Taking Your First Steps as a Writer
Today’s blog post comes from Encouragement for Today writer, Alexandra Hoover.
I remember the first time my daughter, Leilla, took her first few steps. She was right around 1, wobbly knees, feet stumbling, adrenaline rushing. Our house back then had a kitchen with a doorway that led straight into the living room. She had crawled from the kitchen, pulling herself up by the ledge of the door, finding her balance up against our wall. She was so cute.
I could see that she was afraid — it was in her eyes. She’s a careful one, always calculating her moves and finding her joy in the safety of all things predictable. She was committed, though — brave — and carried deep convictions. When she resolved to do something, she did it. She wanted to walk and so she did.
One day, with all the fear in the world, my girl took her first steps towards momma. Wildly afraid, but with one goal in mind, she saw me and measured our distance apart by looking at the massively oversized coffee table that sat in the middle of our living room. I kept telling her, “Leilla, look at me. Don’t look down. Just keep going.”
Step by step, she pressed on.
I think of this and think about us all. How Jesus guides us with tender love: “Come on, daughter — take that first step!”
Her fear, coupled with courage, is so much of us all. It’s what we do before we step into the unknown. Before we press on, we muster up the courage to take the first step, and once we do, we begin to feel alive. But with anticipation comes the fear that it may not look how we’ve envisioned it. The fear of what’s to come. The fear that the journey will not be a comfortable one. But fear is no match for courage. When we keep our eyes on Him, these steps are then fueled by an undeniable mission.
I want to give you practical steps, like: Make sure you carve out time to write; sharpen your gift; and give it time as you sift through your voice, areas of weakness and strengths. I could also spend some time talking through the importance of consistency and grace as you pen through your God-inspired thoughts, dreams and convictions, all of which are so important. But more than anything, I want to remind you of why you’re taking your first steps in the first place.
If we take steps in writing with ourselves in mind, we lose sight of His heart and mind. But with Him as our “why,” our steps become clear and are fueled by Him.
Steps full of joy, delight and grace. Thinking of the work that He’s done in you and how the world will now know Jesus just a little bit better because of His work in and through you. Yes, take the time for your writing. Write in the margins, in the mundane and the quiet. But take the steps for His glory.
They will be steps in worship, as we choose to use our convictions and gifts to make much of Him and not ourselves. Resolving to give up each word for His glory, the transformation of our soul and the building up of the Kingdom. With our eyes on Him and His mission, our steps are fueled by love.
“looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2, ESV)
So take those steps, sister. Steps of resolve, conviction, grace and courage.
Take the steps — hold on tight — and watch Him work.
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I am so confused❣️I don’t know where to find a friend. It is hindering me from going on to lesson 2. This brings to mind Eric Carle’s Book, Will you be my friend?” I also don’t know what I want to say. We got a new puppy. So I started writing about her and now I’m hearing about putting God into my writing. Please help!
Such inspiring words…writing all for the glory of God.
This is so good. Many times we can find ourselves “Toe dipping” contemplating on whether or not to step out. That’s what I feel God has been dealing with in me- to step out and trust, with my eyes focused on Him, full of faith. So excited to join in and grow.
Yes, we are the toddler learning to walk. Back then we were not self conscious and worried about what others would think. We didn’t even know others were watching us. Let us seize some of this back. One way to do this is like you said, Alexandra, to keep our eyes firmly on Him. We are walking towards Him, trying to please only Him.
“When we keep our eyes on Him, these steps are then fueled by an undeniable mission.” Reading this reminded me of Philippians 3:14 (NIV), “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Writing can definitely feel like running a race, even though we are only moving our hands and fingers.