Writing as Worship: What Makes Christian Writers Different

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.

Hi! I’m Tonya.

What gives me the greatest joy is working Christian writers who actually care about the people they serve, who want to be on a first-name basis with members of their communities. I am so glad you’re here!

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Tonya Kubo

Tonya Kubo

Social Media Consultant

Tonya Kubo is a social media consultant who helps Christian writers use Facebook to develop highly engaged online audiences so they can stop counting followers and start connecting with the followers who count. Email her at info@tonyakubo.com.

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75 Comments

  1. Pat Feinberg

    Couldn’t get in straight from Facebook but email link worked

    Reply
  2. Tonya Kubo

    Thank you for helping us with our sound check 🙂

    Reply
  3. Tonya Kubo

    We’re here with author/speaker Bobbie Ann Cole, who has figured out how to keep writing even when life is crazy.

    Reply
  4. Tonya Kubo

    Question for you: Do you really believe? Do you believe God wants you to write?

    Reply
    • Amanda Gigi Bedzrah

      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.

      Reply
  5. Tonya Kubo

    What does it meant to you to have a biblical mindset when it comes to your writing?

    Reply
    • Amanda Gigi Bedzrah

      For me it means writing with purpose. My Bible based mindset is for my words to bring people closer to Jesus

      Reply
  6. Tonya Kubo

    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.

    Reply
  7. Sarah de Nordwall

    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!

    Reply
    • Bobbie Ann Cole

      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.

      Reply
  8. Amanda Gigi Bedzrah

    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.

    Reply
    • Bobbie Ann Cole

      You are right, Amanda. It is an hono(u)r to be called. We can delight in that.

      Reply
  9. Sarah de Nordwall

    I love your take on the lady of chayil looking back from a maturer age! Thanks again!

    Reply
  10. Sarah de Nordwall

    Yes. Voice notes on the phone are fantastic and then emailing the to yourself to file and perfect on your ‘retreat days’.

    Reply
  11. Tonya Kubo

    Book recommendation from Bobbie: A New Name by Emma Scrivener

    Reply
      • Bobbie Ann Cole

        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?

        Reply
  12. Sarah de Nordwall

    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.

    Reply
  13. Amanda Gigi Bedzrah

    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.

    Reply
  14. Stephanie Nickel

    My daughter is an illustrator, and she really dislikes when people don’t specify what they like or don’t like.

    Reply
    • Tonya Kubo

      Stephanie Nickel It’s hard to act on feedback when it’s not specific.

      Reply
  15. Sarah de Nordwall

    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!

    Reply
  16. Sarah Sansbury

    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.

    Reply
    • Tonya Kubo

      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.

      Reply
    • Bobbie Cole

      Sarah Sansbury that is very encouraging to me. Thank you.

      Reply
  17. Sophie Neville

    Many thanks! I was technically unable to comment last night – but I was there.

    Reply
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