achieves deadlines. Discipline dares to surface the author within.

Faith, practice and discipline are required to give ourselves over fully to this work of writing. As He writes an additional page on the story of your heart, will you dabble or discipline yourself? Will you let perfection snare or practice triumph? Will you act on faith or wither with feelings?

Are you a Christian writer or a wannabe? Give yourself over fully to this work called writing. Your labor will not be in vain.

QUESTION: How can a Christian writer move from a wannabe writer to an actual, practicing writer?

* Image credit: thorinside (Creative Commons)

  • I’m in a season of “withering with feelings” …the practice and discipline are lacking for me right now.  Good or Bad?  I don’t know…I’m chalking it up as a season of rest.  BUT I’m the “dabbler” right now or less than that.  Thank YOU Shannon for sharing this GREAT message…gave me LOTS to chew on. =)

    Keeping it Personal,
    Teri Johnson

    • Rest is an essential for any of us to stay plugged into the only true Power Source. As He energizes and refreshes you, that also surfaces the writer within.

  • “Faith Over Feelings”

    While I identify with all three of your points this one strikes at me the most. There is always that small voice whispering in my ear that no one wants to read my writing, that I’ll never be good enough, that… 

    It is important to focus on things that are true. And if writing was easy, everyone would do it. Thanks Shannon!  

  • Another great post. I really want to be a writer, but by not getting up regularly in the morning and practicing is keeping me in the wannabe sector. 🙁

  • From the time I was in fourth grade, I have enjoyed writing. But for most of my life, I have been a “dabbler”. I’d write in spurts, producing something for a specific purpose. This might be writing a children’s musical for my students to perform at the spring program, or a skit to help illustrate a sermon topic, or a small piece about what I learn from my daughter for my quarterly newsletter. Then, there are times when inspiration would hit and I’d write feverishly to get it all down, but no one would see it for years.

    In July, I began blogging. I had a post pretty much every day through August and September. That really took discipline, and I find myself seeing life in new ways, looking for how God reveals Himself in everyday situations. October is a very busy month this year, and I am trying for 3-4 posts a week to see what happens.

    Ultimately, I’d like to do more than blog, but I think the blog will help me to find my niche. As I write what God puts on my heart … and sometimes just start writing and see where He takes me … I trust He will show me how He means for my love of writing to be used.

  • Love the three points – esp #3. Intentionality plays a big role when it comes to moving from wannabe to the real thing.

  • Excellent advice! I’ve been more of a writer than a wannabe lately, but spent plenty of time as a wannabe, too. I love the “feelings” point because our feelings get in the way of more than just writing. I don’t recall God ever saying, “Do this…if you feel like it.” 🙂