A Prayer for Young Writers

You are not too young to do great things for God.

To believe that you are too young is a lie meant to blind you, silence you, and ultimately, hold you back from God’s calling on your life.

Remember the prophet Jeremiah? He tried to use his youth as an excuse to avoid the big task God gave him. And God wouldn’t have it. He didn’t make a mistake in calling a young person. Instead, He chose to both call and empower a young person for His glory.

He did it then, and He does it now.

In yesterday’s post, I told you this: God wants and expects great things from young people. Those things aren’t always big and dramatic, but they are always acts of faithfulness and obedience.

Furthermore, God uses our specific gifts and passions as young people to build His kingdom.

Mine happens to be writing.

And I know I’m not the only one. I have met so many other kind, gifted, winsome young women who want to write for the glory of God.

For those young women, here are five truths to consider as you seek to use the gift God has given you.

1. You are not too young to be a writer.

Just like you’re not too young to do mission work, start a charity, or support an orphanage, you are not too young to write. People will try to tell you that you don’t have the life experience or maturity to write. They’ll tell you that you should never dream of writing a book as a young person.

But that’s a misguided perspective. We all have life experience to draw from—and we all could have more maturity (including older writers!). And if we’re surrounded by mentors and community, grounded in God’s Word, and plugged into a church, we’ll be protected from many of the pitfalls writers face.

Writing, whether fiction or nonfiction, prose or poetry, is a way to serve others. If that’s your focus, age is not the issue.

2. The goal of writing is worship.

Again, whether you write fiction or nonfiction, your goal is the same: worship. Your writing should reflect the image of God displayed in you and uphold the power of truth. It should draw your affections to Jesus.

As author Ann Swindell writes, “If we seek to worship Christ and commune with him in our writing, we will be freed to do what we really want: find true purpose and worth in our work.”

3. Read as much as you can.

The best writers are the most voracious readers.

I’ve heard it said a million times before: Good writing is good reading. The best writers are the most voracious readers. Read the kinds of things you want to write. Then read different things. Read as many good books as you can get your hands on.

Finally, read books about writing. A few places to start are On Writing Well by William Zinsser, Wordsmithy by Douglas Wilson, and The Christian Imagination edited by Leland Ryken.

4. Find writing mentors.

Look for people who can help you grow as writers—people who will answer your questions, champion your spirit, celebrate your wins, give you feedback, and help you grow. Don’t just look for people who will pat you on the back and constantly affirm you, though. Look for people who are willing to give you criticism and be wholly honest.

You probably know people like this. Look for people who have the time to invest in you, and be respectful of those who don’t.

5. Seek to serve others with your writing.

Write to fill a need, not just to add to the noise.

This is something that my mentor, Brett Harris, consistently impressed upon me: Writing is about serving others. Write to fill a need, not just to add to the noise. Look for legitimate ways your writing can build up and edify others.

At the same time, the source of a writer’s joy is humility. Don’t write for praise, flattery, or human approval (Gal. 1:10). Write with the humility that God is the one who gave you these words, and He will do whatever He wants with them.

That’s often my prayer with my writing: “Lord, do whatever You want with this. It’s Yours anyway. Help me to see that, believe that, and rejoice in that.”

And young writers, if that’s your prayer, God will answer it.

About Author

Jaquelle Ferris is a twenty-something writer from eastern Canada. She’s a graduate of Thomas Edison State University and co-founder of The Young Writers Workshop. She is author of This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years (2017). You can find more of her writing at JaquelleCrowe.com.

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