Last weekend I attended the Lancaster Christian Writers virtual conference entitled Undaunted 2022. The speakers shared much valuable information, and I enjoyed every session I attended. If you haven’t attended a writer’s conference, take the step and do so. Although virtual conferences do not allow the person-to-person interaction in person conferences do, they are still a great source of learning and growing. Today I would like to zoom in on the keynote talk, The Gifted Writer given by Bob Hostetler.
He noted three major characteristics of Gifted Writers using the example of Moses.
Moses at the burning bush. “Take off your sandals for the place you are standing is holy ground.” Exodus 3:5. Why was it important that Moses remove his shoes? And what does that mean for us as writers. The point Mr. Hostetler made is: we as Christians need to remove anything that blocks our connection with God. Moses’s shoes were manmade, the earth and Moses’s feet were both creations of God. For us as writers, our inspiration should come from God. We must not allow anything to interfere with that connection. Whatever hinders our relationship with God must be removed. Our sins, our fears, our busyness are blocks. Shame can be a big impediment. All those negative thoughts born of Satan hinder our ability to receive inspiration from God. We think: God can’t or won’t use someone like me. I’m too defective. To be truly undaunted as a writer we must be purposeful in removing anything that acts as a barrier to our relationship with the great IAM.
Moses’s objections. Choose your hard. God answered all of Moses objections not by telling him things would not be hard, but by saying, “I will be with you through the hard work. It is hard to follow God, but it is also hard to tell him no. It is hard to lead millions out of slavery, but it is also hard to know you could have done so but chose to not. It is the same with us. Writing is hard. But not writing is also hard. Choose your hard. Hearing your writing being critiqued is hard, but not knowing your weaknesses is also hard. Choose your hard. Learning the craft is hard, but not getting better is hard too. Meeting with editors and agents and rejection is hard. But trying to write in a bubble and not moving forward is hard. Choose your hard. The writing life is not a choice between easy and hard; it is a choice between one hard and another hard. Choose your hard.
Moses’s staff. “What is that in your hand?” God asks. Of course, he knew what Moses held. The staff turned snake. But it was the thing God would use to bring about his will. Like Moses we have something in our hands. If God has planted the passion to write within you, he is able to use that which is in your hand. God takes the weakest instruments to accomplish his mightiest ends. Anything, when used of God, will do his appointed work.
I thank J.P. Robinson for all his hard work making the conference a success. I thank all the staff for their hard work and instruction. And I thank Bob Hostetler for his words of wisdom.