“Unused creativity is not benign. It metastasizes and turns into grief and shame and judgment and hard things. Because someone did not put value on your work does not change the worthiness of that work or us.”
My writing experience is limited to the hands-on (literally smashing keys) work of blogging, college papers, policies and procedures on the job, and business emails. Some of it has brought me great joy and a sense of accomplishment, the rest were required tasks, but even those provided good research and formatting experience.
Why we write
Blogging is my current passion project, and it is an emotional roller coaster, as my fellow bloggers might agree. When I first started, the writing was for me and mostly about me. Like healing from the inside out, it dredged up emotions I didn’t know existed. In the last few years, though, the focus shifted to Jesus and you, readers, which is so much better. For your sake, I hope so.
This is not a pity party. Joy IS the overwhelming outcome of every high and low writing experience I’ve had. In 2020, I came up with a specific mission for the blog: to Reach, Teach, and Serve others through my writing. I believe the Holy Spirit shaped that mission over several weeks of prayerful purpose-pondering.
Even with that in mind, lately, I’ve considered ending this journey of words. I tell myself, “Go back to journaling, it’s so much easier, and there’s no technology to scare me. I’m pouring my heart into this, but I wonder if anyone is truly being served. Is there any value in my writing?”
Yes! The one who calls us to write is the one who determines its value and purpose.
We all have creativity inside, but how it’s expressed is shaped by our experiences. For example, creatively writing non-fiction can be challenging. You don’t want it to read like an academic paper or have a preachy or judgmental tone. The outcome is based on our ability to empathize with our reader and her needs, not ours.
Having lived through a public scolding by finger-wagging Sister Julia Ann in front of the whole second-grade class (true story, read about it here) allows me to identify with my reader’s shame or rejection. Pleasent or not, we can use life experiences to enhance our work.
A worthy calling
When someone feels called to a certain work, they can’t walk away easily. I had tried before but came running back. You see, writing, like any other creative work, is so very vulnerable, especially if you’re waiting for your work to be accepted.
How we experience our calling cannot be based on the approval of others.
Writing brings me too much joy to give up. Besides that, being without writing would be painful and more emotionally draining than sticking with it. Plus, when I’m writing, the joy I find is confirmation that this is where I’m supposed to be. Have you ever experienced that kind of confirmation?
Writers, indeed, we struggle with the worthiness of our words. But rest assured, writer friends, our work is worthy no matter the level of engagement, number of rejections, or lack of income resulting from the work. There is great joy in obedience to His calling. We have only to trust that Jesus identifies the reader. He chooses the person you will serve today.
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.
–Ephesian 4:1-2 (NLT)
As writers, our job is to use the creativity gifted to us through the Holy Spirit to carry out His call on our lives. This is what makes our work worthy. Knowing this truth should put a smile on your face.
Let us prepare our hearts to receive His message. Remain humble, be patient, accept others, and gently and joyfully share our words with the world in love. Trust God for its successful delivery at the right time to the right person.
- Do you feel called to use your creativity somehow and then allow friends, family, or your own thoughts to convince you that your work is not worthy?
- Think about it and write down just three ways God has equipped you for this very thing He’s calling you to do?
- What could be your first step toward obeying God’s call?
This post is part of the #Write28Days writing challenge. The prompt today is EXPERIENCE. Check out the other great writers participating in this challenge. Thanks to Anita Ojeda for hosting the event.
Featured image photo by Sincerely Media
Joy mug photo by unsplash
Brené Brown quote, Rising Strong as a Spiritual Practice audio program, heard on Sounds True; 2021