Are you struggling to get your words on the page?
Do you feel torn between the competing priorities of writing, work and other obligations?
Bobbie Ann Cole has been there. When COVID-19 shut down most of the world in 2019, the author of Being Lena Levi, She Does Not Fear the Snow, and Love Triangles thought she’d have all the time in the world to finish her latest book.
But try as she might, the words wouldn’t come. Digging down, Bobbie interviewed other writers to figure out what was holding them back. In surveying the results, Bobbie realized time was never the issue — it was much deeper than that. So much so, she published a report on her findings titled, 10 Reasons Christian Writers Don’t Write and 1 Compelling Reason They Do.Prayer can accomplish what striving cannot. — @cole_bobbie Click To Tweet
If We are Called to Write, Why Don’t We Write?
In most cases, Christian writers aren’t much different than secular writers when it comes to what holds them back from focusing on their writing. They get too busy, they worry about rejection, and they aren’t sure anyone actually cares about what they have to say.
However, they also have some big differences from secular writers:
- Christian writers pray — Prayer can accomplish what striving cannot.
- Christian writers have faith — They might have wavering belief, but they have faith.
- Christian writers write truth — They don’t write their own version of truth; they write God’s truth.
How to Make Time to Write
Though being a Christian writer means you are called to write, you might still have a full life that makes finding time to write difficult. In cases such as this, Bobbie encourages you to consider that each of us experiences different seasons in our lives. In some seasons, we can sit down and write hundreds of words in a day. In other seasons, though, we might need fit our writing into small fragments of time. In those more hectic seasons, Bobbie suggests doing what you can when you can, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day.
Practical ways to get your words down, even when you don’t have time to get them all down at once include:
- Para-writing — Jot down phrases or ideas on sticky notes, so that you have your ideas gathered together when you can focus on your writing.
- Journaling — The practice of getting your thoughts on paper, even if it’s not in a publication-ready fashion, still moves you toward your goal.
- Record your ideas — Several people talk faster than they can write. Using a voice notes app on your phone, or a messaging app like Voxer can help you to record ideas for later transcribing.
How to Write When Life is Hard
All stories have dark parts, Bobbie says. Having a difficult season doesn’t mean you can’t write or shouldn’t write. It might mean, however, that you’re not in a place to write for publication. Time adds perspective. In many cases, you need to write to process through your emotions but that doesn’t mean that writing serves readers.
When God calls you to write, it might not be to write a best-seller, blog post or even a book. But, the call to write is powerful and profound — and it’s one all writers of faith are compelled to answer.The difference between Christian writers and secular writers: They pray, they have faith and they have missionality. h/t @cole_bobbie Click To Tweet
Help in Answering Your Call as a Writer
If you’re feeling the pull on your heart to write, but you don’t know where to begin, Bobbie can help. She offers a short Bible-based course, Eating the Scroll, which offers two weekends of inspiration, encouragement and support in responding to God’s call for you.
Eating the Scroll will give you the tools you need to write with confidence and joy. Find out more at www.YummyScroll.com.
No sound, sorry.
Looking good Tonya
I can hear you
we can hear you
Couldn’t get in straight from Facebook but email link worked
Thank you for helping us with our sound check 🙂
How about now?
We’re here with author/speaker Bobbie Ann Cole, who has figured out how to keep writing even when life is crazy.
Want Bobbie’s report? Go to http://www.forchristianwriters.com
Catching at least part of the teaching live while I eat lunch.
Hello thanks for putting this on
Question for you: Do you really believe? Do you believe God wants you to write?
I’ve just written and published my first Bible fiction book and in this journey I truly found the answer to this question. An unequivocal YES.
It’s so good to hear this training again!
What does it meant to you to have a biblical mindset when it comes to your writing?
For me it means writing with purpose. My Bible based mindset is for my words to bring people closer to Jesus
Thank you for sharing that, Amanda!
Cecilia CC Brena look amiga
That’s so true – Gods outcome
If you’d like today’s show notes, type NOTES here in the comments and we’ll get them to you as soon as they are ready.
NOTES, thank you!
Pat Feinberg Just sent them your way!
It’s a truly unique writing course. I definitely recommend it!
slides too, if possible
Thanks so much for sharing NOTES
Amanda Gigi Bedzrah Just sent them here!
Great web name, Bobbie!
Thanks so much Bobby and Tonya. Notes would be great too
I used to frame being a Christian writer as a disadvantage in the market place, but now I realise of course that it is a huge advantage, because I am following God’s perfect guidance, and receiving Divine protection, fellowship and guidance! Thanks for affirming this in a wonderful way!
We can really rest in the Lord as Christian writers, Sarah, in a way that secular writers are deprived of – we rely on His strength, they are always trying to rely upon their own.
Have questions for Bobbie? Ask them here!
I think for me, I learnt to find time to write when I changed my mindset. For me, I saw writing as a hobby but when I began to see it as a calling I knew that it was my purpose, my responsibility, a necessity. What also helps is voice notes on my phone. Sometimes I record words when I don’t have time to write down.
You are right, Amanda. It is an hono(u)r to be called. We can delight in that.
I love your take on the lady of chayil looking back from a maturer age! Thanks again!
Yes. Voice notes on the phone are fantastic and then emailing the to yourself to file and perfect on your ‘retreat days’.
Book recommendation from Bobbie: A New Name by Emma Scrivener
We’re going live using StreamYard 🙂
Awesome – love thy reader! That’s so powerful Bobbie Cole thank you
Isn’t it? I pray I will keep this in the forefront of my mind.
Like frontlets before our eyes – when we feel the call to write, the most important consideration is: WHO IS THIS FOR? WHAT DO THEY NEED TO KNOW?
Writing can help us heal too as it is a gift from God, since speaking is something in which we mirror the image of God.
It definitely wasn’t dry. 🙂
The interactions were invaluable!
For posterity, I’ll record here that I was talking about A THEOLOGY OF WRITING.
that is part of the course.
Question – How do you know if your writing is a gift from God? Is there a difference between someone who likes to write or is called to write? Eg everyone can sing but not everyone has a great singing voice.
My daughter is an illustrator, and she really dislikes when people don’t specify what they like or don’t like.
Stephanie Nickel It’s hard to act on feedback when it’s not specific.
Love watching the two of you interact!
Stephanie Nickel Bobbie is a lot of fun 🙂
Someone wise told me… write… try it out on people and watch what happens to your audience… this is the key to understand the nature of your gift- your charism. You may heal people, you may exhort them, you may be a leader through writing…. what Bobby says is true… begin! Follow the clues and you’ll soon see your gift at work in the Kingdom!
thank you both!
Thank you both.
You are both doing a beautiful job. x
thank you Bobbie Cole
Thanks Tonya Kubo and Bobbie Cole, that was a great session. A wonderful breath of fresh air! Really inspiring. I am encouraged that because I feel the pull and am a Christian, then God is calling me to write. Never heard it laid out so simply and sensibly.
Sarah Sansbury Thank you so much for watching! Bobbie is a wonderful encourager, and she really knows her stuff when it comes both to scripture and to to call to write.
Sarah Sansbury that is very encouraging to me. Thank you.
Many thanks! I was technically unable to comment last night – but I was there.
Thank you so much for having me, Tonya. I loved it.