Why I Write

Lots of Christian writers I know have mission statements for their writing. In other words, they’ve articulated for themselves why they write. I confess I have never done this. Never felt the need, though it might just have been that stubborn rebellion I tend to exhibit when being told I “ought” to do something. But during the course of some recent conversations, spoken and written, I stumbled upon the why of my writing. It surprised me–and yet it didn’t.

I write to disciple.

I’d never really thought of it that way before, but there it is. I don’t write to evangelize a non-believer who might happen upon my books, though that would be an awesome outcome. I don’t write to teach history or provide entertainment, though I strive to do both of those things as well. What I do is strive to show how spiritual growth happens, how spiritual truth is lived out in everyday lives, past or present. I pray my words, my stories play some small part of a person’s sanctification process. I hope they befriend, encourage and convict. That they stir dissatisfaction at a current state of being or reveal growth from a previous place, foster meditation on God’s truth and on personal obedience.

This wasn’t always my reason to write. The first two novels I ever finished were all about me, processing things God had done in my life, deep places He’d redeemed. The third novel I wrote was simply out of obedience to God and love for another person, because that person asked me to write that story. And then (I now realize) the shift happened. I wrote a story out of a desire to help another see the pain they were causing to themselves, to say the things from my heart that I had no relational right to say with my mouth.

Looking back, I see that same desire threaded through my three published novels. I recognize the core of my heart’s desire–to pass along what I’ve learned, what I’ve experienced. To keep others from making mistakes I’ve made or witnessed. To pour the Truth out of me and into others. But I’m not the person others seek as a mentor. I don’t speak the things of my heart very well. I do better when I write them. When I show what I mean through a character’s desire and struggle and victory.

And so I write, praying that each plot and sub-plot, each character, major and minor, speaks to someone who flips the pages, leads them into a deeper relationship with the Lord and yields eternal fruit.

16 comments on “Why I Write

  1. Thanks, Anne. I enjoyed reading your thoughts about why you write. Very encouragaing and insightful!

    • Thanks, Carrie. I know we all as writers have different paths the Lord leads us in focusing our writing, it’s just finally kind of nice to recognize what my bent is! 🙂

      And looking very much forward to reading The Governess of Highland Hall. I have it sitting in my stack! 🙂

  2. Anne, thank you for sharing. Each book I read, I take something away from it. I may stop reading and reexamine an area in my life or memory and see how maybe I should have handled it better or it enables me to be ready to handle the next conflict. So, yes your books help your readers. I think they touch more people than you realize. Blessings

    • Thank you, Katrina. That’s how I read books, too–always looking for something to take away from it that I can use in my own life!

    • I love that God calls all of us to different purposes and different audiences. I so respect your heart, Wendy, and am so thankful to call you my friend!

  3. That is exactly why I am driven to write, though the only thing written is poetry from years ago… but in the future it will be to share the truth of Christs love. I had to share this on FB , I would hope that every author calling themselves Christian would write for the same reason but as a reader/reviewer I am seeing that it just isn’t and that is sad. I am so excited , waiting for your book to get here !

    Love you
    Linda Finn
    Faithful Acres Books
    [email protected]

    • Thanks, Linda, for your affirmation, but I do think each Christian writer is called to their own journey in order to reach a different audience. For me, that audience is those who are already walking the path of faith but are seeking to go deeper with the Lord, to win the battles with their flesh and come out a little more like Jesus. But there are Christian writers called to simply plant a seed of redemption and hope in those who do not yet know Jesus. And yes, there are even those called to simply provide Christ-centered entertainment. All are valid reasons to write as long as they are in obedience to what God has called each one to do. 🙂

  4. I love this post 🙂

    And just FYI, I would totally seek you out as a mentor. (Well actually, I kind of already did.) Both in writing and in speech, you are wise, honest and open. Blessed by you and your story!

  5. I really love this! And I confess to smiling when you said you didn’t write a mission statement because of your natural tendency not to do something when someone says you ought to. Haha…that’s so me, to. 🙂

    But yes…you really have such a beautiful reason for writing. As someone who’s read your three novels, I believe you’re accomplishing your mission.

  6. I so thankful you do. You are uniquely placed to speak to an audience that may only hear from your “voice.” Shout your heart in your very quiet way.

    • “Shout your heart in your very quiet way.” Wow. Beautifully expressed. Pondering this idea again today.

  7. How beautiful, Anne! I’m so glad you shared this…and expressed it so well.

    “…to say the things from my heart that I had no relational right to say with my mouth…”

    Love this!

    Thank you!

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