Why You Don’t Write (and maybe you shouldn’t)

Why You Don’t Write (and maybe you shouldn’t)

I had no idea I would be a writer. But more importantly, I had no idea of the benefits of writing until I’d done it for a little while. Writing has changed my life dramatically


Some people have no desire to write, and they probably aren’t reading this (though if you are, I appreciate it). 


But many people desire to write on some level but don’t. Three reasons I can think of are:

  1. You don’t realize it’s crucial. 

  1. You have not become the person who doesn’t put off important things.

  1. It really is not essential to you. 

Firstly, you don’t realize it’s important. You aren’t planning to write for a living, so why bother? You don’t know how you can express something deep within when you start moving your hands to write or type. 


Or maybe you don’t know what a valuable skill that written communication can be. You don’t realize that expressing the truth is a way to change hearts and minds. 


It has always amazed me that I can connect world revolutions to what was being written. We learned from Hamilton that Alexander wrote like he “was running out of time.” Along with Thomas Paine, John Locke, and Adam Smith, the written word shaped a new consciousness for the founding of a nation and Constitution. 


Do you see how powerful that is?


Unfortunately, it works for evil, too. 


Would the communist revolutions have happened without Marx’s writing? If the wrong people are writing, how much more do people who have the truth need to write? Writing is vital for you and for the world that will read it. 


Secondly, you have yet to become that person who does what they want to do, not putting off what’s important. 


You want to write (or exercise, quit sugar, romance your spouse), and you just don’t. What is going on there? What gets in between you and your desires and goals? If your goal is to write a book, blog, journal, or anything else, then: 


  1. Fixate on it. See it. Get emotional about it.
  2. Do it. Take action. Just do it today and commit to doing it again tomorrow. 
  3. Before bed, fixate on it again. 


You have not changed because change is incredibly difficult. There is an inertia and a bias for staying the same. Your mind will rebel until it knows you mean business. Expect this, and plan for it. Do what you must do to FOCUS until the new you shows up. Forget who you have always been. It’s irrelevant. 


You CAN become a new person by making new choices and taking action. This is the joy and privilege of being a reasoning animal created in the image of God. Whoever says you don’t have free will and can’t change is a liar or a fool. Become a writer by fixating and then writing. 


Thirdly, you don’t want to write, but for some reason, you think you should want to write. 


Maybe you are impressed with intellectual people, and there is some kind of status you think you can achieve by saying, “I’m a writer.” In that case, find a new reason to write (there are plenty), or discover something else you actually want to do: Music, woodworking, bird watching, fishing…anything you genuinely want to do. 


Christians are no good at wanting. We feel guilty about it. Wanting always feels selfish, so we bend over backward to convince ourselves that the thing we want to do, have, or buy is for others. Sure, it’s for others, but you must want it for you. To deny this is actually to deny the way God created us. 


Now, I’m getting deeper than I intended to. But God put us on this earth to live. All organic creatures seek life. They are built to like it when they find the things they need to flourish. Plants love it when they find sunlight, nutritious soil, and water. They flourish. We like it when we find good food, a beautiful wife (or husband), or art that inspires us to heroic journeys. We take joy in improving our lives. We enjoy it when we get a raise. Why? At least one reason is that it means a better chance at affording life-affirming things. 


God made you that way. Lust is no bueno, but desire is part of being a creature. Learn to want. And then, you can look deeply within and see if you genuinely desire to be a writer. If not, forget it and find what you want to do. Anything else is the vicious counterfeit, status-seeking. “Dear children, keep yourself from idols” (1 Jn 5:21). 

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