how to write

To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. ~ Elbert Hubbard

The call of God is not to make you popular. It’s to make a difference. If you can abandon your need to be liked, you can be a great writer. You can be used to seep Truth into places of which you are unaware.

“God rarely allows a person to see how great a blessing he is to others.” -Oswald Chambers

You never know who is reading. Your experience and your questions are not unique to you. What is unique to you is your voice and your calling. One of the hardest parts of writing is when you have to write without needing to know if you’re being heard. If you’re only writing for acceptance, then you’re not writing anything worth reading. You are merely the thick fluff that the thirsty must cut through to find the Living Well. 

“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”-Jesus, John 7:38 ESV

Writing is selfless work done by selfish people. Good writers deny themselves to create something bigger than they are. 

The writer who possesses the creative gift owns something of which he is not always master – something that at times strangely wills and works for itself.’ -Charlotte Bronte

When God has given you a gift for writing, you are not the work that is on display. He is. If you look at a bouquet of flowers and marvel about the vase that holds them, then the florist did something wrong. 

Would your writing be different if you were doing it anonymously? Write like that. 

When you hit “publish” and it makes you feel exposed, that’s when you know you’ve written something that matters. People stop cutting through the fluff when they find that stuff. They stop for a drink. You may never know it, but they do.

“A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before the great.” -Proverbs 18:16 ESV

That scripture makes me think of a child sitting on his father’s lap, “driving”. Your gift is bigger than you are, never let it be limited by your own need to control it. Only His feet can reach the pedals and only His hands can keep you on the road. He makes room for you on His lap because He knows it exhilarates you to “drive”. 


I blog here:
Grace Is For Sinners


    I love this wonderful reminder on how to be a great writer. All facts I desperately needed to hear today. Thanks!

    • SERENA

      Thanks, Rosann. :)


    I so needed to hear this right now! I’m getting ready to release an eBook, and some mom friends who have read it love it, but one has been majorly offended. I wrote the book only to expose truth: God’s truth and scientific research. Since my friend’s hurtful comments, I’ve been wrestling with the need to press forward and keep presenting the truth to make a difference. I truly appreciated this post – and Elbert Hubbard’s quote. Thank you!

    • SERENA

      Hilary, I had a book come out in 2009 and the love/hate responses were overwhelming. :) Charles Spurgeon said something that sort of puts this all in perspective:

      “…When we preach the Gospel to every creature, the Gospel makes its own division and Christ’s sheep hear His voice and follow Him.”

      We don’t make divisions, speaking only to those who agree or understand. We speak the truth, and the truth (the sword) makes its own divisions. What people do with what God has done for and given to us is not for us to control, temper, or finish. We do our part and He does the rest.

      I was teaching a Bible study a while back and there was a woman in the group who tried to counter everything I said. I didn’t want to be rude to her, but I couldn’t soften the message, either. It hurt and it made me feel uncomfortable. Sometimes the things we talk about are way too big for us. I prayed on my way home that night. I said, “God, how am I supposed to explain you to them?” His answer: “Don’t apologize for me.”


        Thank you for sharing your experiences, Serena … you’ve been such an encouragement to me. :)


    These were good words to ‘hear’ today. I love that first quote! I am so afraid of criticism that sometimes I fail to write just because I don’t want to step on any toes…I need to be the vase and be okay with it – holding out the beauty for everyone to see…I could write a lot more about that!

    • SERENA

      Yeah, that first quote was a good one for me, too. :)


    Great reminder!

    • SERENA

      Glad to hear it. :)


    Oh man this one hurts to read because I feel like you’re talking to me. Last night in the middle of the morning God prompted me to write my testimony. A whopping 6 part testimony. And talking about didn’t want to write it… I didn’t! But now that I’ve written it I’m battling with myself about whether to publish it when clearly he is given me all this confirmation today. First Isaiah 54:4 and now this post. But I really don’t wanna but when it comes down to it am I willing to give up that control and “expose” myself? Thanks for sharing, even though I really don’t want to accept it.

    • SERENA

      Things seem bigger when they’re cramped inside. Only you know what you should do with what you’ve put on paper. :)


    These were beautiful and encouraging words! Just loved them. Thanks so much for sharing the gift that God has given to you!

    • SERENA

      Thanks, Jolene. :)


    “Would your writing be different if you were doing it anonymously? Write like that.” LOVE THIS! That is exactly how I want to write. :)


    “When you hit “publish” and it makes you feel exposed, that’s when you know you’ve written something that matters.” –That was me this morning. I knew what I had to write. I wrestled with it, and then gave it to God.