There are a couple things pretty high on my list of prioritised to-dos for the year ahead. Besides babywearing and potty training, of course. And two of those high-water marks are reading a lot more and writing a lot more.

For a long time a lot of folks have been telling me that, when it comes to writing, I have a gift. For a short time, I’ve really started believing it. And it’s made me decide to start branching out in different and creative ways. It’s made me begin to recognise the oft-quoted words of Eric Liddell, as they nicely adapt to my life:

When I {write}, I feel His pleasure.

Cue theme song from Chariots of Fire.


It is often the case with the things that you’re really meant to be doing, that the writing is on the wall, so to speak, but something about you keeps you from stepping out. Whether it’s fear or doubt or mistrust of your own abilities or God’s ability to work through you, odds are you’ve lived in a space where a part of you felt like getting out of the boat, but another part of you thought a little too much about the possibility of sinking rather than walking on the water.

But the grace of God has an inspiring way of breaking through, and in His mysterious ways, through many voices, including yours, He has been reminding me about being faithful with a talent instead of burying it in the ground.

Stephen King’s book, On Writing, was in the top ten writing books recommended at The High Calling a while ago. The post recommended that, if I could handle the occasional “potty-mouth,” the book was a peek into brilliance, entertaining and humorous.

I decided to jump on board, grabbed a paperback version just before we left the States, and had finished the book within a week of our return. And while there were indeed some potty-mouth moments, the overwhelming sentiment for me was one of profound appreciation. Here’s a person who has been operating in his gifting, and he has taken the time to articulate the process through which he came to where he is, with words from the wise for folks just starting out like me.

More than anything else in the book, the most profound moment came when he began discussing prolific authors, and other authors who wrote one or two incredible books, and then never wrote again. He asked the question that we often ask about one-hit wonders in every profession: Well, what happened? What did they do with all that talent? Why is this all we have from this author or that musician?

I wouldn’t begin to suggest that King would classify himself as a very religious person, and would consider it safe to say, based on the autobiographical facets of the book that he would not call himself a Christian. But he summed this discussion up with words that pierced my heart in a profound way:

“…I always wonder two things about these [great authors who wrote very little]: how long did it take them to write the books they did write, and what did they do with the rest of their time? Knit afghans? Organize church bazaars? Deify plums? I am probably being snotty here, but I am also, believe me, honestly curious. If God gives you something you can do, why in God’s name wouldn’t you do it?


I am not sure what the road ahead of me looks like — how I am meant to proceed with writing in a way that will have a significant impact on the world around me. But I feel like a new chapter is beginning for me, and I’m excited for you to join me on the adventure.

But first, I want to make sure I ask you the same question.

We know that life is but a vapor. If you have 70 or 80 years on this Earth, that’s pretty good. Are there ‘talents’ you will look back on with regret? Are there places where you feel like you’re burying something in the ground instead of faithfully making use of what you’ve been given?

It doesn’t have to be a creative art — writing or painting or creating decorative flowers out of fabric scraps. But is there something that you can fill in the blank with “When I _________ I feel His pleasure?” And is the answer that fills in that blank something you’re doing or pursuing right now?

And if not, why in God’s Name aren’t you?