Monday, July 18, 2011


Being a writer in pursuit of a writing ministry is in my opinion one of the most effective ways the Lord has of shaping a character—--the writer’s character this is.

It’s not so much in the hearing of the call, because God already wired writers to be intuitive. They usually respond to that urging of the Holy Spirit and start to put words on paper pretty young. But those who are serious about the calling go the next step and put the effort into learning the craft.

My first writing mentor told me that apprenticeship of a writer is a million words. Further costs are split up between the accumulation of writing books, going to conferences, taking creative writing courses, and long years of polishing the raw talent.

In Prov. 27:17, it says “as iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens another”. The writer’s character is then refined by the willingness to accept hard critiques on their work. Granted most critiques are given in tough love, but for some it’s hard to accept those suggestions or opinions about their work. Critiques like iron chip away at pride, and force the writer to accept that someone else knows a bit more than they do, paving the way for that writer to yield more and more to the direction of the Holy Spirit.

The rejections of your query letters, later of your manuscript can chip away at that pride, but if that writer is listening to the Lord, they will simultaneously hear His Spirit, say, “Keep on going. I am rooting for you.” And faith is forced to grow.

It’s not easy to pursue a ministry in Christian Fiction. Many of us sometimes wish the call to write had never come, because there is so little in the way of payment for those long, long hours, years of writing. I know there are days I would like to stop.

But we keep on because we feel the Spirit encourage us in spite of the disappointments, the unmet dreams.

This summer I was encouraged through a prayer that at first seemed unanswered. The prayer had nothing to do with my writing career but my son’s college career.

Rob returned from Briercrest College at the end of April, and we’d been praying all the academic year that he’d get a good job this summer.

The end of May came and still no job. But his knee had been bothering him from a school event months earlier. Our family doctor confirmed there was something wrong and set him to a specialist. We dreaded that appointment because if our son needed knee surgery this could mean a date in the middle of the school year, causing him to postpone his graduating year.

On May 30 we went to the surgeon’s office, and were amazed that he could have a surgery date of July 12, which would give him enough weeks to recuperate before returning to school.

Looking back we could see that the Lord had a perfect plan all along. He didn’t get the job we’d prayed for, but the Lord knew exactly what our son needed this summer.

It’s the same with the writing career. Our prayers are not necessarily answered the way we expect them. But if God has called you to write about Him, then in due time, He’ll arrange the details.

Christine Lindsay, author of Shadowed in Silk.

Drop by my website, Christine Lindsay


  1. Thank you, Christine,
    This sort of wise reminder is something I'm sure we can all profit from on a regular basis. You express the frustration aspect of a Christian fiction writer's heart so perfectly and I like your analogy, reminding us of who is in control.

  2. Thanks Paula, I'm glad the reminder was helpful. I was experiencing some of this frustration this morning, and then I opened up Marcia Laycock's devotional book, Abundant Rain.

    Her words went right to my heart as a writer who is trying to be a good steward of the writing gift, and yet remaining close to the Father's heart.

    I was reminding that while being faithful to the work is good, to also remember the better part--leaning close to Him, and listening to Him.

    I think Marcia's book is going to be a bigger blessing in my life than I realized.

  3. I was encouraged by your post. The writing journey can be a rollercoaster ride at times. : ) Thank you, Christine, for your lovely words of inspiration.

  4. Beautiful post, Christine, and I can so identify with thoughts about God's timing. I so believed God wanted me to write that first manuscript but then my lack of faith in my ability and in being able to discern it WAS His will for me to write and not my own desire, meant I didn't write another manuscript during those many, many years of rejection of that first one. And yes, His timing was perfect for my writing career - once I stopped long enough to really listen to Him and then obey. Thank you so much for these reminders.

  5. Christine, thanks for you encouraging post :)

  6. Amen to the comments above. And a double AMEN to the post! Been there, done that.

  7. Loved what you said about pursuing a writing ministry honing the writer's character. Too true!

  8. I find that the Lord is often doing more within my character as I make this writing journey. Like the books that we write, there are so many levels to what God is doing in our souls and lives.