1 John 1:3-4: We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete (NIV).
Do you ever ask yourself this question? I know I do. You may have been a writer for your entire life, or you may have come to the vocation of Christian writing later in life. Maybe you have a strong conviction that God has called you to write, has given you the gift, and expects you to use it. Is this what keeps you going?
Sandra P. Aldrich, professional writer and featured speaker at Kentucky Christian Writers’ Conference 2006, said, “When people ask me why I write, I say that I write because I have to.” Taken out of context, that might be interpreted to mean that she writes for living. However, that is not what she meant. She writes because writing is her purpose in life. She experiences the same doubts and frustrations as the rest of us, but she must write because it is her calling.
John, the Apostle whom Jesus loved, wrote the words in the scripture verse above. The Apostle Paul was a writer. Think of all the letters he wrote, some from a prison cell. In the epistles in the Bible, the writers demonstrate their passion for Christ as they encourage churches or advise fledgling Christians. They write about what they have seen and heard believing that their words can strengthen the faithful and bring people to Christ. They write so that everyone’s joy may be complete. The reader experiences God’s grace through the written word and comes to know the joy of Christian fellowship. And that gives the writers joy.
What about you?
Whatever your genre or subject matter, you can share what God has given you so that your joy, and the joy of your readers can be complete. To be effective, know your target audience. How old are they? What do they want? They don’t always want what they need, but you must start with what they want and then show them what they need. Where do they get their information? Now we’re talking about marketing, and that’s not a joyful subject for many writers. But, marketing helps you reach those who need the joy you have to share. Marketing, networking, editing, critiquing—some of those activities are not much fun. But, to get your message out there, they are necessary.
So, do whatever it takes. Make our joy complete.
Readers, I invite you to comment on your successes in sharing the joy. Newsletter readers, click on the title of the article to go to the site and scroll down to Leave a Reply.