For those who are called to write, I believe it’s important to listen to God’s timing with every piece we publish. Sometimes that means projects are delayed while God works the topic through our own hearts so we can share it with others. But there are also situations where God’s timing is “now” even though we may hesitate to put our work out there.
One of the biggest struggles I see with writers (myself included) is holding back, waiting too long, wanting to do one more edit or more research or … Editing is important. Knowing your readers is important. So is the timing of God’s message and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.
But at some point, you need to hit “Publish.”
The reality is we can always do a “better” job. Ideally, we are growing and improving every day. But it’s okay to have a first book. Or an article that was your best today, even if next week you write something better. You have to start somewhere.
If you struggle with this, read a work by your favorite author – and choose one that you consider that author’s best work to date. After you read that piece, go back and read one of that author’s earliest pieces of writing. You will see the difference. Even with an author like Hemingway – his earlier pieces are entertaining, but they don’t have the same depth as his later writing.
Every writer has a first published piece – if they hit “Publish.” If they keep writing, they also have a collection of early pieces. Even when they start to improve, some later pieces will be better than others. And the piece you write that is not your best may be the very one that resonates with someone and makes an impact.
As Christian writers, we have a life-giving message to share. Jesus offers good news every minute of every day. Someone out there needs to hear His message shared through your experiences and your heart. Even if it’s your first piece. Even if you know you will write better one day. Even though we are all imperfect vessels – God chooses to work through us. But you have to hit “Publish.”
Maybe you feel that your testimony is not complete. You’re right. It isn’t. As long as you are on this earth, God will continue working in your life to transform you. But the testimony you have today may be exactly what someone needs to read today.
I write about areas of my life where I’m not completely healed. I share what God has done so far. Because that is enough of an encouragement for someone else to seek Him for healing. They don’t need to know the final chapter of my story. They just need encouragement to move forward on their journey.
If you have a piece of writing and you know it’s time to share it (God keeps nudging you), ask yourself why you are hesitating. Then take those concerns to God and ask Him to help you.
If you have questions about how your writing comes across (perhaps on a sensitive topic), ask trusted friends to read it and tell you how they hear it. It amazes me how many times I have concerns about something I write, but my friends read it and tell me it sounds fine.
I’ve been on the other side of that as well. Friends ask me to read things they are worried about. But I see nothing of concern in their written piece. This is one of so many reasons God puts us in fellowship with others. Don’t neglect to ask for help and prayers from your support network.
Have you done the best you can do to prepare that written piece thoughtfully and prayerfully? Do you feel like God is saying, “It’s time”? Then pray over your written work. (Have trusted friends pray over it too.) Ask God to move through the words in your writing to touch hearts in the ways He already intends to do.
And then publish it and share it so people can be blessed by the message of good news you are sharing. Thank you for being a Christian writer.