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Co-creating by heart with sandy cathcart through writers helps and art info, focusing on all things wild.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Called to Write, Part I

Are you called to write?

Or are you a Christian who writes?

Those questions have been plaguing me all week! It first came about when a fellow blogger posted a question on the FCW site, and I haven’t been able to let go of it since.

God definitely called me to write. I’m fortunate to know that.

But I haven’t always known that. For ten whole years—yes! ten!—I wrote articles and stories and sent them out to publications and kept getting these little form letter rejections that said, “I’m sorry, but your submission doesn’t fit our current needs.”


I got so many of those that my husband and I celebrated when I received my first personal rejection.

So … after ten years, I figured that was enough already.

I was at the end of a China mission trip, traveling solo on a train during my favorite part of the day, that time when the sun sinks low on the horizon and peasants sling their rakes and hoes over their shoulders and walk their water buffalo home for the evening. Everything looked so peaceful and still in the evening glow and the smell of freshly harvested wheat blew through the train’s windows. And I started to think that God was moving me in new directions—that this would probably be my last trip to China. And I wondered what He would have me do next.

That’s when I thought about my writing.

“I think I’ve had enough of this writing stuff,” I told God in my mind. “After all, I’ve been sending stuff out for ten years, and for ten years I’ve gotten nothing but rejections.”

I was the only English speaking person on the train, and I had no one else to talk with, and I certainly didn’t expect God to answer me. But He did! It was the clearest I’ve ever heard God in my life!

He didn’t speak in an audible voice, but it was definitely a conversation and it was definitely to me. He said, “Sandy, I called you to write—“

There was a pause while I waited in hope…God called me to write! Goodness! Would I be the next big seller!

Then He finished the sentence. “…I didn’t say anything about being published.”


I suddenly visualized myself in a room with piles and piles of papers surrounding me—papers that were full of words that I had written, that nobody would ever read. But I would write!

I would write, because God called me to write.

So, I returned home to Oregon with that conviction. But before I even reached my house, I stopped at our mailbox that is about a quarter of a mile from my house, and there was my very first acceptance, and I’ve been accepted ever since.

So, yes, I know God called me to write, but please note that I didn't know that for the first ten years of my writing life.

But, no, that doesn’t always mean that everything I write will get published. In fact, a whole lot of what I write may never be published … but I write! I write because … you guessed it … God called me to write.

Other writers don’t always understand that calling. They pressure me to get on the ball, be more aggressive, or be more professional. They mean well, but a lot of times it’s really not about the writing. At least not for me, it isn’t. It’s about relationships—a relationship with an agent who needs a bit of mercy, a relationship with an editor who received a blessing through the words I submitted, a relationship with God as He carries me through the difficult process so others can learn from my example of perseverance, a relationship with others along this writing journey.

It’s not always fun, but it’s always rewarding, if given time.

Back to that patience thing again. Doggone it.

It’s not just about being patient in waiting for God, it’s also being patient with well-meaning friends who don’t understand God’s calling on my life. How can I expect them to understand it when I don’t even understand it myself?

More this weekend, when I’ll talk a bit about what it means to be a Christian who writes.


At 3:07 PM, Blogger kc said...

Simply awesome, sister.


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