How God Guides Writers—and Other People Too
by Steph Beth Nickel
What should I write?
Books, articles, blog posts …
Genre fiction, instructive nonfiction, memoir …
Poetry, Instagram stories, 280-character tweets …
At the risk of sounding cliché, the possibilities really are endless.
How should I pursue publication?
Should I look for an agent and try to get a traditional deal?
Should I self-publish my work?
Should I do both and become a hybrid author?
If I choose to self-publish, what will I do myself?
Format my manuscript? Create a book cover? Edit my book?
And if we’re Christian, we likely want to be certain that we’re fulfilling God’s call on our life—and going about it as He would want us to. But how can we know that we’re following the path He has set out for us?
Writer or not, there are a number of ways to do so—and they’re not as mysterious as we may think.
Study God’s Word.
The Scriptures are the Lord’s primary means of communicating with us. It’s important to become familiar with what they say and what they mean in context.
In God’s Word we find specific instructions and principles that apply to every area of life.
Seek to obey His commands and directives.
Are we seeking, in God’s strength, to walk in obedience to Him? As we do, He sheds light on the path before us and enables us to take the next step on the journey.
Spend time in prayer.
Sometimes, it’s as we pray for guidance that He gives it. At other times, it’s as we’re praying for others that the Lord nudges us in the direction He wants us to take.
Seek godly counsel.
Wise counsellors may be members of our family or fellow members of our church. They may be friends, neighbours, or even those we’ve developed relationships with online.
Wise counsel, direction that honours the Lord, points us in the right direction—even if it’s not what we want to hear.
And we can rest assured that it will never contradict the clear commands in God’s Word.
Use your talents and abilities as you have opportunity.
While we are responsible to develop them, God gave us our talents and abilities. They are often a good indicator of the route we should pursue.
Pursue that passion that just won’t go away.
We can’t do everything we’d like to do in this life. (Ask me how I know this. <grin>)
Still, if there is a God-honouring passion that never leaves us, no matter what our circumstances and season of life, it’s likely something the Lord wants us to investigate—and possibly, pursue.
I recently heard that there are writers who give up because the words just aren’t flowing. These individuals figure if God wants them to write, He will give them the words and it will be easy.
Any of us who have written anything from a Facebook status to a full-length novel know there are times it’s far from easy. The right words seem as elusive as the bat my hubby can’t find in our house (but that’s another story).
Still, the Scriptures have much to say about perseverance. And if God has put it on your heart to write, I encourage you to persevere. Develop your skills. And continue to seek Him for guidance and direction.
Wise counsel, direction that honours the Lord, points us in the right direction—even if it’s not what we want to hear. (click to tweet)
If there is a God-honouring passion that never leaves us, it’s likely something the Lord wants us to investigate. (click to tweet)
Any of us who have written anything from a Facebook status to a full-length novel know there are times it’s far from easy. (click to tweet)
Steph Beth Nickel is a communicator who seeks to Nurture and Inspire in her many eclectic endeavours: editing, writing, podcasting, etc. Steph coauthored Paralympian Deb Willows’s memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances. Steph and Deb are working on a follow-up, tentatively titled Keep Looking Up. Steph is also a regular contributor to HopeStreamRadio. You can connect with her on Facebook or via email.