Five Reasons Why Christian Writers Don’t Write

reasons Christian writers dont write

I confess, I’ve been in a season of not writing much. Mind you, this didn’t happen overnight, it’s  been a slow progression over time.

I guess the turning point for me was when I decided there were enough writers in the world.

The judge and jury inside my head sealed my fate. The gravel came down. I was convicted as charged.

I was lead away, head down and defeated.  Sentenced to a life of exile from writing.

Somehow I determined if I could not write like Ann Voskamp, Anne LaMott or others I esteem, then I had no business writing or calling myself a writer.

Obviously, comparing myself to other writers was a huge mistake. I slowly became discouraged and stopped writing.

These are five reasons I believe writers don’t write:

  1. We allow insecurity to dictate if we write or not.
  2. We compare ourselves to other writers.
  3. We listen to the negative voices telling us we are not writers.
  4. We procrastinate and don’t practice writing.
  5. We fear rejection. So we don’t write or submit our writing anywhere.

How did I come around to writing again?

I started getting up early in the morning and spending time with the Lord. I also unsubscribed to blogs and unplugged from social media, so that I could hear God’s whispers clearly.

I wanted to hear from Him directly and not be bombarded or distracted by other voices.

I prayed on a consistent basis and asked the Lord to confirm if He wanted me to write.

Each morning I came before the Lord with my long list of reasons why the world didn’t need another writer. How there are plenty of great writers and I wasn’t one of them. I told him I didn’t have much to say and that if I couldn’t write like Ann Voskamp, I shouldn’t embarrass myself or Him by writing in the first place.

But God started to reveal to me that He wanted me to write even if I didn’t think I had anything to say. He told me He wanted me to write out of obedience to Him and to be a good steward of the gifts He placed inside of me. He said my writing wasn’t about me or for me, but for Him… the audience of One.

Lastly, I realized all my reasoning, rationalizations and excuses stemmed from pride. Pride is what was kept me from writing in the first place. I had to confess, repent and renounce it.

Thankfully, I’ve made some progress in the right direction. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without Him.

QUESTIONS TO CONTEMPLATE:

  • What stops Christian writers from writing?

  • Do you struggle with any of the five reasons I mentioned above?

  • If not, are there other reasons besides the ones I mentioned that stop you from writing?

  • If so, I would love to hear about it, please share in the comment section.

 * Image credit: pedrosimoes7 (Creative Commons via Flickr)

  • http://kathleencaron.com/ Kathleen Caron

    Great message Pilar, I am a Christian who writes but not necessarily about specifically Christian topics, just because there are so many people doing it already and doing it better. I’m not a theologian or anything.

    • http://www.ordinaryservant.com/ Pilar Arsenec

      I am not either and it is ok. We share what God puts on our hearts. Thanks for being one of my biggest encouragers. I am grateful.

    • http://www.CharlesSpecht.com/ Charles Specht

      All Christians are theologians. ;-)

      Try this, Kathleen: Go to Amazon or a Christian bookstore and look at the titles and subjects of the books that are currently on the shelves. See what people are reading and get a feel for how those topics meet specific needs. Now think about yourself. What topic do you know just a little about, which is more than enough to start writing a book?

      Trust me, you will begin learning more about the subject as you start writing. Strange how it works out that way. God bless!

  • Amber Koneval

    I think that a lot of time what keeps me from publishing what I’ve written, as a Christian poet, is the difficulty of that niche. I’ve written a couple of times before about how many Christian publications only want x,y,z, and are unwilling to publish any other content (many times for good reasons, it’s not necessarily their fault), while the rest of the world is completely against publishing anything with a Christian theme. My religious poems take forever (and a lot of submitting) to be acquired- but when they are, it’s completely worth it. There’s no feeling like the feeling of contributing to the community’s appreciation of our Creator with one’s writing.

    • http://www.ordinaryservant.com/ Pilar Arsenec

      I am glad you keep going and haven’t given up. God will bless you in His timing. As difficult and frustrating as it is, it’s well worth it for sure.

    • http://www.CharlesSpecht.com/ Charles Specht

      Keep writing what you want to write, Amber. No doubt there are tens of thousands of people out there who are interested in reading your poetry. Just keep writing and the people will read. ;-)

  • http://www.tammyhelfrich.com/ Tammy Helfrich

    I’ve been on a similar journey. I think time with God is so important to know what He wants us to write. I know there are things He wants to say through me that will help others, and I can’t allow myself to get wrapped up in what others are doing, or allow fear to keep me from being obedient. Great reminder!

