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Your Words Have Power

by Kathy Harris

Talk. Talk. Talk. There’s a talking head wherever you turn. On television… at school… at the office. Everyone has something to say. An opinion. A story. Even gossip. (Make that a lot of gossip.) Add in the cell phones, podcasts, and online radio that have become a routine part of our daily lives, and we’re constantly bombarded with talk.

The printed word has also increased exponentially. Publishers Weekly reported that less than 15,000 books were released in the United States in 1959. In 2013, more than 300,000 titles were published or reissued in the U.S. You can watch a fascinating “real time” counter at Worldometer, where more than ten thousand books have been logged since I began writing this post.

With so many words in the marketplace it would be easy to dismiss our own as unnecessary. Do our manuscripts and published books really matter? Why would anyone want to read our stories? The world would have us think there’s no need to try. But God’s Word tells us differently.

In Staci Frenes’ Flourish: Cultivate Creativity. Sow Beauty. Live in Color, one of the best books on writing and creativity I’ve read since Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, Frenes reminds us that “we were created to create,” made in God’s image to join Him in His work. (See, Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:27.) I highly recommend Flourish if you want to be encouraged in your writing.

As writers, we have all been inspired by great books. Perhaps one (or more) even changed your life. What path would you be on if it had never been published? And how different would our lives be if Luke, Matthew, or John hadn’t written the Gospels? What if they hadn’t answered God’s call?

One of the most compelling arguments I’ve read for responding to the calling to write, while acknowledging the difficulty of the task, came from a comment on an agent’s blog late last year.

…I have a fear. I’m afraid these writers would … greatly underestimate the stories given to them, stories written to transform the lives of some and assure others. I’m afraid they’d doubt their abilities, and wouldn’t see the light of God shining upon their weaknesses. I’m afraid they’d fear being unprofessional, or being too young, and opt to wait for a better time to work. I’m afraid I’m one of them. – See more at: http://www.stevelaube.com/writing-from-weakness/#sthash.B8CmbEPJ.5Ych7BqR.dpuf

Most of us relate to this writer’s words. It’s lonely and risky sitting at a computer for hours. Writing, re-writing, and starting all over again. We begin to doubt ourselves. And our words.

But, as Rick Warren so famously wrote years ago, ‘It’s not about us.’ Writing is about what God has given us to do. It’s about the words of our heart and how, with God’s help, they can affect the lives of others. Inspiring. Entertaining. Instructing, empowering and motivating. The kind of motivation that moves mountains for them — and for us. Jesus tells us in Matthew 17:20 that it only takes faith the size of a mustard seed.

For those who are struggling to persevere with your writing, I pray that you will have the faith to move the mountain required to finish your work-in-progress. And to share your words with the world.

As one nineteenth century poet (and Willie Wonka) once said.
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire’s glory…
We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
… we are the movers and shakers.

From Ode by Arthur O’Shaughnessy

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Kathy Harris is the author of The Road to Mercy (Abingdon Press). She writes women’s fiction and romantic suspense and is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency. Connect with Kathy on her website, Facebook and Twitter.

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2 Responses to Your Words Have Power

  1. Mary Van Everbroeck (M.Broeck) says:

    Hi Kathy: I enjoyed your Post very much! Yes, the words that Willie Wonka borrows from Arthur O’Shaughnessy need to become our own! Thanks for sharing your insight and wisdom with us. Mary