The Writer’s Call to Create

Have you ever had a yearning in your heart or an idea in your mind floating around despite attempts to dismiss it? That’s a “call to create.” When I was in high school and discovered my love of words and writing, I never thought of it as a “calling.” It wasn’t until I was much older, had set out on life’s journey and tried many things, that I realized no matter what I attempted I felt driven or “called” to write. As a writer I feel deeply responsible to choose my words with care. After all, God used words to create our world. Words are powerful, whether spoken or written. They have the power to transform our lives and influence our emotions.

C.S. Lewis, the acclaimed scholar, theologian and author of the masterpiece The Chronicles of Narnia had his giftedness validated when he was elected a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at the prestigious Magdalen College in Oxford at the age of 26. He was on a path to literary success when he gave his life to the Lord at age 32. He didn’t abandon his work as an author. Instead he re-imagined his work as a service to God and others. He wrote in a letter, “The question is not whether we should bring God into our work or not. We certainly should and must. The question is whether we should simply (a.) Bring Him in in the dedication of our work to Him, in the integrity, diligence, and humility with which we do it or also (b.) Make His professed and explicit service our job.” Lewis’ faith didn’t change his work. It changed his relationship to his work. He allowed the lordship of Jesus Christ to impact his motivations for creating, what he created, and how he created it.

What are your motivations for writing and do they matter to God? Proverbs 16:2 tells us, “All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord.” The world tells us that the purpose of work is to accumulate fame and fortune for ourselves. That primarily means that we make a name for ourselves in this life to prove to the world that we are important, valuable and worthy. As a Christian writer the work of Jesus Christ should be the ultimate measure of value of our life, not the relative fame and fortune we accumulate through our work. Essentially, we use our work as a means of saving ourselves. C.S. Lewis said, “One of the dangers of having a lot of money is that you may be quite satisfied with the kinds of happiness money can give, and so fail to realize your need for God. If everything seems to come simply by writing checks, you may forget that you are at every moment totally dependent on God.” Lewis was a very humble man and known for his generosity.

I encourage you to examine your “call to create” and your motives for creating it, no matter your genre.  Whatever age group you write for, choose your message and words with care because your work has the power to transform lives.

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  1. Well said… brava!

  2. Good thoughts on our calling and responsibility as writers! I love the writings of C.S. Lewis, too!

  3. Hi Cheryl. I received the call late in life to write for the Lord. In the process, the Lord blessed me with great mentors and four mandated projects. My present WIP is a fiction piece titled “The Dead Know Nothing.” I’ve written five other nonfiction books but always wanted to write a fiction piece for fun. Where else would I go to learn but at Jerry Jenkins Novel Blueprint Course. I graduated from his first guild as a journeyman. (CWG Christian Writer’s Guild.) The first book I wrote I didn’t know a verb from a preposition. LOL. One day, I plan on rewriting that book and applying all that I have learned. GBY in your writing Cheryl.

  4. What a beautiful post! I’ve loved C.S. Lewis, especially the Narnia Chronicles, since I was a child. Even as a little kid, I knew that Aslan’s death was unjust. The books accomplished for me what Lewis intended when he was “aiming for a sort of pre-baptism of the child’s imagination”. As a writer, I hope that my work will have a similar effect on youth of today. It’s a new challenge in some ways because of the changing times, but I feel that God is leading me in this work. I also appreciate how you highlight how Lewis was known for his generosity. This has always stayed with me and is a model for me in humility. Well done on a great post!

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