Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Motivated to Write by Kathy Ide | Guest Post


When I attended my first writers’ conference, I had no idea what I was getting into! Most people think writing a book is easy … until they actually try to write for publication. It’s such a long process, filled with discouragements and distractions, setbacks and rejections. Sometimes it would be a lot easier to quit writing than to keep at it.

But if God has called you to write, you can’t quit. Writers’ write. It’s what we do. We can’t help it.

On days when I’m not feeling very motivated, I think about the long-range effects of the tasks God has called me to do. Whether I’m writing something myself, helping a client edit a manuscript, working with writers at a conference, or helping freelance editors develop their own businesses, I’m a small part of a big team of people that God put together to get what He wanted to be written into the hands of the people He knew would need to read it, at precisely the right moment.

What if Jesus’ followers hadn’t written the gospels? You know, Luke opened his book by saying that many others had already written narratives about Jesus’ life, and they were eyewitnesses. Surely Luke must have wondered whether he should bother writing yet another account of the same story. But, he said, “It seemed good to me.” And so he wrote. Luke knew he didn’t have a unique idea, something no one had ever thought of before. But if he hadn’t written his version of the story of Christ’s life, we would not have Luke 2, that beautifully written account of Jesus’ virgin birth.

The only other gospel account we have that even mentions Jesus' birth is Matthew. And he doesn't say anything about Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem and finding no room for them in the inn. Nothing about a manger. Or shepherds. Or heavenly hosts. Without Luke's writing, most of our favorite Christmas traditions wouldn't even exist. And Charlie Brown’s Christmas special would not be the same!

What if the apostle Paul had decided he was too busy traveling and preaching the good news to write? What if he’d let his “thorn in the flesh,” his failing eyesight, not to mention his imprisonment, keep him from sending letters to the churches? We wouldn’t have any of his powerful epistles from which we gain so much insight into how we are to live our lives as believers.

When I’m mired in discouragement over my writing, I think back to a moment when something I read really touched my heart or changed my life. What if the author of that book or article or short story had decided she was just too busy to write? Or gotten discouraged when she first started out? What if she’d let rejection letters, or the cost of a writers’ conference, or some critical comments from an editor crush her spirit so that she turned her back on God’s calling to write? If she had, then that moment when God touched my heart through that thing I read would never have happened.

Writers have the opportunity to make an impact for eternity. If we don’t write what God has called us to write, and pursue whatever publishing avenues God leads us to pursue, we’ll be denying readers the benefit of the wisdom God has shared with us in our life journeys.

God touches hearts and changes lives through the written word. And I love being part of the behind-the-scenes work that brings about that miracle. When I get to heaven, I’m really looking forward to meeting all the people God reached through the books and articles I helped create … and all the people who were affected by those people’s lives!

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I have been writing for publication since 1989. I've written books, short stories, play and movie scripts, devotionals, and Sunday school curriculum. I'm the author of "Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors" (an updated and improved version of "Polishing the PUGS," which is now out of print). I have also written books on "Christian Drama Publishing" and "Typing without Pain."

I do editing and mentoring for aspiring, beginning, intermediate, and established authors. I speak at writers' conferences across the country.

I am the founder and director/coordinator of The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network (www.TheChristianPEN.com)and the Christian Editor Connection (www.ChristianEditor.com).