JoAnn speaks at a writers conference on creating a bottomless idea file!
JoAnn Reno Wray


Writer's Corner


Tips, Information, News, and 
Inspiration for Christians Called to Write


Am I Called to Write?

© JoAnn Reno Wray, 2006


If you feel intimidated, lost, and, in general, all thumbs as a writer, please don't. (And don't imagine you are the only one who feels this way, either!) Instead, lift your heads, look up! We all begin somewhere and that certainly means learning new things and letting patience have her perfect work within.

Writers are often blessed by mentoring from those who have been at it longer. Most delight in sharing what we've learned on the journey to publication. If some faux pas I made or wrong thinking I had, and since corrected, will benefit others so they don't make the same mistake, then I don't mind sharing it. I’ll gladly be a fool so you can learn from me and maybe get a laugh along with it!

Trust me I've erred enough along the way to fill all volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica! Once, at a conference, I failed to recognize a well-known editor that I'd met previously.  He kept trying to talk with me. I was worried he was some kind of stalker! Imagine my red face when I realized who he was as he stood by my chair in the cafeteria and I read his conference name tag! And this really dumb boo-boo (courtesy of exhaustion) was only 3 years ago!

Even those of us who have written for years (almost 35 for me) can still be peppered with rejections.  We continue getting frustrated over life in general and the slowness of the marketing process in particular. We still bang our heads on our keyboards trying to get the words out of addled brains into the computer. We simultaneously rejoice and turn green when reading the praises of others. (Why can't I do such and such? Why don't I submit as much as so and so? When will I ever "arrive"?  Answer: Never. (See 2 paragraphs below.)

The fact is we need constant reminders that the only Author by which we should measure ourselves is the Author and Finisher of our Faith, Jesus Christ. Are we writing what he wants us to write? Are we sending out our words where he wants them sent? Are we studying to show ourselves approved by God a workman (in words) that need not be ashamed? I know I have to remind myself more than a few times daily!

Writers never stop learning, never stop growing, and, thanks to God's anointing, we never run out of words to write since the Lord himself is writing His story on our hearts making us living epistles read and known of all men. Sometimes we just need to grow quiet in order to hear Him tell us, "These are the words, write them down. This is the way for you, walk in it."

Callings begin as the smallest of seeds (so despise not small beginnings!) and expand as we grow in grace, in ability, and in being trustworthy in handling our gifts. Will you be a world-famous novelist? Maybe not. Will you be able to make a living as a writer? Perhaps. That depends on what you put into it and the depth of your dedication to the earning potential quotient.  Will your words change someone's life? Highly likely! A letter, a poem, a song, a note of encouragement in your child's lunch box or to a missionary in a strange land.

Oh, yes, writing is a call in my mind – a high call, indeed – where we get to work with the same elements that God used to create every living thing. But then, I view a call as distinct and separate from being a paid professional.  Perhaps I’m naive, but there it is. I am certain that if you are God's child, you can hear his voice and a stranger's voice you will not follow. When you were a child, if Mom or Dad called you to come to dinner, you did. You’d quickly learned that to ignore that call had none too pleasant consequences like no dinner, early bedtime, or losing a privilege. Hearing Father God call you to be a writer is not as big a mystery as we imagine. Just stop long enough to really listen. Hear his instruction. Heed his voice calling softly.

Be encouraged. Know that God has called you for a reason because no one else can write exactly like you. Your words will move someone to walk straight into God's arms some day. Never give up! Keep writing for it is thus that we scribes for God fight the good fight.


~JoAnn~

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