    • http://www.ordinaryservant.com/ Pilar Arsenec

      So true, Tammy. You are a very wise woman.

    • http://www.CharlesSpecht.com/ Charles Specht

      Tammy, I think you hit on something important here. The more we do research and look at how others are doing it, or what they’ve done to succeed, the less we write. We become more obsessed with comparing ourselves to others and when that happens it typically and inevitably leads to less writing. We get depressed, thinking we aren’t worthy enough.

      What a lie we whisper into our own ears.

      • Mrs. V

        I think that the one who wants us to stop writing whispers in our ear the most when we have something really important to say (or do).

  • Shirley

    Thanks for a push back to the computer. I love deadlines and assignments, but when none are in sight, I spend too much time thinking I don’t know what to write about instead of diving in and writing about something.

    • http://www.ordinaryservant.com/ Pilar Arsenec

      Just go for it, Shirley. Take the plunge. :)

    • http://www.CharlesSpecht.com/ Charles Specht

      Personally, some of my best writing has come when I didn’t really know what to write about. I just started typing…and typing…and when I was finished I was content with what I created.

  • http://www.CharlesSpecht.com/ Charles Specht

    Great article, Pilar!

    We need to keep our focus on God’s calling for our lives and not our “perception” of what we think our lives could/should be. Thanks for writing this encouraging article!

    • http://www.ordinaryservant.com/ Pilar Arsenec

      Thank you for the privilege. :)

      • http://www.CharlesSpecht.com/ Charles Specht

        absolutely!

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  • http://www.joanhallwrites.com/ Joan

    Guilty on all five counts, Pilar. And, I think that I also get too bogged down in social media, rather than writing. Great post! (And, I’m glad to see you writing again.)

    • http://www.ordinaryservant.com/ Pilar Arsenec

      Thanks so much, Joan. I really appreciate your kind words. You see, we all struggle with the same thing. You are not alone. :)

    • http://www.CharlesSpecht.com/ Charles Specht

      Yes, social media is like a magnet for time. It pulls and pulls us away from what is more important. Or at least it does me. Time to switch that around. ;-)

      • http://www.chrismorriswrites.com/ Chris Morris

        I prefer black hole or vortex to magnet, haha

  • Michelle Stimpson

    By God’s grace, I’m 16 books into this writing journey. I’m convinced that if I had read a whole bunch of books on writing and surrounded myself with other frustrated writers before I got published, I never would have been published. Also (now that I’ve voluntarily made the switch to indie publishing), I find that writing what God puts on my heart without having to take all the publishers’ concerns into account has actually made me a much more prolific writer. I listen to the characters, I listen to God, and I write! God is faithful!

    • http://www.ordinaryservant.com/ Pilar Arsenec

      Wow, that’s pretty cool and very encouraging. Thanks for commenting. I appreciate it.

  • http://rebootingworship.com/ Jamie Kocur

    I must confess that I do not spend the time in prayer about my writing that I should. I admire you for the journey you’ve been on.

    • http://www.ordinaryservant.com/ Pilar Arsenec

      Thank you, Jamie. It’s been an interesting journey for the last 9 months or so. I appreciate you.

    • http://www.CharlesSpecht.com/ Charles Specht

      Me too, Jamie. I think God would bless our writing in amazing ways if we prayed over it more. I’m going to start doing that.

  • http://www.chrismorriswrites.com/ Chris Morris

    Insecurity and procrastination are HUGE roadblocks for me Pilar. I go through phases where I believe I have nothing worth saying, so I stop writing. Then, for some unknown reason, I start writing again, and invariably someone will leave a comment or send an email telling me my writing blessed them. So long as I remember I am serving God with the gift of my writing, I am in a solid place.

    • http://www.ordinaryservant.com/ Pilar Arsenec

      Amen brother! Well said. You write great, so do not give up ever. :)

  • Donya M Dunlap

    I’m so glad you didn’t give up completely Pilar! The world needs your voice.

    • http://www.ordinaryservant.com/ Pilar Arsenec

      Thank you, Donya. I truly appreciate your encouragement.

  • Ami Adams

    I’ve never read your blog before and I found you just by googling “Christian author blogs.” I’m so glad I found this post of yours. I have been struggling with this over the past couple of weeks, wondering if I really have “it,” that thing that makes an author an author. That “it” that makes people want to read and keep reading. I have a lot of the same thoughts swirling around in my head….I’m nothing like Beverly Lewis or Ted Dekker….I’m nothing like any of the popular Christian bloggers….I don’t have what it takes….my voice isn’t big enough or strong enough. All of these thoughts and fears get exhausting, and they are extremely overwhelming. Thank you for being so candid in your post. I’ve been at a stand still with my novel for a few weeks, not really sure where to pick up the story or how to make it powerful like I can see it being in my head. You’ve given me a little ray of hope and a slap on the back of the head. I need to pray and lay this at the foot of the Cross, where it belongs. God will guide me on this journey if I allow Him to.

