Is writing a risky business? Or have you chosen to be a writer because it felt safe?
I have to admit when I first began writing I felt safe. And as an introvert and melancholy personality, that was important. I could write and sell nonfiction articles, doing safe research. I could maintain my privacy and anonymity and make a difference in people’s lives and the world.
Publishing good solid articles for years, I began to bore myself and feel my writing was flat. Although I was doing lots of profile articles, interviews that yielded great information, and regular assignments, there seemed to be something missing.
Finally, I decided to try something different. Digging deep down in my heart, I wrote an article about my mother and how her health struggles affected me.
When the article was done, I panicked. What was I thinking? I had poured out my deepest thoughts and pain for the world to see. Could anyone possibly want to read that? More importantly, what would the reader think of my blatant honesty and raw emotion?
It didn’t take me long to find out the answer to those questions. First, the editor called. “This is a great article! Can you send me a picture of you and your mother?” When the article was printed, I began to receive notes from readers.
“Thank you for sharing your story. It encouraged me to deal with my own mother’s illness.”
“Your article really touched my life and gave me great hope.”
“I appreciate so much your honesty and openness. Thanks for sharing.”
I had taken a risk and stepped out of my comfort zone. And I had touched more lives and made a difference.
In the beginning I didn’t think I could do it. Never mind the risk, I just didn’t want to put myself in a vulnerable position where people knew my innermost thoughts and feelings. I didn’t think it was their business how I felt or what my deepest thoughts were. Why would any reader who was not personally acquainted with me want to know what I was going through or how I dealt with the difficult circumstances in my life?
What I learned was that I was probably not the only one going through whatever circumstance I found myself in. Others were struggling, too, and when I shared what God was teaching me, He was able to touch the lives of others.
Did they condemn and criticize and say, “Oh, poor you?”
No, comments came thanking me for my openness, honesty, and courage to share what was deep in my heart.
Christian writers are in the risky business of passing along God’s message in an open and honest way that touches the hearts and lives of their readers. But we can’t do that unless we have drawn close to Him in both good times and bad. And when our hearts are filled with God’s direction for our lives, we can be sure in writing from the overflow of that direction, He will bless others.
What about you? Are you willing to take the risk? Reach into the depths of your heart and share what God is teaching you today. You can make a difference.