Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Writing as a Calling

I have hated every job I ever had for at least the first month. I hated it because I was still learning the ropes and wasn't very good at it. I felt like I would never be as good as those who had been doing it for a long time. After about a month I got comfortable in the position and began to love it, or at least tolerate it.

Writing isn't like most jobs that get easier the longer you do it. If anything it gets harder every time I start a new project. I was wondering this morning if it's getting harder because I am not where I'm supposed to be or because I'm lazy or maybe just because I'm not that good at it.

It occurred to me that writing gets harder for many of us because we strive to keep getting better. To excel and grow in anything you do, takes hard work.

I have read books by many prolific writers whose writing has seemed to stagnate. As a reader of these books, it's as though the writer has acheived the fame and notoriety he sought and has stopped trying to better his craft. His books sell regardless of what he puts in them so he doesn't need to keep growing and evolving. I'm not saying these writers make a conscious decision to lower their standard, it's just how it looks.

I have found I do the same thing. I've been thinking a lot about going back to school. I don't know if I ever will have the opportunity or it the desire will ever get that strong. We are paying off our son's student loans and it seems silly for me to go back and add to the bills. People have told me I don't need to go to school; they probably can't teach me anything about writing that the process of the actual craft hasn't already done.

Even so, I don't want to get lazy about my writing. It is a calling and I owe it to the Giver of all good gifts to hone my skills and use them to His glory. I do believe my writing is a ministry and I want to treat it as such.

Just like there are pastors who no longer study but simply download sermons from the Internet on any given subject, I don't want to take my position for granted. I was reading Esther last night and Mordecai reminded the young queen that God had put her in the position of the King's favor "for such a time as this."

I don't want to miss God. Ministry is to be given out of a genuine heart without agendas or expectations of return.

"Heavenly Father, help me to minister your love to others through every story I write. Let me get out of the way, along with any expectations I have for my career, and let you work through me. Thank you for the calling you put on my heart and for putting me in this position for such a time as this. "

What about you? Do you consider yourself called to be in the position you are in right now? How can you use that position to share God's love today?

1 comment:

  1. Wow, God keeps directing me to blog posts or articles that confirm I'm called to write (although, I don't really like the word "called" - a writer is who I am and God wants to use all of us right where we are...)

    My struggle right now is to be the best writer I can be, and write the best novel I can write, but that would mean I'd never get any better. So my goal for this novel is to improve my skills as I revise. In the future, I hope I improve with each novel or article I write.