Why Write?

When I tell people I’m an author and have three published novels–I rarely bother to mention that I also have two self-published books of my shorter writing–they think it’s pretty nifty. I suppose the average person hasn’t met many authors, much less actual novelists. Even a writer friend at church who I think is very good at writing nonfiction admires my writing and admits he could never write a novel. He  doesn’t have the imagination.

Strangely enough, however, I don’t recall anyone ever asking me why I write. Of course, people who know I write Christian fiction probably assume my writing is an outgrowth of my faith. Although that’s accurate, there’s more to it than that.

It’s easy to dismiss the reasons for writing that don’t fit.

I don’t write for fame or even recognition. Yes, it MIGHT be nice to walk into a bookstore and have some shy individual approach me cautiously and ask, “Aren’t you…?” Then he struggles to remember which well-known writer I am.

No, that wouldn’t work for me. I’d rather be a nobody. Like Emily Dickinson. (If you don’t get this reference, look up the poem “I’m Nobody, Who Are You?”) My writings are more important than I am.

I don’t write for money, either. Yes, I received a decent advance for each of my first two novels, but sales never paid back those advances. Truth be known, because so much of book marketing falls on the shoulders of the author, The Devil and Pastor Gus has not only earned less than $2o in the two years it’s been out, whatever royalties it has earned have gone back to my publisher to help pay for their marketing efforts.

Nope, money’s never going to happen, and I’m just as happy. My wife and I are not overly materialistic, and I don’t want to become addicted to THINGS the way I was when I was younger. We’re not rich. Nowhere close to it. But we’re comfortable. We have what we need–everything we need–and a little bit more. God sees to that.

So why write?

God has given me writing talent and helped me to develop it. He’s also given me creativity and an imagination. Failing to use those gifts would be a slap in His face. He’s never led me to believe He wants me to become a success as the world sees it. But He has given me a number of spiritual insights I didn’t have when I was younger, and He seems to want me to express them through fiction. It’s as simple as that.

When I sign a book, I typically write, “I pray this book may both bless and entertain you.” I mean it.

When I started writing this post, I had a couple of other things I wanted to talk about, but I’m at a comfortable stopping place now. I’ll use my next post to talk about what I’m leaving out now.

What about you? Do you write? If so, why? If not, why not? Has God given you some other talent that you are using for Him? Or one you should be using for Him? How about leaving a comment?

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.

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Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

Pressing On

Our church choir recently sang an anthem called “Press On.” It’s based on something the apostle Paul said in the Bible:
“Brothers, I do not consider myself to have embraced it yet. But this one thing I do: Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I keep pursuing the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly call in the Messiah Jesus. Therefore, those of us who are mature should think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will show you how to think.” (Philippians 3:13-15)

That Scripture has great relevance to Christians, and so does the anthem. The anthem reminds me of something else, though. As I continue to age, life itself requires me to keep pressing on.

I feel so blessed that God has given me musical and creative writing skills, and I’m always thankful when I get to use those talents to bless other people. And I admit I’m apt to get frustrated when I don’t have a chance to do that. I don’t believe God gave me those abilities just to amuse myself and my wife.

I’ve heard of too many older people who, upon retiring, basically quit living. They quit living useful and productive lives, anyhow, and that’s the last thing in the world I want to do. I can’t imagine what sitting around all day and doing nothing would be like.

Boring? For sure.

But also how sad. When life no longer has a purpose, what’s the use in living?

I’ve been working hard on my twelfth novel the past six or eight months. I thought I was finished except for some minor revisions, but my agent  pointed out some major problems–major in terms of failing to grab the reader’s attention and make her want to keep reading.

Out of curiosity I asked a good friend who is a much more experienced writer than I am what she thought. She not only agreed with my agent–I’d expected that–she pointed out a problem my agent hadn’t mentioned.

So much for thinking my manuscript was almost complete and ready for my agent to pitch to a publisher.

I believe the purpose of life is to bring God pleasure. Not just in doing my best to live the way He wants me to, but by using the talents He’s blessed me with to the best of my ability. And that means continuing to sharpen my skills.  And not to be satisfied with less than I’m capable of doing on the current project, be it a novel or a new song.

It would have been far easier to ditch that twelfth novel manuscript and start something new than to make the necessary changes. But God didn’t create me to be a quitter. He wants me to press on until I can’t do any better. And thank goodness His Holy Spirit is living inside me, urging and helping me do my best.

That doesn’t mean I’ve finished making those changes yet. But I’m getting there.

It’s no wonder I enjoy life in spite of the fact my body–like everyone else’s–is in the process of deteriorating. My life still has purpose. And it will continue to do so as long as I keep pressing on.

What about you? Are you “pressing on” to reach a difficult goal because you believe it’s the right thing to do? How about leaving a comment?

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.

~*~

Links you might be interested in:

I’ll be back again on Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger