So, you feel a calling from God to use the talents He’s given you for the work of His kingdom?
Now comes the tougher part. The God-directed call to touch readers’ hearts is a worthy goal. But like any ability or skill—athletics, music—writing must be honed. It is part art and part craft.
Many people say they’ve always wanted to write a book. Few have the patience and stick-to-it-iveness to battle self-doubt or the self-discipline to see the goal accomplished.
To become a highly effective Christian writer according to God’s definition of success will require faith and courage. To become the writer God has called you to be will necessitate a willingness to step outside of your comfort zone, your routine and open yourself to growth and change.
These habits are not just for writers of Christian literature but for all Christian writers—whether their writing journey takes them to the CBA or ABA markets.
Here are some tips to live and write by:
1. Be a person God can use to glorify His name.
•Be in the Word and get to know Him
•Be about prayer
•Be surrendered to His will for His timing and His way
2. Glue your butt in the writing chair and write every day.
3. Read and study the master writers in your genre in both the ABA and CBA markets.
4. Join ACFW, RWA and other professional writing organizations to dialogue with other published and unpublished writers.
5. Meet regularly with a local circle of like-minded writer friends for encouragement.
6. Attend the best writer conferences your budget allows—at least one conference a year.
7. Learn to edit yourself brutally.
8. Develop Teflon-coated skin when the rejections start to pile up.
9. Related to #8, persist, mature and endure.
10. It’s worth repeating again— Be a person God can use to glorify His name and that others will enjoy working with.
Habit #1 would seem self-evident to a Christian writer. But caught up in deadlines, submissions, or whatever—it’s all too easy to neglect the heart preparation that it takes to become all God desires for you to be. You can only write as good a story as the story you are living. He is much more interested in who you are in Him versus any book you could ever write.
Make it your goal to become a vessel of honor that God can use to pour out His vision and His heart for a world that desperately needs to hear the good news about Him.
Attitude and self-discipline are essential qualities for every highly effective writer. Put your money and time where your mouth is and work hard at your craft. Have a servant’s heart. It’s not all about you. Have a generous spirit that helps other writers along their writing journey, too. Writing is a collaborative partnership—you, God and others.
No matter where you are on the writing journey—unpubbed, debut or multi-published/award-winning—I find that periodically I need to check my attitude and my motivations so that my writing will indeed be about Him and not me.
Be willing to give back to God your dreams and expectations. Make your one desire Him—not publication, bestseller lists, etc. Try not to tell God what to do, how to do it and when. Remember—there is a God and you are not Him. As Amy Carmichael, missionary to India, once said, “He is to be preeminent in all things.”
Is He above all things in your life? Who sits on the throne in your life? Who calls the shots? Or has the dream taken precedence over the ultimate Dreamweaver?
After making a lifestyle of the ten habits of highly effective Christian writers listed above, lay those dreams within the palm of His Hand.
There is no safer place for them to be.
Are there other habits of highly effective Christian writers that you would add to the list? What has been your experience?
Today’s Giveaway—Indicate in the comment section if you’d like to be entered in the giveaway for one of the 2 copies of The Deputy’s Perfect Match. Winners announced in the Seekerville Weekend Edition.
Lisa Carter's novel, Under a Turquoise Sky, won the 2015 Carol Award for Romantic Suspense. Her latest contemporary romance is The Deputy’s Perfect Match. The bestselling author of seven romantic suspense novels and a Coast Guard series, Lisa enjoys traveling to romantic locales and researching her next exotic adventure. A native North Carolinian, she has strong opinions on barbecue and ACC basketball. She loves to hear from readers. http://www.lisacarterauthor.com
The Deputy’s Perfect Match
His Librarian Sweetheart
Still nursing old heartache, deputy sheriff Charlie Pruitt vowed he'd never get close to another woman again. But that's easier said than done when librarian Evy Shaw arrives in his small coastal Virginia town with a secret—one Charlie's determined to uncover. When Charlie joins Evy's all-female book club, he gets more than he anticipated when the romantic reads stoke a real attraction to Evy. Falling for the pretty librarian wasn't part of the plan, but when the truth behind Evy's suspicious behavior comes to light, will love be enough to bind them together?