Thursday, July 5, 2018

Why do I write? Who do I write for? by Taylor Bennett

Why do I write? Who do I write for?

Those are good questions—solid ones—but they’re not ones I ask myself often enough.

I spend so much time, hours and hours a day, writing. Thinking about writing. Reading other people’s writing. But when do I take time to ask myself why?
Why am I writing? Who am I writing for?

Do I write because I want to see my book made into a movie, win a major award, or become a NYT bestseller?
While all of those things would be nice…no.

That’s not why I write.
Do I write just for me? So that I can go on adventures within the pages of my own imagination?

That’s fun and all, but…no.

That’s not who I write for.

Do I write for the world? To make others happy, to churn out book after book that will win over the hearts of thousands?

Well…though I always hope others enjoy my work…no.
Then who DO I write for?

The answer is different for every author. Some do write for others, because they have a heart for a certain readership. Others write for themselves alone, to experience the joy of simply writing. Others write for the sheer thrill of navigating the publishing market, the wheeling and dealing with hotshot agents and editors.
Inside of me, there’s a small piece of all of these writers. Sometimes I write because of the story in my heart, the yearning I have to put it to paper. Sometimes I write for my audience, for others whom I know are just as in love with my characters as I am. Sometimes I strive to write with extra finesse, my hopes set on placing in a competition.

But, above all of that, I want to write for my Creator. The One who formed me in my mother’s womb, the One who gave me a love of writing before I even knew my alphabet. I pray to God each day, ask Him what He should have for me—in my life, my writing, my everything.
God knows best.

Sometimes, God makes it easy for us to know what His will is. He opens doors or closes windows that we just can’t ignore. Other times, His prodding is subtle. I’m learning to listen for that Divine, good will in all areas of my life, but especially in my writing. I’m still a young writer, one who hasn’t yet figured out her path in this literary life. But I know that God has a plan for me, for my writing.
And that’s why I want to write for Him.

What does writing for God mean?
In the Bible, we’re called to do everything unto the Lord, and we definitely shouldn’t leave our writing out of that. But how? How do we write for the Lord?

There are countless ways.

Whatever we do, we can do it for the Lord—whatever we write, we can write for the Lord.
If you write silly rhyming picture books…you can write them for the Lord.

If you write hard-hitting news articles…you can write them for the Lord.
Blog posts and devotionals and novels and short stories—you can write all of them for the Lord.

When we write for the Lord, we are simply laying down our work before Him. Asking Him to guide and direct our minds and hearts as we put words on a page. Sometimes His direction is clear—a push or prodding to tackle a certain topic. Other times, His hand is lighter. Just a vague whisper, a nudge in the right direction.
Writing for the Lord doesn’t necessarily mean we write for the Christian market, or even any market in particular. It simply means that we allow Him to fill us with His truth, to the point where we’re so full of God’s word that we simply can’t keep it from spilling out of us and into our words.

If we strive and aspire to write for the Lord, we have the great hope in our hearts that He will use our writing in ways we’ve never thought possible. A clean romance novel with a message of love and redemption can be just as effective as a pastor’s salvation message. We never know what will touch one person, one life, and what will give that individual a better glimpse of God’s kingdom.
And even if some of our writings never see the light of day—even when we write just for us, with no intention of publication—we can still use the act of writing as a way to worship.

No matter what we do with our writing, no matter who we’re writing for, we can use our writing to praise the One who first put words into our heart.
The One from whom all blessings truly flow.
Porch Swing Girl 

What if friendship cost you everything?
Stranded in Hawaii after the death of her mother, sixteen-year-old Olive Galloway is desperate to escape. She has to get back to Boston before her dad loses all common sense and sells the family house. But plane tickets cost money—something Olive gravely lacks.

With the help of Brander, the fussy youth group worship leader, and Jazz, a mysterious girl with a passion for all things Hawaiian, Olive lands a summer job at the Shave Ice Shack and launches a scheme to buy a plane ticket home before the end of the summer.
But when Jazz reveals a painful secret, Olive’s plans are challenged. Jazz needs money. A lot of it. Olive and Brander are determined to help their friend but, when their fundraising efforts are thwarted, Olive is caught in the middle. To help Jazz means giving up her ticket home. And time is running out.
Taylor Bennett Bio: Homeschooled since kindergarten, Taylor Bennett is the seventeen-year-old author of Porch Swing Girl, released by Mountain Brook Ink on May 1st. When she’s not reading or writing, Taylor can be found playing her violin or taking walks in the beautiful Oregon countryside. She loves to connect with readers via her author website, as well as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (her favorite!), Pinterest, and Goodreads.

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