Are You ‘Called’ to Write?

Are you feeling the urge to write but don’t know where to start? Do you have ideas swarming around in your heart and mind but can’t seem to discern if they are from God or your own imagination? Or perhaps you know what you are to write about but can’t muster up the motivation or the time to pen your thoughts to paper? Or maybe you have been writing but are terrified to share what you have written out of fear of what others might think?

If any or all of the above describes you, let me assure you, you are not alone. I’ll say it again, you are NOT alone! Now take a deep breath…let it out…and say, “Phew!”

One of the most common questions I get is “How did you start writing?” I think often times we have this notion that authors sit down and say, “Okay, I am going to write a book.” And then proceed to write the book. It may happen that way for some, but it certainly didn’t for me…

I began writing after I accepted Christ into my life and started walking with Him four years ago. But writing for me was a strictly private affair, in my private journal. It was my way of communicating with God and processing my thoughts, questions, lessons and revelations. I never thought of writing a book. What I wrote was for my own heart and my own understanding.

Fast forward three years and I had stacks and stacks of journals by my bedside. One ordinary day, I decided to look through some of my old entries. As I did this themes were bursting from the page. God spoke to my heart, “I want you to share what you have written.” 

I wish I could say, my reply was a simple, “Okay Lord.” Instead, my response was, “You have got to be kidding Lord!” There was no way I was going to share what I had written in my private journals. After all, they were private for a reason!

But I couldn’t shake the feeling that God was serious about this, so I began to pray and ask how He might want me to share some of my writing. Start a blog? Submit an article? The idea of a book had never even crossed my mind. 

The very next week I received an email about a writer’s conference entitled, “Hearing the Call and Honing Your Craft.” The word ‘call’ made my heart skip a beat. Was I hearing ‘the call’? How was I to know? I thought writing was just something I did in my own time. I had never considered it as anything more. I still didn’t know for sure, but decided to sign up for the conference anyway.

I met with other writers who were also feeling the ‘urge’ to sharing their writing and were equally as lost (and scared) about the whole thing as I was. But by the end of the weekend conference, it was becoming more and more clear. God was asking me to write. A book. About my season of singleness. Just like that the clarity came and I never looked back. I’ll spare you the details but nine months later, the book was published. I never would have thought!

I think ‘callings’ can often be like that. God tells us to do things we would never imagine ourselves doing. And that we never thought we had to skills to do. I had written academic papers for college and scripts for TV, but never did I ever think I would write a book.

I have a new understanding of what Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”It was in those early morning hours of spending time in His presence that He actually gave me the desire to write. How cool.

Eventually, God then turned that desire, that ‘urge,’ into a call. When He calls us, and we say yes, the cool part is that He enables us. 1 Thessalonians 5:24 says, “He who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.” It really is true! He won’t call us without providing a way for us to do it. Phew!

After I said yes to the call to write Entrusting the Key, God swooped in and made it happen. He helped me to be disciplined with my time, He sent me a writing buddy, and He literally breathed the Words He wanted me to write as I typed. He who called me was faithful. HE did it!

Are you sensing the call to write but not sure what to do about it? If so, here are three things you can do as you wait for clarity for that next step:

1.Delight in Him. Spend time each day in His presence. Our callings often flow out of intimacy with God.

2. Keep a journal. You will be surprised what will come out when you give yourself the freedom to just write. Don’t think about what it will be or who will see it. Just write and ask God to give you the words! Be ready for new ideas and revelations you didn’t expect!

3. Embrace the process. He will make things clear in His timing. He may have some things He wants you to go through to teach you before He asks you to write. Too often we try to do things to soon and on our own strength, which leads to frustration and discouragement. God may be calling you to write, but it you don’t have clarity on what it will look like yet, then wait. He will show you and He will give you the grace and strength to complete it. If you are straining and stressing, pull back and ask God to lead you… one step at a time.

Happy writing friend! Feel free to post comments with any more questions related to writing… I would be happy to share more about my experiences so far!

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8 Comments on “Are You ‘Called’ to Write?

