Words That Lead

From time to time I receive comments about the writing life. A day-dreamy look appears on questioning faces, eyes all soft with: I think someday I will write a book about my life.

I nod, waiting for the inevitable.

And then it comes.

How do you ever find the time?

It used to make me feel funny, intuiting this belief that folks have regarding writers, which goes something like this: It must be nice to have so much free time to write articles, posts, and books, rather than working like the rest of humanity.

Of course these words are never directly spoken, but the vibe circles the room, a mist falling upon my shoulders. Rather than taking offense, I have decided that it might be helpful to clear the air of several common misunderstandings.

Myth number one: Writers write in their free time.

Serious writers schedule time to write and do it. People are surprised to know that I treat my craft like a job (which it is), while holding to a strict schedule.

Myth number two: Writing is not work, but a hobby.

I call writing a hard joy. Some days are tedious. Other days are enjoyable and the words flow. But ultimately, writing is work, and writers must do the work. It is not glamorous or easy or even a hobby. In fact, it is quite challenging.

Think of it like this: would you ever ask a veterinarian if he performed surgeries on ailing animals as a hobby? Does he operate on a whim, only when the spirit moves him? No. It is the same with writing. A writer must sit and complete the task.

Most writers enjoy hobbies that are more physical in nature–walking or jogging or biking or knitting or painting or photography. It is good for the writer’s mind to rest by laboring physically.

Myth number three: Words magically appear on the page.

Words never magically appear.

Readers see the finished labors absent of the blood, sweat, prayer, and tears that lead to that final piece. In all of my writings, I recall only a few times when the words have flown from my brain to the page with ease. Most often, I write and rewrite and write and rewrite again and again and again.

Myth number five: Every season is conducive to full-time writing.

I have scratched out words for as long as I could spell. However, I did not begin writing consistently until 2020, once our children were nearly grown. My previous adult years were spent homeschooling, and if I could do it over again, I would choose the same path.

No earthly anything is more precious to me than my family, and raising and teaching our children was my full-time occupation. My favorite work of all time. God has blessed each one of us with different seasons, and now that my husband and I have an empty nest, I am grateful to be able to dedicate the lion’s share of my working hours to writing.

Myth number six: Everyone is a writer.

I would ask you this: Is everyone a scientist? A painter? A professional football player? A musician?

Of course not.

I am not sure why people often assume that everyone has a book glowing inside, waiting to be born. I would argue that everyone has a story to be shared, but not necessarily through the medium of writing. Do not feel badly if you are not inclined to write. You do not have to be.

On the flipside, if you enjoy words, and crafting sentences, perhaps you should set aside a few hours each week and give it a whirl. Do this consistently for a month and see where it takes you. Perhaps you are a writer.


May I add another important truth? Writing is a responsibility. A weighty one. Every word published will lead your reader somewhere.

Will that somewhere be good, true, and lovely? Or will that somewhere lead to a tangle of confusion?

Personally, I love memoir and I wish that more sober-minded Christians would pen it.

I enjoy reading about life’s small moments: one’s thoughts as they stand at the kitchen sink washing dishes– fresh lemon soap growing sudsy on tired hands while scrubbing the egg-coated pans to a fare-thee-well, all of the while considering the wonderous beauty of nature, observing chunky chickadees flitting upon the bird feeder outside their narrow kitchen window.

Such a pretty sighting thus prompts them to contemplate the Master Artist. Those chickadees, as well as that humbling act of scrubbing away the remnants of breakfast stuck to pans mean something. God is with us at the kitchen sink of life, inviting us to consider and worship and enjoy him.

Writers who are Christ-followers are highly favored with the precious opportunity to write about our Heavenly Father, who is with us in our daily mundane. I pray that, as a writer, I may be a heated iron, used by God to smooth the wrinkled shirt, inviting order and biblical truth to the tired, the worn, the frayed. A heat that sizzles, smooths, and prayerfully diminishes the wrinkles. I have discovered that God’s Word, when known and loved and cherished and obeyed, rightly orders our lives.

The question presents itself: are we willing, as writers, to yield our time to the beauty of pairing words for the glory of God? Even if those words are read only by Him?

All writing, not only memoir, takes people on a journey leading to a destination. This is important to understand, which is why writing itself is work, to be taken seriously. Words, strung together, grow and swell and sway people, leading them to run deeper into a pit of noisy confusion and self-help, or to a golden field of truth. This place of truth invites readers to look up and away from themselves, considering the wonders of God.

The best advice I have to offer writers is to stay tethered to the Lord through Scripture. Love him most, pray continually, and seek to obey his Word.




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11 thoughts on “Words That Lead

  1. Eric Liddell, Scottish Olympic runner and later missionary martyr, in the movie,
    Chariots of Fire, said, “God made me fast, and when I run I feel his pleasure.” I can relate. God gave me a modicum of creativity/writing ability and the will to write, and when I get the words right I feel his pleasure! I suspect you are a kindred spirit, Kristin. Keep writing and to God be the glory!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this post. I also waited until the nest was nearly empty before writing much, though I compiled a newsletter for a church ladies’ group for years. Even tough it seems like I should have more free time than ever before, I still don’t know what a day will bring forth, which makes it hard to schedule writing. So just finding time is still a challenge.

    Some of my favorite blogs have been the kitchen sink variety you describe, observations about life and God’s working in it. I think people think they need to write devotionals or Bible studies to be a “Christian writer.” But just shining His light into everyday life is a great ministry.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Creativity is difficult work. My darling husband is a creative soul and he is working at it hardest when he is in the back yard, practising his chipping. I send him golfing to clear his head and ease his soul – it is what he needs. I’m in awe of his gifting.

    Liked by 1 person

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