Friday, December 3, 2010

Why Do We Write? by Bonnie Leon

Welcome to another Fortifying Friday at Seriously Write. This is the day we invite guest authors to share their journeys to publication, as well as encouraging words for writers.

Have you ever been asked, “Why do you write?” If so, did you have an answer? Author Bonnie Leon is here today to talk about that very question.

Why Do We Write?

When we signed our first contract, held our first book or took part in our first booksigning it was pure joy. However, over time, the adventure became a job and we wonder what happened to the wonder.

Creating characters and plotting story lines is great fun, but crafting a book is hard work. There are days when I’d rather do almost anything than plant my derriere in a chair and write. But deadlines and revisions wrestle me back to work. If I lose sight of the privilege I sometimes question whether I ought to do something else with my life. I’m sure God shakes His head at my fickleness, and with grace the Holy Spirit leads me to the truth. On one such occasion He reminded me of the apostle Paul.

Paul was an educated, respected man of status and power. But an encounter with God changed his life forever. He became a servant of the living God. While imprisoned his thoughts were with believers who needed guidance and encouragement, and though in chains he praised the Lord.

In I Corinthians 4: 10- 13 Paul wrote, “Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools, but you claim to be so wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are so powerful! You are honored, but we are ridiculed. Even now we go hungry and thirsty and we don’t have enough clothes to keep warm. We are often beaten and have no home. We work wearily with our own hands to earn our living. We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us. We appeal gently when evil things are said about us.” Verse sixteen says, “So I urge you to imitate me.”

Paul described a life of deprivation and affliction. Why would we imitate him? There is only one reason—to display the glory of God—not to make a name for ourselves or to earn a six figure paycheck.

One year after preparing our taxes our CPA asked, “Why do you do this?” I’m sure I appeared foolish to him. Some people who know how hard I work for modest wages shake their heads in mocking disbelief.

Though most writers make less than minimum wage, we’re not going hungry or without clothing, but we do live with tight budgets. Yet we persist. There are places in the world where writers give up their lives or spend them in prison because they’ve written the truth. I can attest to the weariness. Some work days don’t end until the wee hours of the morning. As to curses—I’ve had a few, and all my writing friends have had darts thrown their way as well.

So, why do we persevere? I can speak only for myself. God asked me to write, and I serve Him. But it’s not all drudgery. There are days when words flow onto the page like liquid gold and it is pure joy. When readers write to tell me how my words have uplifted them I feel divinely blessed.

Isaiah tells us, “Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Dear writing friends, persevere. The rewards are more than we can imagine or hope for. And it has been said, “The true test of a saint’s life is not successfulness but faithfulness.”

Be faithful. It is a privilege to uplift Christ and to glorify God.

Bonnie Leon dabbled in writing for many years but never set it in a place of priority until an accident in 1991 left her unable to work at her job. She is now the author of several historical fiction series, including the Sydney Cove series, Queensland Chronicles, the Matanuska series, the Sowers Trilogy, and the Northern Lights series. She also stays busy teaching women’s Bible studies, speaking, and teaching at writing seminars and women’s gatherings. Bonnie and her husband, Greg, live in Southern Oregon. They have three grown children and four grandchildren.

To find out more about Bonnie and her books, please visit: