Yes, dear writer, hard as it is to believe sometimes, there are blessings to being a writer. And they go beyond multi-book deals, beyond making the bestseller list, beyond movie deals. Few writers attain these lofty heights.
But all authors can experience the blessings of being a writer.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned more about writing as a craft and as a means to express all God has put on my heart. It’s been a blessing to learn all I have learned. And it’s been an eye-opener to realize all I still need to discover, even at my age. God never stops working on us, so why should we stop working on ourselves?
One of the more generic blessings of being a writer is the difference between “have to” and “get to.” In my younger days, I frequently said, and sometimes lamented, “I have to go to work” even though my job was often fulfilling. My words have changed. Writing is my vocation. Now I say, “I get” to write. When I think I have to write it’s because a story idea is burning so strong, I need to get down on screen or paper before it flits away like a butterfly.
Some other blessings of being a writer are:
And not just learning a new skill such as the craft of writing. Though this is crucial. It’s also learning about who we are as individuals. It’s learning patience and determination and perseverance. It’s learning to constructively receive feedback, especially when it’s not what we want to hear. Writing has revealed parts of me I hadn’t seen before. Some of them make me feel good about myself. Others, not so much. But incorporating these lessons has made me not only a better writer but also a better person. In other words, a lot of what I’ve learned about being a writer applies to other areas of my life. I pray for the wisdom to recognize this and the courage to apply it.
The act of writing is usually done alone, but it does not occur in a vacuum. As we strive and struggle in the craft, we meet and form relationships with a myriad of people who share this journey with us. Non-writers can’t relate to this as well as writers can. It’s like we have a non-verbal language for communicating with each other. And we have a jargon which sounds like a foreign language to non-writers but opens the door with other writers in just a few words. These relationships can become deep and meaningful friendships with people who “get us.” People who share our frustrations, our rejections, and our successes. I value my close writer friends who refuse to let me wallow in my self-pity at my self-perceived lack of success. They pray with me, challenge me, and won’t let me quit.
Whether we write fiction or nonfiction, devotionals or inspirational books, blogs, articles, newsletters or anything else, we touch readers. And we may never know who we touch or in what way. Some readers have thanked me because my novels brought them closer to God. Others thank me for creating characters who give them hope that they, too, can change their circumstances.
Many writers will say they are called to write. And not just writers in the Christian market. Writing fulfills a deep purpose in our lives, more profound than just working to put food on the table. For many, writing is more than a job. I know God has called me to write for this season of my life. So I write. I pray over ideas and manuscripts. I pray over characters and plots. I get to paint pictures with words, not a brush. I get to use words to reveal Jesus to my readers through the characters who tell my stories. I need to respect his calling and honor it through what I write and how I write it.
What blessings has being a writer brought you?
Tagged as “one to watch” by Publishers Weekly, award winning author Henry McLaughlin takes his readers on adventures into the hearts and souls of his characters as they battle inner conflicts while seeking to bring restoration and justice in a dark world. His writing explores these themes of restoration, reconciliation and redemption.
Besides his writing, Henry treasures working with other writers and helping them on their own writing journeys. He is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. He regularly teaches at conferences and workshops, leads writing groups, edits, and mentors and coaches.