The Reason for Writing

If you’ve ever been to this website before, you might have noticed something is a little different. That’s right, it has a new WordPress theme! I thought it was high time to give it a makeover after having the default Dara logo and look. I want this site to be a resource for authors, writers, and artists for inspiration and insight, or at the very least a place to get my humble little opinion. I know that some people have benefitted or enjoyed this blog in the past, which is why I am keeping it for this purpose. Thank you.

The reason for writing–I’m sure you’ve heard it so many times. You never do it for the money, you do it because you love it. You do it because you don’t really have a choice if you want to be yourself. You do it because you have the freedom to write and express yourself through this form. You do it because you enjoy it.

Sure, all these are said over and over, and all of these reasons are true. Am I right? But I’ve also learned something else that pertains more to the Author side of things. If you want to be an Author and launch your Author career or Artist career, it can be tempting to think that you are out to build your empire. You’re out to gain as many faithful followers as possible and make yourself into a big business mogul with the prestigious title of Author. And you’ll make a lot of money. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to start a business and have a vision for how big you want it to be. Some authors, like J.F. Penn, set out on their author career to create a million dollar business while fulfilling their dream to become an author. Besides, artists do want to have a way to live.

So what’s wrong with setting out to build your empire? As one may guess, the way it can turn wrong is if you’re doing it to build yourself up. You are setting out to make yourself great. You imagine yourself sitting atop a great pyramid of gold that keeps growing and growing. “Well, when you put it that way, it sounds pretty ugly.” Yep, yep it does. I grew up hearing a lot about servant leadership, but when it comes to real life, boy is it harder to put into practice than you think.

The Christian’s example is Jesus, “who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant” (Philippians 2:6-7.) And the passage goes on to say He not only did this but became obedient to death, “even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place…”

To some extent, it is questionable how much it matters where your heart is and all to create a great work of art. Gone with the Wind was written because the author got so mad that some woman told her she couldn’t write a novel. Sometimes you do the right thing or create something great for a flippant or wrong reason. But remember, God does hold us accountable in the end, and if you are just writing to uplift yourself, you probably won’t get that far anyway, or at least I won’t.

A few weeks ago, I came at a crossroads. The direction of my story had led me to a place I didn’t want to go. I prayed about it, and God allowed me to get the information I needed to begin to turn its direction. I asked God if this story is worth continuing and if He could please make it into something good, and He showed me some points in the plot that shone like gold. Why did they glow golden in the dark? Because I found that key points in my book agree with the Christian voices I’m currently listening to. This is exciting. The people I’m currently listening to agree with my spirit and my book agrees with what they’re saying. I’m keeping this vague so far, but perhaps someday it can become clearer. In any case, I think that despite my lack of experience in book editing, I at least have the right direction I need to start glorifying God.

If you need direction in your focus for why you write, my advice is to pray.