Monday, January 30, 2017

Who are you writing for?

Hello all! I know it's not quite January, and I'm technically still on a blogging break . . . but I wanted to go ahead and share this before we get into the business of February. 

I debated a LOT about whether or not I should share this. I know not everyone is gonna feel the same way I do about this subject. For that reason, I've put off posting it, and in fact I wasn't planning to post it at all . . . yet, the subject has still be heavy on my heart. After praying about it off and on for several months, I've decided to go ahead and post it. So I hope you are encouraged a bit, even if perhaps you don't agree with everything I've said. 

This question has been on my mind a lot the past few weeks. I pour so much time into writing, but why?
Why is this so important to me?
Why do I live and breath words?
Why will I work so hard to make time for writing?
But above all . . . just who am I writing for?
It's easy to lose track of the all-important answer to the this question. It can be so easy to say "I write because I enjoy it", or "because I'm passionate about this certain subject."
And while those are good reasons, I don't believe they are good enough. As Christians, we are called to bring God's light into this world.
Spending so much time simply for pleasure just doesn't seem right. Do we write only to entertain? This is not a worthwhile goal.

When I first sketched out the outline for A Question of Honor, I wasn't thinking about God at all. And I say this to my shame. I wasn't thinking about how I could bring others closer to Him, or perhaps encourage people in their walk with God.
No, I was thinking about whether or not it was something other people would enjoy. Would a friend enjoy it? What would my sister think? Could I make the characters believable?
I did try to think of a "theme" I wanted for the book, but that doesn't really amount to anything. Even secular books have a theme or agenda their trying to get across. To put it bluntly, I was writing this book for myself. And for other people.

But when I started writing A Question of Honor something wonderful happened. Instead of following what I had wanted to do, the book took on a whole different form. God decided what I had planned wasn't enough.
I learned so much through writing it. Not only in a historical sense, but through what God taught me as I was writing. This book was the only project I've undertaken where I was constantly going back to the Bible for one thing or another. Instead of using all the research books I had gotten, (Though I did still use them a bit ;)) I was using the Bible as my primary tool. When I finished, it was completely different than what I had envisioned. And to be honest, instead of wanting people to read it and looking forward to seeing what they thought, I didn't want anyone to see it.
Why? Because I had learned so much and grown closer to the Lord while writing it. I had studied the Bible to find out exactly what God said about certain matters, and I had learned things I had never known before. And my characters learned with me.
It was almost as though it was my personal story of what I had learned in my walk with the Lord during this time, only told through characters in a different era.

When I re-read it I realized that somehow through the course of the time it took me to write it, my goal in writing it had changed. I wasn't writing something I thought other people would like.
I was writing something I hoped would encourage people in their walk with the Lord. I was writing something  I hoped might make unbelievers question their unbelief.
I was writing for Christ, not myself.

And friends, that is so important. As christian writers, our primary goal should not be to entertain.
Now, I'm not saying it's bad to entertain. I know that personally I learn a lot more when the truths the author is working on getting across are woven throughout a well-told story.
Yet, the primary purpose as a Christian in the world is to be a light and witness for Christ. And as we write, the words we use should shine light across even the darkest places. This world is growing darker. God has given us the gift of using words to communicate truths to others.

But this can only be used for God's glory when we are writing  for Him. 


  1. I am totally agreed on this and whoa you did so amazing with the Question of Honor - I love to hear a bit of the behind the scenes. I started writing BECAUSE I couldn't find books that I enjoyed that still gave glory to God - so I set out to write the book that I'd enjoy, and feel comfortable reading. I keep asking God to bless my writing and just write something that gives glory and honor to Him. God has really grown me through writing my past two novels and I'm excited to start this new story and adventure! :D

    I love this post so much, girlie <33

    1. Aw, thanks, Sarah! <3 Yes, me, too!! Ahh, now I'm even more looking forward to reading something of yours! God is amazing in all the ways He teaches us . . . sometimes it just blows my mind!

      Thank you, Sare! <3 So glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Amen! Jesseca, everything you wrote is so true. It's something I learned early on in my writing, and even now I often have to study and pray about how to present a truth in my story to one of my characters. I've learned a lot in doing so too. :)
    I think this message is something every Christian author should heed. So many times I've read a book or story written by a "christian" author and thought, "Who did you write this for?" Many times the story didn't glorify God. The focus so often is writing something that will sell, that others will passionately love and rave over, not what God has given us to write.
    Thank you for being willing to write in the Light and share that with others!

    1. Yeah, it can be so hard to know exactly how to weave it into the story line.
      I think it's sad whenever a Christian author has to write something so that it will sell . . . I pray that God will always help me keep away from that tricky slope.

      You're welcome! It's something I've been learning for the first time, and I hoped it would encourage some others. :) So glad you enjoyed!

  3. So glad you shared this post!! Something I needed to be reminded of. It's so easy to get caught up writing just what you want to write that you forgot Who gave you the ability to write.

    1. Thanks, Lauren!
      Yes, it, unfortunately, so simple to do, and yeah . . . so, so easy to forget just WHO we owe it all to!

  4. Yes, totally! Thank you for sharing, Jesseca. :) I always enjoy it when other writers "open up" so to speak and just tell the truth that needs to be told. ;) To God be ALL the glory!

    1. You're welcome. :) Thanks for reading!
      Hehe, yeah, I always enjoy posts like that, too. Though I've realllyyyyy struggled with writing them. But God is good,m and when He lays a subject on your heart, He's faithful to help and guide you in how to talk about it. :)
      Amen! Great things He has done!

  5. YES! Love this post...I'm glad others have had similar feelings with writing :) I went through something similar with a project I finished a couple months back.

    1. I'm so glad it was an encouragement... I think it's something that's so easy to forget! And yeah, I think a lot of us do struggle with it, it's just not easy to talk about. :)

  6. Wow! This was excellent and encouraging. Thanks for sharing!!! :D

    1. Thanks, R! Glad it was an encouragement and you enjoyed!