God is the Writer – You Are His Book
Overcoming Writer’s Anxiety through a study of 2 Corinthians 3:3
by Elise Arndt
Verba volant, scripta manent is a Latin proverb. Literally translated, it means “spoken words fly away, written words remain”. If that is true, what a motivation for us to write the amazing things God has done. We are his “letters” written with the pen of His redeeming love in Christ. We are His “letter”—pages and chapters filled with God’s love and grace.
But, how does one begin writing those marvelous acts of God? What happens when the words in your mind aren’t easily translated onto paper or a computer screen?
My desire to write began in the late 1960’s. At that time our family was living in Papua New Guinea. As I wrote letters home, words flowed in a free and uninhibited, unprofessional fashion that expressed my heart. They were simple stories of God’s amazing love and provision. I didn’t think of them as being profound, but friends and family members responded and wanted to hear more. The more they responded the more I wrote. The more I wrote the more my confidence grew.
When we returned to the United States, I began sharing my stories with anyone who would listen. Eventually groups of women asked me to speak at Bible studies and conferences. Out of necessity outlines developed which later became the framework for future publications.
When asked to write my first publication, I experienced what most writers feel -inadequacy and the fear of rejection. I will never forget my husband’s words to me when the pain of not writing exceeded the pain of writing.
“Take the risk!”
“Don’t live in regret.”
“Your purpose in writing is to leave a legacy. That alone will be your success!”
To start writing was difficult. Nothing I wrote seemed to fit together. Then I found my style. Although unconventional, it worked.
Since I am not a linear thinker, concepts, and creative ideas would be placed on a page randomly. There was no concern for order, no outline, no sentence structure, punctuation or capitalization – just pure creativity. Miraculously, a common thread began to emerge with an outline following.
Finally the first draft was written. It was perfect! Until I read it the next day. Not as good as I thought. Then began the agonizing and seemingly unending process of re-writing
I found that words effectively communicated take time to flow. This process cannot be hurried. Re-writing causes paragraphs to transition better. Fewer words are used to express adequately the sacred thoughts of the soul. Those re-writes clarified more effectively what my heart wanted to convey.
As you begin the adventure of writing (be it e-books, blogs, publications, an actual book through a publishing house, or traditional journaling) keep in mind that the time you spend is never wasted. Although it is a world of emotional highs and lows where discouragement and confidence walk side by side, keep in mind your focus. You are God’s “Living Letter” – a testimony of his love and faithfulness to be shared with future generations.