What Is a Christian Writer?
By Bob Valleau
I’ve included four important questions, in this article interview format, to convey what it means to be a Christian writer. Even though they are not from an actual interview, I have addressed each of these questions, at some point, in the past. I pray my answers give some insight into the exciting — and extremely satisfying — field of Christian writing.
Why are you a Christian writer?
I’m asked this question a lot, and I always reply: I can’t be anything else but a Christian writer. However, there’s more to my answer. Being a Christian writer is a calling by God with a commitment. One day, when I was young, He called me to write, and I knew beyond all doubt it was something I was supposed to do. And ever since I committed to writing for Him, I’ve grown in the confidence of His calling.
What does it take to be a Christian writer?
Over the years, I have learned that being successful at what I do takes a lot of discipline, determination and a drive to pursue God’s plan for everything I write no matter the word count. It takes an ear for hearing and a mind for understanding what God wants me to write. In other words, I consider two things before I write: my audience and what the Spirit of God places within my heart to write. Through prayer, and listening to God’s Spirit, He may want me to write something encouraging or inspirational. Or, He may just want me to write something entertaining to brighten someone’s day with humor.
What are the benefits of being a Christian writer?
For me, the greatest reward of being a Christian writer is joy: joy in receiving feedback from a reader who was touched, in some way, by what I wrote; joy in knowing that the words I wrote changed someone’s thinking or behavior for good; joy in seeing how what I wrote healed, challenged, inspired or encouraged someone along life’s way. Yet, the greatest joy that I’ve had, as a Christian writer, is witnessing how my words guided someone to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
What do you say to others who feel called to write about the greatest message in the world?
Desire, through your writing, to be a conduit of Christ’s love. Strive to be a harbinger for the Good News of the Gospel. Pray about; wrestle with; and battle against grammar imperfections, punctuation idiosyncrasies and improper use of the English language. If you’re not careful in doing this, such inconsistencies may scar your credibility and reflect negatively upon the message you’re trying to share. But also realize your limitations. You’re human, and you will make mistakes. However, try to minimize them, and praise God for every reader who forgives your humanness and cares enough to keep on reading what you write.
It’s true. Christian writers are uniquely called to write about the greatest message in the world. However, we are just one of the many mouthpieces God uses to spread His Word. To quote award-winning author Ann Tatlock:
“We live our lives within and daily move through a world of hurt. We’re knee-deep in suffering and surrounded by voices crying out, ‘Where is God?’
As writers, we are one small part of God’s voice answering the cries, telling men and women to hold fast because there’s hope. This world doesn’t include the entire story because the ending isn’t found here. The ending lies somewhere else. And in that final place, the broken will be mended, the senseless will make sense, and we’ll know that God is with us and always has been because we ourselves will be with Him.
If you believe this, make it the reason you write. When you go to your desk, your laptop, your computer today, let it be with the purpose of telling the world about our blessed hope.”
© 2013 by Bob Valleau. Bob has over 25 years of writing experience for the Christian market. He was once named Christian Writer of the Year (San Antonio, Texas) by the American Christian Writers Association. He is the author of “Mystic Dreams and Dusty Roads.”