Finding your voice, dealing iwth criticism, and understanding your calling.
Writing God’s Way
So what does writing God’s way mean? Many writers whether Christian or secular, allow the very thought of criticism or discouragement to prevent them from putting pen to paper. It’s a part of writing and putting your work out there. A dilemma that all writers face. In fact, it is probably one of the most common fears all artists face.
When you first contemplate becoming a Christian writer, there seems to be an additional pressure, doesn’t there? However, one thing is for sure, if you are writing to ‘please’ others, you may forget about even starting!
Always remember – reaching others is very different to pleasing others.
If you read the prophetic passages, you will notice that the prophets of old, did not always bring ‘good news’ to Israel. In fact, there was a lot of ‘doom and gloom’. That’s because God had something to say about how people were treating Him and treating each other – there was little or no respect. He used scribes and prophets to get His message across and sometimes they were frowned upon and not very popular. That is until their prophecies came true! Then the people began to listen and their sacred writings were preserved and published century after century.
Dealing with criticism
If it makes anyone feel any better, I have constantly suffered criticism regarding what I write. At first it was…ouch, that hurt! However, I soon learned that it was to be expected. It didn’t matter after a while because I knew that God had something to say about it and I felt called to write – for Him.
It is always a good thing when writing either Christian non-fiction or fiction to try and be in alignment with what God’s Word says. Always try to write not only with His purpose in mind but with His infallible Word. If what you write is not, then you will have a problem. It will be something that you will wrestle with for a long time. Remember, once something is written and published – publicly, it’s hard to take it back.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
One of the major questions I am asked is, how do I deal with criticism. Constructive criticism is great, in fact it is essential if one is going to grow as a writer. However, if publishing a book, blog, magazine or article, it is important to distinguish between what is authentic criticism and what is not. This will keep you sane. Also, beware of the ‘politically correct’ correctors!
Dr Ken Baker on his feature ‘How did Jesus handle criticism?’ wrote,
“Don’t let compliments get to your head and don’t let their criticism get to your heart.”
A good balance. I believe one of the most important things after writing with God’s purpose is, does what the person write make sense? And above all does it have the desired effect upon the reader? If it is ‘yes’ to these questions, then keep writing because God is using you – effectively.
As human beings we do not like to be challenged or our views questioned. People are happy in their comfort zones, with a constant ‘do not disturb’ sign on the doors of their minds. However, it is important that we are stretched, spiritually whether we are believers or not and this is the job of the scribe. Reaching others, is our true calling. It is Jesus’ command and Great Commission to us.
Today I received a gift in the post from GOD TV. It read:
“I’M A MEDIA MISSIONARY: Bringing the Gospel to the Nations.”
If you can do this through your writing, the criticism just falls to the ground as dust. This phrase in a nutshell, is what it is all about.
Why not make the New Year, the year you write your book, blog, poem or article with your God-driven purpose in mind!
This article was written by Karin McBride-Chenoweth. It was first published on GOD TV blog. Karin is an award-winning writer, editor and publisher of Christian and secular works in Europe and the USA. Karin is a US Citizen and lives and works in the USA.