  1. Really appreciate this Ali. Looking forward to reading your book. I have always thought about writing and have started a few books. Note STARTED, About 6 years ago, when I surrendered and gave my life to the Lord I too began writing. I actually remembering and typing for hours and being so excited about it. For a moment I felt like I finally understood how it felt to passionately write about something. I felt like I got into a “zone” and it was so fun. Who knows where this will go. My problem is I just need to be consistent and disciplined to start writing again. I think a blog for me is a great place to start. Please pray that I would have the discipline to write every day. Really appreciate it. Miss and love you and we can’t wait to see you soon. You are such and inspiration. BIG HUG!!!

    • Rob!! Thanks for writing bro. I am so glad you shared your desire to write. I will be praying for you…and continuing to post “writing tips” that will hopefully encourage you as you write! Remember Paul’s words in Philippeans 4:13, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Rooting for you!

      In Him,
      Ali

  2. Hi ali! I’ve read parts of your book and now, your blog. This is great stuff 🙂 In the process of writing your book, did you ever experience writer’s block? If so, how were you able to combat it? I love writing, but there are times I get super uninspired.

    • Hello Aspiring Writer! So-called writer’s block is a common thing and happens to the best of us. Whenever I am in a bit of a funk, I stop whatever it is I am doing. Shut off my computer. And I enter into a time of worship. It is often in these times of taking the focus off myself or the need for more ideas when God will just drop words into my heart – as I am praising Him. Make sure you keep a pen and paper handy during these times…God will speak! All the best and keeping checking in for more writing tips to come!

      “…he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” ~Hebrews 11:6

      Blessings,
      Ali

  3. Hi Ali! I just read your post today on SheSeeks.org (which I thought was great) and I was led to your blog. I’m still in the stages of finding my purpose and I’m so glad that I read this post. For the longest time I’ve felt like I should write a book about my past and how I’ve come to know God. I’ve been writing in a journal since 2001 when I started college and I just started a blog about 4 months ago as a way to let people into my thoughts/life. Sometimes when I write, I question myself as far as using proper grammer or writting too much information that it may go off topic and those types of things make it kind of discouraging for me. Since you’re a journalist I’m sure you don’t have many issues with using proper grammer 🙂 but do you ever find yourself questioning what you write and whether or not you should share it with others?

    • Hi Melissa, thanks for writing! Yes, I have experience TONS of self-doubt and discouragement – and still do at times! It’s part of the process of learning and growing to become better at what God is calling us to do. One thing I have realized though is that as writers, we don’t have to be perfect. I repeat: we don’t have to be perfect! God has called us to be a communicators of His Words and Ways, NOT perfect writers. He has called others to do that…and they are called editors!

      Keep writing and keep praying, asking God to teach you how to be a good steward of the words He is giving you to share. If it’s on your blog, remember it is just that – YOUR site. So feel free to share as much as you would like. If you are unsure if it’s too much, ask for feedback from loved ones who will tell you the truth. Also pray and ask for discernment from the Holy Spirit. He will be your ultimate Teacher and Guide. If God leads your writing into book form, He will send people who will help you edit and polish it. Does that make sense?

      Sounds like you are doing well, keep going! And remember,

      “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” ~Joshua 1:8

      Love,
      Ali

  4. I think this post was for me. I feel that I am supposed to write, but I don’t yet know what I am to write about. I had been journalling for a while and I was amazed at the things that poured from my brain as I wrote, but when I come up with blog ideas and start writing I get totally stuck. I guess I need to stick to journalling and growing closer to Him first, and wait for Him to reveal the perfect timing and topic for me to write about. Thanks.

    • Hi Randelle,

      Glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, that sounds like a wise idea. I truly believe that when we delight ourselves in the Lord, HE will give us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4)…and that includes creative ideas! May the words from Psalm 25 encourage you as you spend time with Him,

      12 Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD ?
      He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.

      13 He will spend his days in prosperity,
      and his descendants will inherit the land.

      14 The LORD confides in those who fear him;
      he makes his covenant known to them.

      He will speak to you…trust, wait and expect!

      Blessings Writer,
      Ali

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