Monday, July 23, 2018

The tug of war for a Christian writer - driven or led?

I've discovered something of a conundrum for Christian writers. A contradiction, if you will.

It's something I've discovered within myself. In approaching what I write and when I write. In working out the publishing options for my work; of working with an agent or a "dream" publisher.

It's something I've found with others as I watch their writing journeys unfold, and talk to them about the challenges they face.

And the reason I'm blogging about it is because I was talking to someone last week about my writing journey, and the fact I've landed a publishing contract for my debut novel. And they made a comment that brought that contradiction out into the open. I've been mulling it over ever since. They said to me: "It looks like you were in the right place at the right time."

So what is that contradiction?

Being driven at the same time as being led.

This was (and continues to be) my thought process. How much of "being in the right place at the right time" is due to your drive to BE in the right place and be ready for the right time? And how much of it is because you were led there?

It's probably both. When I look back at my own writing journey, I see a lot of action, some fruitless. I also see a lot of dots that join up into a larger picture with hindsight. Dots that, at the time, weren't really that meaningful. But now they are clear, and they are symbolic of being led to a point in time. Or of others being led to do something that helped me take the next step at the time.

But if it's both, what's the balance? When do you cross over from "waiting on the Lord" to getting moving? I've seen others' journeys where they've worked hard to develop that manuscript or scrimped to get to the Conference at which they made that crucial connection. That's their drive, which they've implemented after being led to a point of being driven. And I've spoken to others where they've been led to a point where you can't explain how the next step happened, outside of saying that it was a God-thing. 

So I'd like to ask for your input with this as I continue to wrestle with it, and try to understand it.

As a Christian writer, how much of your writing journey is drive?  How much of it is you being led? What is the balance for you? And how do you combine the two?


  1. Great discussion, David. As we've briefly chatted about before be fun for you to write a bit more on this, say a 30-50 page ebook on the "Holy Hustle". Striving is a misunderstood perspective in Christian circles. Paul encourages us to "work out our salvation with fear and trembling" and yes, I know this statement isn't so much about vocation but it's clear through all the farming/athlete analogies found in the NT that we are expected to work. The challenge is keeping our motivations pure and alignment with what the Lord is doing. And these are significant challenges.

    I can attest to "being in the right place at the right time" with the publication of Angelguard (hey a significant person opened the door to my publisher without reading my MS) but I still had to write and edit the thing.

    It's always a fascinating topic to discuss. I look forward to reading others contributions.

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