Why do you write?
It’s such a clique, but necessary question, isn’t it?
Without a clear understanding of the end goal in sight, you can easily get lost (and quickly frustrated) in the process.
So, before I share why I write, I want you to think about your own purpose for writing. Fill in the blank, “I write because I want to ______.”
Maybe you write to have your name on a magazine byline. Or maybe you write so you can be published, or earn money.
For some of you, writing might be sacrificial serving to God who has called you to share your story, providing support, encouragement, and light to others who are hurting.
While there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to your why there is a chance it may serve to deter your calling to minister to others.
Let me explain.
When I first started writing my health coaching blog, my motivation for writing was to share my story. It allowed me to therapeutically process how, for over a decade, I was living for the world where stress and achievement reigned, but how I was transformed the moment I opened my Bible and surrendered my life over to God.
That deep internal why was nothing more than sharing my story so no other woman would have to go through what I did. If I could touch even one heart, I felt fulfilled.
A few years into my writing, a shift happened. I began to see writing more as a form of recognition and financial gain. I had thoughts like, “I need to publish a book in order to be considered a writer” and “Unless I make money from my writing, then everything I do is just a hobby and I don’t want to just have a hobby!”
Have you ever had these thoughts? Does the lure of being a best-selling author draw you in? Does the idea of needing to make money in order to be considered “real” float through your mind and strangle out the reason you got started?
If we are all honest with yourselves, the answer is probably ‘yes.’ At some point, worldly expectations begin to filtrate through our thinking, making us doubt, and question our motives. Before you know it, a shift happens and the internal calling to serve others moves to an external expectation to first serve ourselves.
When this switch happens, it is time to reassess your why.
God – unlike the world – has different expectations for you. Rather than writing for money or recognition, God wants you to share how He has transformed your life. You see, He worked a miracle in your life so others can see His amazing love!
The Bible is quick to point out that,
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:24).
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be” (Matthew 6:21).
While it is a great honor to be published, make money, and be a best-selling author, the motives behind your why must be considered.
If the why is about making money and becoming “famous,” friend, you’ve lost your way.
God does not care about your striving. He does not care that your name is known. He does not even care if you make a single dollar from your writing.
What God care about is that you share your story so that others can benefit. When you write to give others hope, your message points back to the One who can give you this hope.
I’m so thankful God put this new song in my heart. Today, rather than believing I need to make money or become published in order to be considered a writer, I now work for the moment God calls me home, entering the narrow gate with God saying to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:23).
Friend, it my prayer for you today that you spend time reexamining your why. If your why has strayed away from serving others and into a more worldly expectation, go to God in prayer and ask Him to gently help you refocus your attention back on Him.
I believe in the power of journaling. If you do too, take some time to answer these questions to help you process the reason for why you write.
1. When you first started writing, what was your why?
2. Has your why changed over the years? If so, how?
3. In what way has your why moved away from God and His calling to serve others?
4. How can you bring God’s calling back into your purpose?