The email timestamp read 6:38 AM, and the first lines aroused a bit of suspicion in me: “From Jesus, via me.”
I’m a bit of a skeptic when I’m told someone has a “message from God” for me. Call me skeptical, but it seems there might be a little room for interpretive error.
This time the sender was a dear friend. The kind of friend you can trust with these sorts of emails. Her words altered my life’s trajectory.
I’m a recovering perfectionist, and I’d been struggling with writing. Perfectionism doesn’t mix well with writing. No matter how good our work may be, perfectionism tells us that it isn’t good enough.
Most of the time I would stare at the blinking cursor on a blank screen unable to move my fingers. How would I ever write anything that anyone would want to read?
I knew the kind of content capable authors penned, and I couldn’t create anything close to the quality of their work. But God kept nudging me onward.
As I scrolled through my friend’s email, four words marked the beginning of a change in my thinking. Four words I needed to believe and own. Four words every writer should speak out loud at least once per day.
Just 13 letters, but a boatload of power contained within.
If you feel a sacred calling to put words on paper—and you follow it—then you are a writer. Not should be, might be, or will be. You are.
These words encourage us to step out in courage, fighting the fear of not being smart enough or capable enough.
If you feel a sacred calling to put words on paper and follow it—then you ARE a writer. Click To Tweet
The first time I read this phrase, belief sparked inside me. My fingers started moving, and I wrote. And wrote. And wrote.
It was terrible. But I kept writing and kept learning and growing. I listened to tough criticism about my writing (which proves exceptionally difficult as a recovering perfectionist, but is vital if you want to improve). And, most importantly, I registered for training with great people like Margaret and Jonathan, soaking in as much wisdom as I could.
Image courtesy of Moody Publishers
Today, I’m not as good a writer as I will be tomorrow. But I’m better than I was. And I’ve published my first book!
So give it a try. Look yourself in the mirror and speak those four words. Make yourself write them out. Don’t just believe you can be a writer. Believe you already are.
After you believe, then start to evaluate. Take an honest assessment of where your work can be stronger. What habits do you have that need broken? What grammar skills need tightening? How can you make your stories more captivating?
Having a brilliant writer critique your work may be the most painful and most helpful step you can take. It stings, but it’s worth it.
Be encouraged today. You have a story. Something to share. Press through the fear and get started.
After all, you are a writer.
For even more writing tips, sign up for our FREE 3-part mini course designed to help you start writing, sustain your writing, and share your writing.
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Laura Dingman is a writer, minister, blogger, and proud Write Brilliant alum. She is also author of I Am Found: Quitting the Game of Hide and Seek with God and Others.
"Jonathan and Margaret are two of the best writing coaches in America, and I've learned much from them over the years. Their Write Brilliant program will help you grow deep roots and a wide reach. Do not wait to sign-up!"
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Bestselling author of Good Faith and founder of Q
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"The firehose of information I absorbed through Write Brilliant transformed the way I write. Jonathan and Margaret bring a combined breadth of knowledge and a straight-shooting style that helped me clarify my target audience, expand my platform, and get practical about what it takes to dedicate myself to my craft. I learned more in this one course than in all past conferences, books, blogs, and videos I’ve engaged. Write Brilliant is a one-stop-shop for taking your writing to the next level."
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author of Colors of Goodbye
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– Brad Lomenick,
author of H3 Leadership and former director of Catalyst
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