Writing about Your Life: Letting Purpose Guide You

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How do you know if God wants you to write about your life? It’s simple. Everybody has a story to tell somebody; that’s what my grandma used to call a testimony. While some are called to pick up the phone and encourage a friend, others may be called to say a kind word to those whom God sends across your path from time to time. Still others may be called to put pen to their thoughts and reach a wider audience. If you have a desire to write your story, perhaps God is calling you to do just that. What do you have to lose? Why not get started now? Don’t try to figure out how much time it will take to write or how much it will cost to publish your book. We’ll get into that later.

In my last post, I described webbing and making lists as two ways to begin thinking about possible events to include in your story. For those who have kept journals over the years, you probably have a wealth of ideas. However, you may not want to include every detail of your life in your book. Then how do you decide what to include? Pray, pray, and keep praying. Every time I sit down to write I pray. When I get stuck, I pray. When I get discouraged, I pray. When I felt like giving up, I prayed. Yes, I said “felt like giving up!” I cannot count how many times I felt like quitting when writing my story. For some of you, the hardest part will be getting started.

My purpose was to encourage women that no matter what struggles they had, God was able to bring them through and turn their pain into pearls. Once I determined my purpose, I had the steering wheel! Everything I wrote was driven by my focus statement. In the beginning, I must confess, I had little direction. I just wanted to write, and my first draft reflected that. One of my early readers commented that I really had three books in one. I mentioned this before. That’s when I knew I had to develop a focus. Writing about what my family ate for dinner on the Fourth of July, 1958, was not going to advance my story. Again, I had to decide what was essential to advancing my story.

What is your purpose? Take time this week and write one sentence which will state why you are writing. It can not just be to write about myself. What do you want readers to learn or gain by reading your book? Once you write your purpose, you will find direction in choosing events to include in your book. If you would like me to look at your purpose statement, include it in your reply to this post. Aren’t you excited? Writing THE PRICE OF PEARLS was one of the most challenging but rewarding things I’ve ever done. I remember going into a Christian bookstore once, looking around and thinking, “There are so many books written already, surely there’s no need for me to write another!” Then I heard, “But nobody has written your story.” I leave you with that thought and this scripture to encourage you to get started.

Psalm 126: 5-6, “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves (of grain) with him (NKJV).”  

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