Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Finding purpose as a Writer

My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses to the King; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. (Ps 45:1)

One of my first writing mentors told me every writer should have a mission, a purpose for writing other than for self-enjoyment. He encouraged me to create a mission statement, and he also directed my attention to the above verse saying it would be a good motto for me. “What is my purpose in writing?” is something I ask myself every time I sit down. I might have various ideas, but the underlying principle is always the same: to build up and encourage others.

I was three when I first dedicated my life to Christ, but it wasn’t until the end of high school that I really had any idea what that might mean. All I really knew was that from the time I was small I wanted God to use me to bless the lives of others. At first I thought that might be through medicine and missions and I threw myself into that field whole-heartedly. Over time I came to realize I was really more interested in caring for the emotional and spiritual well being of others. I could splint and bandage and try to make people more comfortable all day, but my greatest joy came through building relationships and encouraging others.

When I finally decided to pursue writing as a profession I realized that being a writer was so much more than being someone who scribbles words on a page. It is an identity. And I wanted nothing more than for that identity to be centered in Christ. As the years have progressed I’ve noticed something about my writing: everything I do has God’s fingerprints on it. My words echo his love, reflect his creativity, and in some way retell the story he spoke into existence on the day of creation. What nobler theme could the heart be stirred by?

Not everything I write will be for the “Christian” market. In fact, that’s a term I’m not overly fond of personally because it sounds so isolationist. If we have an important story to tell, shouldn’t it be for everyone to hear? That is my mission, to write in such a way that it blesses the lives of others and somehow points them back to my King, no matter where they are in life. And better yet, I never have to get in their face to do so.

What is your purpose? What is your theme? If you haven’t found it yet I’d like to encourage you to take a break from your writing and do a little soul searching. Once you’ve found it you may discover that it adds an entirely new perspective and joy to who you are as a writer.


  1. Very encouraging. That is one thing I need to work on, finding my purpose. Something to think about this week.

  2. It surprises me to realize that although I have written more than one mission statement over the years, I still sometimes get hung up on the question, why do I write? I've come to the conclusion that God made me this way... I can't help it!
    Blessings to you on the journey, Jen!
    Dee :)