Because I work for a large publishing company ((LifeWay), I’m often asked how to get something published. When asked this question, I first explain that is not my job and it’s not something I ever pursued. Yes, I have compiled three leadership books, but not because I was an aspiring writer. It was to help leaders in practical ways as they led women in their church.
The next thing I usually tell women who ask this question (or those who hand me a manuscript) is to answer the question, “Has God asked me to write?” If they say “yes,” then I tell them very simply, “then write!” Just because God calls you to write, it does not always mean He is asking you to get your writing published. Those are two different things.
Finally, I ask them who else has read or been touched by their writing? If it’s a Bible study, have they led small groups through it already? If they haven’t, that indicates to me that they may be writing with the sole motivation of being published.
Allison Vesterfelt recently spoke at the Q Women conference in Franklin, Tenn. I had the privilege of attending this conference and hearing many wonderful speakers, but Allison’s message of her own journey into writing and being published resonated with me.
I think my favorite quote from her was this, “If God tells you to write, the best thing you can do is get your butt in the chair and write!” She shared how she was encouraged to pursue a platform, have lots of followers on social media, and to write to certain people. As a result, she wasn’t even writing much at all.
It was then that God directed her to go back and write her heart and let Him worry about what would be done with her words. She is published now, but her true motivation was to write, not to be published.
Not everyone will be published, but many are directed to write out their thoughts, prayers, experiences, and heart desires. Sometimes it will just be between us and God, other times it will be a timely message that God will use in other ways. That is God’s responsibility. And when it’s done with His leadership and out of obedience to Him, then He gets the glory!