This past summer someone put my feet to the fire and asked me why I spent so much time writing: “So what if you write. All you have left after spending on all that time are words on a page. Who cares? There are other things to do besides sit and write all day.”
When I told some of my writers friends I was being criticized for being a writer, I got some fabulous feedback. Things that I believed but couldn’t think to say at the time. (I tend to freeze up when I’m confronted and only think of answers later.) I’ve kept these answers and pondered them in my heart. Writing is a solitary experience, and when someone is critical, it makes me feel even more alone.
Kathy Rouser’s answer was one I absolutely identify with:
“I think of Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire, when he said that when he ran he felt God’s pleasure.Writing’s a calling, it’s a release. Words on a page make up a story that could change a life–or saveone. Just like brushstrokes of paint on a canvas make a painting, if you don’t keep adding tothe story and finishing it, you’ll never know what a difference could make–even just for you.
And if you’re being obedient to the Lord, that’s the most important thing of all.”
This is so true. I feel alive when I’m writing. If there was one thing I was born to do, it is to put words on a page. Words and letters are as much a part of me as the nose on my face. I can’t imagine a life without them.
Author Rick Barry wrote:
“To belittle words on a page is to belittle God. The Almighty saw fit to record much history, much revelation, and much emotion and inspiration in the form of written words. Anyone who takes the position that words on a page are pointless… I can’t begin to express the ignorance that suggests. And true, our words are not God’s divine inspired Word, but we are created in God’s image, and I believe it pleases Him when we try to be like Him, to follow His example, and to touch others with words.
…Every Sunday pastors step into pulpits the world over. They deliver sermons that are nothing more than words they wrote on a page, either in outline form or in full paragraphs. God uses words to touch human beings for the better!
…I can’t count the times that I have been contacted by people who have read my piddly words on a page and told me that those words worked powerfully in them, helping them to overcome problems or to become a better person.”
My agent, Linda Glaz wrote:
“‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.…John 1:1′I guess now we know just exactly how important a word can be…”
“…writing, like the other arts is a form of God’s divine expression though us; we each are called to gifts from the Spirit. A former atheist found conversion after reading the beauty of a poem when he realized that in order to feel such an emotional response to mere words, he must be more than the animals around him. He must have a soul. Even Jesus taught us with stories, using parables, because He knew we would listen and understand.”
Thanks for this encouraging piece! As I head into a writing-stay-cation next week these very words will keep me company.
Thanks for stopping by, Elaine. Have a great stay-cation!
Karla, thanks for sharing our words and your experience. I’m sure there are many (writers and artists) out there who will be encouraged by this post!
Thanks for reading, Kate, and for your great encouragement! Love your work!
Karla, I meant to leave a comment much sooner and forgot.
I am so glad to have been an encouragement to you. It was a
nice surprise to see that you quoted me in your post.
Thanks for reading, Kathy! I’m blessed to have you as a friend.