Be an Encourager – Cindy Sproles

What influence do you have as a writer?

Like the moon controls the tide, the writer controls the reader. The writer takes the reader by the hand and pulls them gently into an imaginary bubble, manipulating their emotions. From shear joy to deepest fear, the writer lays a path for the reader.

The question is, what path do you wish to lay?

Often as writers the wait to become a published author begins at weeks and drags into years. We grow impatient, frustrated and wonder “will our time ever come?” But writing is more than publication and real writing…writing with the heart, may mean never being published.

The passion of writing is sometimes overtaken by the personal desires to “be successful.” As writers, the mark of success tends to be publication – a book on the shelf for folks to pick up and thumb through.

I challenge you to look deeper into your passion of writing and evaluate your intentions. Of course, it’s fine to have a goal for publication. This is why we write, but on the other side of the balancing scales are those writing opportunities we can share pro bono. We tend to forget pure joy of writing.

When you complete an article or a story, a chapter, the first thing you do is give it to your tribe of readers. “Read this. See what you think.”

Perhaps you receive a pat on the back or a praise for the words you’ve crafted but is that really what you’re looking for? No, it’s not. What we look for is the response to the words we’ve written. Their ultimate effect on the person reading.

Alton Gansky, author and co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, once taught in his class, “If you want to write for God then understand your words may never be in a book on the shelves of a Lifeway Bookstore….instead they may be meant for the guy sitting next to you.”

What valuable words of wisdom and what a way to put writing into perspective. Goals and ambitions are wonderful. They spur us ahead but real writers understand all their words may never be in print. They may only touch those close to them. Use your words to teach. To guide. To encourage. It’s amazing how far they will go.

Re-evaluate your priorities in writing. Set goals and then hone the passion. Use your words with freedom to share and allow them to bless others. When we do this, God can and will work through a willing vessel. The most important thing you write may only appear in your blog, but it may change the life of someone thousands of miles away.

Do we always see the fruit of our labor? No, in fact, rarely but that doesn’t mean things are not happening. God calls us as Christians, as writers, to plant the seed. Sometimes we see the growth of that seed but more times than not. We never see it.

One day, we’ll stand before the King and when He says, “Well done good and faithful servant,” He’ll gently turn us by the shoulder to allow us to see the thousands of lives our words touched.

Approach your writing with a Christ-like face. Write for God and let God move the work. Some will be published others will not. But the work of a willing servant…the seed that was planted, will flourish and grow.