So you’re just starting out as a Christian writer? Or wanting to hear God more deeply in your writing?
Maybe you already have a sense of what you want to write. In a writing workshop I taught years ago, a new student said he knew he wanted to write novels like Ted Dekker’s. Another student knew she wanted her devotionals to be published in The Upper Room. I knew I wanted to blog even before blogs were a thing. Several of my book clients knew they wanted to tell the story of how God had healed them and changed their lives.
But not everyone knows, starting out, what he or she wants to write. In fact, most people don’t know. Often, writers start in one direction and end up following another path or two. I began with fiction writing and business writing. Before long, I discovered a love for blogging. Farther down the road, I found that I enjoy curriculum writing. I never would have imagined that starting out. I had to live a little as a writer – and as a person – and allow God to shape me.
So, if you don’t know where you are headed, don’t worry! You are in great company. Most of the writers I’ve interacted with, who have answered God’s call to writing, did not know what they wanted to write. That is a wonderful place to be. You are beginning an amazing journey of experiencing God in your writing. He will lead you to your heart’s desire, even if you don’t know what that is yet. And you will get to know God – and yourself – even better along the way.
So, where do you start?
(1) Pray and ask God. He will reveal whatever you need to know to take your first (or next) steps as a Christian writer. He doesn’t often share a long-term plan. But He will give you enough to begin.
(2) Start noticing what you enjoy reading. Do you love novels? Short stories? Or maybe you enjoy watching movies. Learning to write Christian movie scripts can be a wonderful outlet if that’s what you love most.
Do you enjoy reading blog posts? Magazine articles? Maybe you are even attracted to those short filler articles in magazines. Writers are hired to create those.
Do you like listening to testimonies? Reading church newsletters?
You get the idea. Your heart already has a sense of what you enjoy reading.
Not all Christian writers are called to write specifically Christian material. God might call you to bring His heart to business writing, or sports writing. He might call you to contribute heartfelt family articles to your small-town newspaper. Pay attention to the kind of writing that attracts you, and where you feel God’s heart beating in you as a writer.
Granted, the kind of reading you enjoy might not be your favorite kind of writing. I love reading novels, and I’ve been well trained in writing them. But it’s not my favorite way to put pen to paper in this season of my life.
However, what you enjoy reading most is a good place to start exploring what you might enjoy as a writer. And it’s a great way to learn. The most effective writers are avid readers.
(3) Learn about the kind of writing that interests you. For example, if you enjoy fiction, do some research online. There are wonderful websites with helpful articles that will help you learn more about the craft of fiction writing. Even if you discover down the road that fiction isn’t what you want to write, your time will not be wasted. You will still grow as a writer as you explore different kinds of writing.
(4) Look for a first step you can take to get started:
- Start a blog – the various popular blog platforms have really made this easy, and you can find a lot of help online through articles and video tutorials.
- Write a letter to a loved one, sharing God’s love, encouragement, or a prayer.
- Ask your pastor if you can write a short article in the church newsletter; if that sounds like too much starting out, write a paragraph about something happening in the life of your church.
- Learn how to write a devotional.
- Take a writing class.
- Attend a Christian writing conference.
Prayerfully take one step, and then another. Before long, you will start to find more opportunities that you can enjoy as a Christian writer. The key is to take those first steps: Pray, read, and write.
When you are ready to move beyond these initial steps, you will discover many possible paths to explore. To help you along your journey, I have created a PDF of 156 ways you can get started in Christian writing. You are welcome to download that PDF here:
These are just a few ideas to help you get started. God will lead you into the areas where He will bless and grow you as a Christian writer.