I really do want to publish a book someday, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at my manuscript. Mainly because it’s – well – nonexistent.
I could spout any number of excuses about the demands of graduate school, foster parenting, and working two jobs, but we’d all know better.
I could also give myself a mental tongue-lashing for failing to work on a major writing project. And trust me – there are days when I do just that. My wife and I even bought fancy leather journals which we could use to record our thoughts and begin outlining our manuscripts. My journal, you ask? Well, it’s currently sitting at my bedside, completely untouched.
Does all of this bother me? I’d be lying if I said it didn’t. But, as I reflect over the last several months I realize that while I may not be holding a book with my name on the cover, I have been writing. A lot.
And that’s significant. We tend to think that our work has to be produced in a leather bound volume to have a lasting impact, but that simply isn’t true. No matter the format, who knows how the Lord might plan to use our writing to make an eternal difference in someone’s life?
I may not have a book, but here are some of the small projects I have completed this last month:
Weekly Sunday School Lessons – Teaching, and doing it well, requires a good deal of research and planning. But the time we spend preparing sermons, small group lessons, and Bible studies are a powerful investment in the spiritual well-being of those we serve. (Isaiah 55:11)
Academic Papers – Every time I turn around, one of my professors is assigning another book review or research assignment. But each of these strengthens me as a writer, sharpens my knowledge, and brings me one step closer to the widespread influence my graduate degree will allow me to have. (2 Timothy 2:15)
Press Releases – This is how I got into blogging in the first place… writing press releases and news announcements for my employer. But each press release I write sharpens my ability to communicate a powerful message in just a few words. (Proverbs 17:27)
Blog Posts– Sometimes it really does amaze me to see that people are still reading and tweeting about a blog post I wrote months ago! Blogging can sometimes feel like shouting into the vacuum of outer space, but take heart… you never know who might read the words you share and inspired or changed by them! (I Thessalonians 5:11)
Obituaries – Okay, so this was a new one for me, but one that I can see myself doing a lot more of as a future pastor. I officiated a funeral for the first time this month, and when I asked to see the obituary the family told me they weren’t sure how to write one. “Well, you’re in luck,” I told the son of the deceased. “I just happen to be a writer!” Providing comfort to those who are grieving as well as sharing the Gospel through the written word are worthy endeavors, to be sure. (Mark 16:15)
Do you find yourself in the same shoes? Are you finding it difficult to complete that big writing project? Let me challenge you to stop being so hard on yourself!
Instead, open your eyes to the BIG impact you may be having through the small writing projects you’ve been doing…you may just be more influential than you think!
This post was submitted as part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group – a fellowship of writers who agree to post on the 1st Wednesday of every month to discuss the frustrations and difficulties of writing, as well as provide helpful tips and encouraging words for their fellow writers.