"Writing is hard work. Writing well is even harder." ~Andrew Le Peau

How Do You Know if You Are Called to Be a Writer?

As a true fan of certainty, I am filled with longing whenever I read Old Testament stories in which God shows up in unmistakable clarity. He speaks from a bush on fire, gives audible instructions for travel, and issues a rebuke from between the squared off teeth of a donkey. Even when Samuel, young and inexperienced, failed to recognize God’s voice by its tone and timbre, Eli was snoozing nearby to set him straight.

In the Old Testament, a person’s calling was crystal clear. Elderly prophets showed up, oil was spilled, and momentous words were spoken over the head of the called one. By comparison, 21st-century followers of God seem to have been left to our own devices. Stumbling into a writing and speaking ministry in midlife, my own experience has been to recognize my vocation in the rear view mirror, as it began to dawn on me that almost every job I’ve ever held has morphed eventually into a writing gig.

There’s a certain audacity in saying, “God has called me to write”—particularly in seasons in which it is not readily apparent that God has called a corresponding population to be readers of the words I’m writing!  I’m not alone in thinking this:  Author and editor, Andrew Le Peau wrote books and articles for 25 years before ever thinking much about any calling or vocation that might be driving his successful career.  In fact, until his daughter quizzed him one day about his thoughts on God’s calling, he realized he had never before put words around his decades of faithfully following the abilities and interests God had given him.

Write Better: A Lifelong Editor on Craft, Art, and Spiritualitypublished by InterVarsity Press in 2019, is one expression of LePeau’s vocation to “glorify God with words, whether written or spoken,” along with his personal invitation to examine the writing life as a craft, as an art, and as a spiritual practice. With a balance of humor and sagacity, he takes on topics from the importance of thorough and careful attribution to writer’s block and the role of the outline outside Miss Whitebread’s fifth grade classroom.

I’m sharing my review of the book, particularly as it deals with writing as a spiritual practice, with the folks at The Perennial Gen. Join me there?


Many thanks to InterVarsity Press for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which, of course, is offered freely and with honesty.

Committed to Writing Better,

michele signature rose[1]

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees. If you should decide to purchase Write Better: A Lifelong Editor on Craft, Art, and Spirituality, simply click on the title within the text, and you’ll be taken directly to Amazon. If you decide to buy, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

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43 thoughts on “How Do You Know if You Are Called to Be a Writer?”

  1. I’d never though of my writing as a “spiritual practice”, but you know what – it is! And that alone is purpose enough even if no human eyes ever see it. I know with every fiber of my being that I’m called to write, although still navigating exactly what He intends to do with me. But truly if it’s nothing more than to bond more intimately with Him, than that’s all that matters. Thanks so much for sharing your review. I put the book in my cart hoping to buy soon 🙂

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  2. I love this post! I have always found writing to be very healing for me. I have been a writer for as long as I can remember, finding solace and catharsis in the process of putting the words in my head onto paper or computer screen. I have felt it has been my calling for a long time. My struggle still remains in what I am supposed to write about as I continue to just write about that which I know. I suppose that is all we can do really. And maybe that is the specific calling…to share our stories with the world to help others feel connected and understood. Thanks for sharing and linking up!

    Shelbee
    http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

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  3. Visiting you from Twinkly Tuesday. 🙂 I think if I’ve been called by God to do something, he is probably perplexed with me because I apparently have overlooked the calling. However, on writing….I have two where the characters probably wish I’d take them out of limbo and finish the scribblings I started quite a few years ago. I keep thinking I will but at an impasse on the one as to how to end it. 🙂 Happy Tuesday.

    Peabea Scribbles

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  4. Thank you for sharing your review. It spoke to me! I have not stopped writing for over a decade now, and with some success and some dry spells, I do wonder if it will ever be more than a hobby and is a true calling from God. Your review gave me much needed perspective and encouragement!

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  5. I think the more writers read about writing the better. I like the idea of a spiritual aspect to it. I think the same about baking. I remember saying to someone that I wanted to be a writer and they pointed out that I already was which made me feel great and move forwards positively. It is Kate on Thin Ice commenting coming via #TwinklyTuesday

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  6. I think when you wrte you put part of yourself into it so it definitely has a spiritual aspect. I’d love to write a book some day… Thanks for linking up with #globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It has taken me a while to be able to answer this question, “What do you do?” I can now answer with confidence – “I am a writer.” I, too, started this later in life when God called. Your post received the most click on Grace & Truth and will be featured this Friday. Thank you – this book looks good. Maree

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