1. Writing is hard work.
Whether or not you are writing for the gospel, writing is serious work. It took me diligence, practice, perseverance to get to where I am now in my writing career.
I can’t count the number of sleepless nights that I have spent working on a story or trying to ensure my articles are well written. Producing a beautiful piece takes time and effort. Some writers think that because you are a christian writer, you can just sit and scribble anything down and God will bless it. It doesn’t work that way.
There are different types of writers anyway. Anybody can pick up a pen to write, but the content is what matter at the end of the day.
As a christian writer, I have writer’s block too. I work on my writing skills, I edit my work over and over again, I contact professional editors to sit on my books that came with a cost. We are not shielded from some of the challenges writers face just because ours have the tag, ‘christian’. I have learnt that diligence is required in Christian writing as much as it is in other areas.
It is also clear from scriptures. A diligent man will stand before kings. Even Paul compares the christian life to an athlete who beats his body and puts it under subjection. Writing christian content is much like that.
I have also learnt as a christian writer I have to discipline myself in spending time with God and His word. Those are my primary tools in this business.
2. In God’s business, our currency is souls not fame or wealth.
Is it wrong to make money from writing? No. I published a book and it is not free. There is a price attached to it. Money is important but it’s not my driving force. I remembered when I began to take blogging seriously and I heard the amount some people were making from blogging, my eyes widened with interest. That’s how I began to chase money until I was depressed and frustrated. Somehow I lost the purpose for which I started my blog until I had to refocus again. As much as I needed this cash, I reminded myself that edifying the body of Christ was my primary goal. The truth is God knows how to take care of his own. But first His kingdom must be my priority.
3. Stay on your lane.
I strayed away from my ‘duty post’ many times in my early days as a writer. I would look at what other writers were doing and I would wonder if writing for Christ was worth it. I remember there was a time I was depressed and had to talk to a friend. He reminded me of my purpose and the reason for which I was writing. I’ve learnt. Every man to his own race.
One incident comes quickly to mind. A friend wanted me to do a writing project that would fetch me money but the condition was that it wouldn’t be Christ centered. I badly wanted that money but each time I tried to make a move, I found a restraint in my spirit and decided to let it go. I have learnt that I have a master whom I am answerable to. If he says, No, then I have no choice but to let go.
Instead of trying to be like everyone else, I believe as christian writers, we should fix our eyes on the goal-Jesus-and stay on the platform God has given to us.
On another note, one day, a lady approached me confused because she had been told that the book she wanted to publish must have something about Jesus even though her goal was to address genital mutilation. I assured her that she was as much serving God in the field of human rights as I was in spreading Christ through story telling.
Our platforms are different and God needs his children as salt everywhere. We can’t all write contents with Jesus in every piece and yet in whatever field we are as writers, God can be glorified when our works stand before people who will never read christian contents. Knowing exactly where God wants you to show forth His glory is paramount and do well to shine and remain there.
4. Grace is what I received.
When I do not have a revelation, I do not have a story. So when God’s word comes to me and I’m able to draw a story from it, how then can I lay claim to ownership when it does not belong to me? The truth is, anybody can skillfully pen down a story and fix Jesus here and there in it such that you become so glued to the story but you would not be able to reveal Jesus because only the Holy Spirit can do that.
When the Holy Spirit breathes on a piece of work, it does one major thing: Transforms. The best of my stories or articles have come from a revelation knowledge either while praying in the spirit or reading the Word. There are other times, I would start a story and wouldn’t really know where it would lead to and at the end of it, a scripture would just pop up and fit into the lesson in the story. Over the years, this has been one of my favourite verses of the scriptures.
…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him Ephesians 1:18.
My career as a writer depends on this.
For me, writing is all about Jesus and the work He has accomplished. I know the word of God is powerful and pierces the heart and soul and I intend to use it for my life and for those I am seeking to impact.
I have learnt that writing christian articles goes beyond emotions. You can touch people’s emotions but you’ll never be able to break through to their spirit and connect them with God unless the Holy Spirit breathes on your work. So for me, spending time with God is something I dare not play with. I’m not saying I’m perfect at this. There are days I’m carried away by the mundane things of life. But I have learnt that there is no limit to the outworking of God if I can spend time with God.
5. Books! Read!
I really don’t know how a writer will not love books. I may forgive screen writers(even many of them still need to wrap their heads around words to pull out strong dialogues) but not writers whose primary way of passing a message is through written words. You can’t give what you don’t have. It just doesn’t seem normal to me. It’s like a farmer who claims he is passionate about planting crops and yet hates seeing crops.
You can take all the online writing courses in this world but it still wouldn’t do you any good if you don’t pick up a book and read. Books are our wells from which we draw to serve others.
I can say categorically that reading has influenced my writing greatly. As I read more and wrote more, It became easy to know books that are well written from badly written ones and that’s because over the years I’ve stuck with reading quality books. So it isn’t just about reading any book. Funnily enough, It wasn’t an easy venture for me especially when my love for movies became something else. But I had to discipline myself to read and now I can almost not be seen without a book.
Even as a christian writer, I do not just read christian literature. I go beyond that because the christian life is meant to affect every area of our lives. Do you want to continually retain that spark in your creativity? Fall in love with books. Read widely. Embrace research. Be opened to learning.
6. My hands are blessed.
I believe this with all my heart. I believe God has called me to do this. I believe this is my own way of reaching the body of Christ and edifying believers. When I write, I am just a tool, a means through which God can pass across a message to the ones He loves. I am a vessel to minister in unconventional ways, God’s manifold goodness. Yes, my hands are blessed.
7. A reward awaits me in heaven
Some times when I feel faint and want to give up, I remember that there is something waiting for me at the end of this age. I don’t know when I’m going to leave this world. We all pray to get to old age, but what if I find myself whisked out of this world before that time? What would I tell my Father that I have done with the deposits he placed in my life? These and more are the questions that keep going on in my mind.
I believe that our labour as God’s vessels will not be in vain and in due season we will reap from from our labours and toil.
I encourage every christian writer to keep pressing forth. The pen is your sword and the battle is still on. The fight is not over. Lets keep sharpening our swords, let hold on to them and see God’s kindgom established on earth.
I believe the Lord is raising powerful novelists, extraordinary script writers, unstoppable christian content writers. There is a reward waiting for us and we will not lose it.
The pen is our sword.
Why do you write? Do you mind sharing this with me in the comments below?