There are many aspects of writing covered in this month’s posts, and all are helpful, coming from direct experience in the business of writing. The source of the information is always important — generally speaking, we can trust people we know when they know what they’re talking about.
When we run a business, there are many tasks to perform, jobs to be done, details to be considered. And that can be really difficult, because writing is supposed to be a creative process, flowers and butterflies, and all that stuff. While business is — well, business. It involves boring things, like keeping track of expenses, filing papers in a logical way so you can find them again, deciding whether you can actually spend a month writing an article you know nothing about and you aren’t getting paid for. Things like that, and more.
No flowers or butterflies in all of that, to be sure.
And yet it is part of the writing process.
Writing is a lot like driving a car. It’s great to take the key — your story idea — stick it in the ignition — develop your main character — back it out of the driveway — your opening paragraph — and drive down the highway, with no goal in mind — hey, wait a minute — you have to have a plot, right?
The plot of your story — where you are going to take the reader on this journey you’re calling a book, or an article, or a devotion, or a poem — needs to have a destination, and it needs to be worth the trip.
While writing is a worthwhile endeavor even if you never get paid for it, Jesus said we are to count the cost. And that’s where the business part of writing takes over.
You might think it doesn’t cost you anything to write. You just sit at your computer and type.
Wait a minute — computer, desk, chair. Money.
Okay, so you already had all those things, never actually put out any money to start your business.
Consider your time. What else would you be doing if you didn’t spend the time writing? Notice I said “spend”? There is a cost. And even if you don’t quit your full time job, if you write in the evenings, if you get up early, you could be doing other things. Maybe not money-generating activities, but something else.
Writing is a business. It is serious business. And when you are called by God to write, it is profitable, even if you never get paid one penny for writing. Jeremiah 1:5 says God knew you before you were born, and He appointed you to be a spokesman to the world. That’s God’s business — souls. And our business should be focused on God’s business — that’s where the greatest profit will always be found.
As you write, as you try to find time to write, as you block out times on your calendar to write, when you get up early or stay up late to write, when you get one more rejection, when one more editor ignores your emails, when one more person raises their eyebrows when you tell them you are a writer, remember — you and God are in business together.
And His business never fails, He always pays on time, He always pays well, and His retirement plan is out of this world!