In a recent conversation with a group of writers, we were ruminating how writing, like most things, has both mountaintop experiences and desert seasons. Such ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ are inevitable and one must learn how to navigate and persevere especially during the ‘down’ times. There seemed to be agreement that knowing why we write is helpful to persevere through the desert seasons of writing. I’ve been thinking about it since then and thought I would share a few reasons why I write.
I write to provide hope
We live in a cursed world filled with hurt, destruction, and evil. These realties are ever before us and we are reminded about them as we converse with others, tune in to the news, or login to social media.
However, these realities are not the full story. God is at work in everyday, ordinary ways in the lives of his people. We see glimpses of his goodness and grace all around us, but they are easy to miss among the darker realities. Good news doesn’t always sell and it’s easy to get lost in the barrage of bad news that surrounds us. Writing allows me to paint memorial pictures of God’s truth and grace to remind others of the hope and encouragement we have in Christ.
I write because words are powerful
In the beginning there was nothing, then God spoke and everything was made. God has revealed himself in history through his written word that is “living and active.” Proverbs tells us that death and life are in the power of the tongue. Whether spoken or written, words have power.
The power of words can be used for good or evil, to build up or tear down. I write because I want to be a voice that builds up. I hope to structure words in such a way that gives life to someone struggling, provides corrective truth to false ideas, or gives hope to the downcast. If one writes in line with the truth of God’s word and by the power of his Spirit, then any article has the potential to help someone have a truer or clearer picture of our great God!
I write because it forces me to slow down
It’s spring here in Texas which means bluebonnets are in full display. The state flower of Texas grows wild in many fields and along the highways. The speed limit for many highways in Texas is 75mph. While going 75ish, I get a quick glimpse of the bluebonnets and a small appreciation of their beauty.
However, if I pull over, I can walk among the flowers and take in their beauty. My kids can pose for pictures among the sheets of blue and we can capture the moment for a long time. I can smell the aroma coming from the flowers and try to count how many are within my view. Pulling over to relish the flowers gives me an appreciation for them I don’t get when I zoom by at 75mph.
Likewise, life is fast-paced and shows no signs of slowing down. There is an endless juggle of errands to run, kids to taxi to practice, deadlines to meet, etc. Living life at 75mph, I can miss the moments where God has shown glimpses of his goodness. I zoom by the many gracious works he has accomplished while on my way to my next task.
Writing forces me to stop and reflect, to slow down and take a look around and smell a flower or two. Writing make me decelerate enough to meditate on the beauties of God’s grace that I would have missed in my fast-paced state. There’s been many times I would have missed the bluebonnets if I wasn’t actively writing.
I write because it helps me think through ideas
No matter how nicely I put my headphones in my gym bag, every time I pull them out they are tangled (yes, I’m old fashioned and still used headphones with wires). I have to take time to untangle the wires so they can be functional during my run. My thoughts often come in such disarray as well. Writing forces me to take the time to untangle ideas and think through them until they are coherent and communicable.
I write because I can do no other
In short, I believe God has called me to write. For whatever reason, God uses ordinary people to push back the darkness with words. Some minister to thousands while others minister to ten. Scope is not the measure of success, faithfulness is. When going through a desert season of writing, one of the main reminders that helps me persevere, no matter how frustrated I get, is that I’ve been given a stewardship from God to glorify him and bless others.
I can’t not write.
What about you…why do you write?