How Do You Know You’re Called to Write?
Are you wondering if you’re called to write?
When I first thought about writing as a ministry, I wondered if this is what God was calling me to do. What did a calling feel like? What thoughts was I supposed to have? How would I know for sure? What sign would God give me?
You, too, might have these questions about a calling, especially as you get started. I’ll share my experiences of a calling but know that a calling from God is as unique as each of us.
I used to think a calling from God would be a mystical experience. A calling seemed like something for the super-spiritual people.
But that’s not what it was for me. To start off, a call to writing just felt like something I liked to do. For years I wrote in my journal several times a week, finding it was my go-to method for processing my thoughts and recording my conversations with the Lord.
Writing in my journal was satisfying. Also, reading books is still one of my greatest loves. Even though I hadn’t been thinking my whole life about writing a book, words were still a huge happy part of my life. So a calling should bring some sense of satisfaction or fulfillment.
Signs of fruit
I realized I liked sharing with others, encouraging and challenging them. I was willing to be vulnerable and noted that when I was, others opened up, too, and were encouraged to turn to Jesus in obedience. I loved this feeling. It was rewarding. I didn’t mind being vulnerable if it helped someone.
So a second sign of a calling might be its effectiveness.
Eventually, I began to teach Bible studies at my church. And then I began to think that if I could talk about following God, then could I write about the topics I was teaching about?
So I took the next step of obedience, and I began a blog. I continued to get positive feedback and saw how my blog was ministering to others.
Keep seeking the Lord
I kept praying and seeking God when I found this treasure in God’s Word in Deuteronomy 2: 3:
“’You have circled this mountain long enough; now turn north.’”
And then verse seven, “’ The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything.’”
This was a divine moment like I hadn’t had in a long time. You see, I was FORTY years old (did you see that word FORTY in that verse?!) when I started considering writing as a calling, and I had been circling the mountain for about a year trying to get over my doubt.
This verse propelled me to take the next step. Maybe it will do the same for you. Have you, too, been circling the mountain of fear, doubt, or insecurity? Is it time to turn north toward your calling?
So as we end today, consider your calling to write. I’d say that if you’re even wrestling with the question, AND you’re seeking Jesus, there’s a good chance you are called to write.
Take a step – just the next step. Here are a few ideas.
- Contact me about writing coaching or editing. I will give you a free 15-minute consultation. Even if you don’t know which direction you want to go, I can help you figure that out.
- Ask me to evaluate a short piece for just $79 for up to 1500 words. (click here for a description of my writing services) Sometimes you just need feedback from someone else. In fact, I think some kind of feedback is crucial early on. Yes, friends and family can give you feedback. But if you’re getting serious about this writing stuff, you need someone more qualified to give feedback.
- Start writing! Put writing time on your calendar, even it’s only 15 minutes or a 250-word count goal.
I’d love your thoughts about how to know if you’re called to write. And I’d love to know what your “next step” is.
Amen, Melanie. Thank you for sharing this truth from your journey. You know part of my own awkward steps toward God’s call to share my writing. I know many say these words, but I pray the truth of them are not lost, “I needed to read your words, today.” Enjoy your day, friend!
And I needed to hear them. I do not take them lightly, so thank you!
Thank you, Melanie, for this message. Like you, I have been struggling with writing as a ministry. It is remarkable how similar our journeys are. Although I am not 40, I have been toying with the idea of writing for almost 40 years! Yes, it is time to ‘go north’. I have ‘journaled’ for most of my adult years. I love to lead Bible studies and see others grow in their faith.
However, doubt has often assailed me. Who am I to write? Who am I to give guidance and direction? These thoughts have plagued me for a number of years. So, instead, I turned to fiction. It was not a huge leap, as I have had ‘stories’ in my head, so to speak, my entire life, and I mean that. Even as a child, I had stories. Now, I hope I can minister to others through my stories.
Thank you for your posts/e-mails. I find them refreshing, informative, stimulating and empowering.
I’m so glad you’re finding them to be encouraging, Jana!
I found your post long after you posted it and I think the Lord meant for me to find it at this junction in my life. See, I have been working on my memoir for several years, diligently writing every day, but also running a family business. Then, my elderly father moved closer and then my health took a turn for the worse. It isn’t a good diagnosis and I have been discouraged as I will have to turn a lot of my attention to other things to preserve my health and I am at the point (literally about half-way through my writing my memoir) that I may have to abandon it. The struggle to write is painful. I’m in physical therapy as well. I have semi-retired to accommodate all these new things in my life, including tending to my father, which had been in our plan for several years but this year everything hit like a perfect storm and I’m questioning if I should just stop. I will have a life-long condition, and possibly a painful one, but I have felt since I was 18 I had to write this book. I am now 58. That is forty years….so that is why I feel your post struck a cord with me. I know this memoir is needed out in the world, but fatigue, pain and a new diagnosis has me doubting. But after reading this post, I will try for 15 min. a day. I pray the Lord will encourage my heart, despite so many setbacks.
We’re praying with you, Lisa!
Thank you so much. I would really appreciate to have a 15 minutes consultation with you. I have been writing a journal about the wonders of some bible characters and how it has helped me in my own spiritual journey. I would so like to share and help people. It’s a bit challenging though, in this world of today. Fear, doubt kept me from trying.
I’m so sorry for the late reply!
I am away from 3/20 to 3/28. I am available for a 15-minute phone conversation Wednesday, 3/29 or Thursdays 3/30 between 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. ET or later in the day.
Will you please send me your email address and I’ll respond there as well?