    May God bless you on your journey, as well.

    –Ami (www.authorcacaldwell.com)

    • http://www.CharlesSpecht.com/ Charles Specht

      Awesome, Amy. Keep plugging away at it. God will send the readers.

      Maybe I can suggest one thing. When you write, write for the glory of God. And when you write, try to do one of these each time.
      1) Educate (teach them something)
      2) Assist (help them fix a problem)
      3) Entertain (godly humor or fascination)

      Remember that readers read because they are trying to get something out of it…not necessarily because they’re interested in the writer.

    • http://www.ordinaryservant.com/ Pilar Arsenec

      I am so encouraged by your comment. I feel and think the same way as you do. I think it is amazing you are writing a novel. I am sorry to not have responded sooner to your comment. I hope you have continued writing your novel since you posted this comment. I am thankful to the Lord my writing this post encouraged you. Thank you for kind words. May the Lord bless you and your writing.

  • allyn211

    I often think that my ideas are stupid or implausible.

    • http://www.ordinaryservant.com/ Pilar Arsenec

      They are not. Those are lies, please do not believe them.

  • ruth

    Hi, I came across your blog and wanted to say thank you for your points. my problem is that I really don’t know what to write about. I know I want it to be God related but I don’t know of sooo many things to be about. for instance, I saw this website in which the person writes about finance and Christianity.I would really appreciate any comment what can help me…. thank you!!!

    • http://www.CharlesSpecht.com/ Charles Specht

      Ruth, what other topic are you passionate about?

    • http://www.ordinaryservant.com/ Pilar Arsenec

      Yes, I would echo what Charles Specht asked. What are you passionate about?

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  • Blendermom

    I think that procrastination is my worst enemy in all I do…That and I just feel I’m not good enough that maybe God’s not calling me to write…maybe I’m calling me to write? I really feel I need to unplug and spend time with God to better hear him. Did you read anything specific during that morning quiet time with God and if so what did you read?

  • carissa w

    In the last few months, I have grown very close in my relationship with Christ. I have felt that God’s plan for me is to spread his word. I have a yearning to reach out to sinners & backsliders. When someone feels as if their life is falling apart around them, I share Gods word and recommended reading material that pertains to their personal circumstances. It brings great blessing & joy to my heart to share the truth, that God IS love. I was recently expressing this joy and urge with a fellow sister in Christ. Her response…Maybe you should write a book. My initial thought was that’s a great idea! Writing was always my best academic asset. I have been through a great deal in 27 years. Most people think this thought is funny since its coming from a young woman. I suffered sexual abuse by several close family members from age 4 & up, teenage pregnancy & being a single parent, a very unhealthy marriage that was physically, mentally, & emotionally abusive all while bringing another child into the world, divorce, addicion, a long custody battle in which i lost my first born, recovery, and last but not least, my saving grace, The Lord.

    Then came a second thought, doubt. Who would want to read a book about my life?? I do know that i need to pray earnestly over this matter before I spend a lengthy time writing “the never ending story”. I do feel that I can share my story and people will be able to relate to some of those things. Getting someone to pick it up in the first place, I feel might be a challenge. I owe a lot of my spiritual progress to Joyce Meyers. She is an inspiration. I feel that she is always straight forward and honest. Even adds humor to some situations.

    I’m glad you mentioned unsubscribing from blogs. Almost every article says to join them. However, I think God’s opinion is the only one that will truly count. Listening for his instruction is the best advice I’ve seen thus far. I pray that I hear Gods voice loud and clear on this matter, not my own ego. Even if I do not become a writer and new York times best seller, I can still spread the word and share my tramaic history in other ways. After all, i owe Him my life. Its His strenth and that of the Holy Spirit’s that i am alive today! Thank you for sharing this article!
    God bless :)
    Carissa

  • lima k

    This spoke to me in so many ways. I struggle with all 5 of these. Thanks so much for the advice! Not sure why God would give me the passion and gift of writing and not want me to do anything with them.

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  • http://Rebekahnyakairu.com Rebekah.Nyakairu

    I can related to all 5 of these reasons. The difference is when I turn my attention back onto a God, I remember He is the one I am writing for and to listen to His voice.