This Writing Thing? It’s Not About You

candle-97505_1280It’s a burning idea.

A passion that can’t be quenched.

A germ of a story that won’t go away.

You’re a writer. It’s who you are. Ingrained in your DNA. Found in your identity.

Words are your joy.

But sometimes those same words become your greatest enemy. Maybe you’re not conscious of this happening. Maybe it’s been a slow fade down what is now becoming an even slippier slope. And suddenly you’re at the end and you don’t want to put words on the page.

Or maybe you do want to put words on the page, but the right words aren’t there. You’re drawing from an empty well.

God does not call us to be perfect vessels for His work. He does not expect you to be all together all of the time. And yet so often, we put that pressure on ourselves, don’t we? We expect that we should always be able to sit down at the computer, slit a vein, and write as though the words will always be there.

In that moment, we are relying on our own strength for this thing we call writing.

We become obsessed with our words. We become caught up in the euphoric high of stringing 90,000 words together into a manuscript. And we forget the Orator of those words. Whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction, these are not your words. This is not just your passion.

It’s not our strength that gives us these ideas we turn into stories. It’s not our strength that gives us the words to write these stories. And it’s not our strength that carries us through the times of intense burnout. While we might not consciously think that it is, or make the decision that it is our passion, our drive, our ability putting these words on the screen, when we remove our focus from the true Source, we begin to falter.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Do you believe that?

Do you believe that God is carrying you through? We remember that in our daily lives a little bit better than we do in our writing lives. We get caught up. Focused. Driven. Forget God’s timing. God’s way. God’s provision.

That sometimes we have to take a backseat to our dreams, remain faithful to the calling He has laid on our hearts and let Him direct everything else.

It’s surrender. It’s release. It’s not giving up. It’s not giving in. It’s giving over. Remembering where this true fount of word-joy has come from. Whom it has come from.

Do you take time to hit your knees before you write? Because this isn’t about you and what you can do. It’s about what God can do through you as His vessel. Do you dedicate your writing time—no matter how small or large that might be—to your Creator? Without Him, there would be no you. No you to write these words and stories only you can write…though the power and grace of your Savior.

This writing thing isn’t meant to be done alone. Are you trying to?

Maybe it’s time to stop and start over again.

12 Replies to “This Writing Thing? It’s Not About You”

  1. I realize after reading these words, that God is the author of all that enters my life and my writing. I desire to write His Words. Prayer before writing seems to be a great way to focus on what I am doing is in Christ. Is it in my own strength or am I relying on the Lord’s strength? Thank you for the encouragement to let the “word joy” from God flow through my writing.

    1. And it’s not just writing–but anything that we do–should have God put first. I realize that my attitude towards my day, my circumstances all change and shift to focus on Christ when I take that time to talk with Him. Awesome how that works!

  2. Ah, yes! Excellent stuff. “This isn’t about you and what you can do. It’s about what God can do through you as His vessel.” I encourage people to write memoirs as an act of worship–to glorify God in their stories. That’s much different than many memoirists who write to put the spotlight on themselves. Thanks for this inspiration.

  3. Such a freeing reminder, Casey, that it’s God who does the work through us. Since he’s the main worker, we can left him carry the weight of the burden. He’s better at carrying it anyway. Great post to start off a new week with God at the wheel.

    1. Amen! Couldn’t agree more, Cheryl. We’re His creation, and He gave us this desire/dream/drive to write, so won’t He sustain us through that? Through times of drought and plenty.

  4. So good, Casey. Thank you. WHen we truly recognize that these words are our worship, it is easier to let go of our own drivenness to “succeed.” Finally, if it is about Him, what’s the point??? THank you for taking the time to express these truths!!

  5. A wonderful reminder, Casey. “God does not call us to be perfect vessels” – this gives me so much relief and encouragement when I let myself get bogged down in book sales numbers and to-do lists. Thanks for speaking his Word to us!

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