Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Why I Write

 I love writing. I've always had an affinity for it. Well, for telling stories, really. When I was young, I would make up stories to tell anyone who would listen. The problem I had then was telling the stories as if they were real, as if they actually happened to me.

That was dishonest and I know that now. But I never had the mentoring to channel the love of the story into writing. 

I did well on my writing assignments in high school and college. I laugh now thinking about how I bragged that I had to write a ten-page paper every week for a certain class. I also remember a class that demanded a rough draft before the final project. I would simply type out the paper on my Royal Electric Typewriter, then go back with a pencil and paper and "create" a rough draft. I always got ""A's" on my writing projects.

While we were missionaries, I would write a newsletter that went out to hundreds of people, telling them about what God was doing overseas. I'd also write about our children and include any fun personal stories. Due to a hard drive failure, I've lost all those emails.

When I became a pastor 16 years ago, I was prolific in writing blog posts here and on our church website. I also interacted with many other bloggers which introduced my writing to a couple of editors of Southern Baptist publications. I began writing missions articles and eventually wrote some larger projects including the International Missions Emphasis piece on Beijing for the International Mission Board. 

About 10 or so years ago, I began writing my first novel, "Jackpot!" which was finally published in 2022. Except for the fact that it made me a published author, it was a miserable failure. There was virtually no publicity for it from the publisher and I personally sold most of the copies that were sold. As of this writing, it ranks as number 1,395,097 in books on Amazon and number 43,198 in Religious Literature & Fiction on the same. 

I finished my second novel about a month ago and am currently seeking literary representation. I have only queried 17 agents so far and have had a negative response from three. I have big hopes for this novel and am praying for success.

That brings me to the purpose of this post. Why do I write? 

I write with a three-fold purpose:

1. To glorify God

2. To edify His church

3. To build His kingdom

I certainly don't seek fame. In fact, I love my anonymity. I don't seek fortune, although I would not reject it. My purpose is to write in such a way that Christians are encouraged and those who are not Christians would be drawn to God through His Son Jesus Christ. In those two things, I believe God will be glorified. 

That's why I write.

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