Friday, January 06, 2012

What it Means to be a Christian Writer - Rose Mccormick Brandon

The beginning of a new year is always a good time to reflect on what it means to be a writer who is Christian.

It means approaching the task of writing with trust in God. Abel presented his perfect sacrifice to the Lord, obediently, without needing a pat on the back to show the world he’d done the right thing and done it well. Sometimes I find the need for approval and feedback gets in the way of trusting God in my writing. Feedback comes in pits and patters, a little here, a little there. I’ve had to learn not to depend on readers' glowing comments, and when they do come, not to savour them too long. I appreciate positive feedback. But I don’t want to need it. Like Abel, I want to present my writing gift to God, lay it down as an offering and walk away to prepare my next gift. Other writers seem to develop this attitude without effort. For me, writing with trust in God is a work in progress.

It means writing with a brave heart. Perhaps no one will agree with my point of view, even be offended by it. For those reasons, I might be tempted to shroud my points in indecisive language. If God has given me something to write, I should write it clearly, with bravery. What I don’t want is for readers to scratch their heads and ask, “What in the world is she talking about?” I want to write with courage, whatever the consequences. It takes courage, not only to write, but to submit our precious words to editors, agents and publishers. Sometimes the writing alone life feels like we're dangling at the end a rope with no one at the other end to haul us back to safety.

It means writing with devotion to the task at hand. Laziness lurks. Voices beckon. Worthy projects call my name. They attempt to drag me away from God’s main calling. They’ve succeeded too often. If I don’t stick to the main thing, I’ll be overwhelmed, drowned in a sea of causes, other people’s dreams. I won’t fulfill my God-calling, the calling to write. Writing is hard work. Getting started is like trying to board a plane without a ticket. My fragile trains of thought, so easily re-routed. Only devotion can help me meet the challenges of the writing life.

Writing with trust, bravery and devotion. That’s my goal for 2012.


Peter Black said...

Rose, thank you for presenting these salient values that guide you in your writing life. They provide excellent guide-post points for others of us to consider!

Charles Van Gorkom said...

Yes, today is a perfect time to step back, de-clutter and re-commit. Writing by faith and in faith is a good point. Thank-you for this thoughtful piece.

Rose McCormick Brandon said...

Thanks Peter and Charles for your comments. I wrote these goals several years ago. They lay hidden, forgotten in a notebook until recently. When I found them they led me back to the main road of writing - to glorify God.

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