I’ve come face to face with a really surprising thing about writing. It’s hard.
When I used to read books that moved me to tears or shook me up or made me look at my life in a different way than I ever have before, I used to think that the authors just had IT. You know, capital IT, that secret sauce that made words magically flow from their minds and their souls.
When I first started blogging it kind of felt that way. It was new and exciting and I didn’t have an audience so who cares if it didn’t fit perfectly with what the world needed, it was what God gave me to put out there right in that moment. So I put it out there.
Sadly what I’ve noticed, is that the bigger my audience gets the more intimately I understand the impact that I’m having and the harder it becomes to write.
The words may still be there, the ideas are definitely still there, but getting them onto the paper or the screen has become more difficult than I ever thought it would be. So what’s changed, what’s different? I’m different.
After 8 years of blogging, two degrees, and countless academic papers, I’m finally coming face to face with the realization that I’m afraid of writing poorly.
I am afraid of failing this mission that God has put in front of me.
I don’t expect it to be perfect and I’m OK with that, however my greatest fear is writing something that sends someone the wrong direction. Sort of like the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz when his arms swing around and he says “You can go that way” then immediately points in the opposite direction and says “Or you can go that way.” I’m afraid of speaking words that send people any direction except the one that leads them to Jesus. That’s what changed.
Writing is hard when you recognize the weights and the responsibilities of being a christian writer.
Putting the words on the page means that I’m trusting God can use them and will use them, and I think what’s lurking in the deepest darkest corners of fear in my mind is the doubt about whether or not they’re good enough. Writing is hard, when you love your audience. Writing is hard when your dream is to wake up everyday and pour into the people around you, because you recognize that it’s not about you.
Being a Jesus centered writer isn’t about telling my story in a way that edifies me.
It’s about telling my story in a way that allows you to see Jesus through the cracks in my armor. Through the potholes I’ve fallen into and the valleys that almost swallowed me whole. So yes writing is hard, but God bless it, it is right, it is needed, it is as much of food for the writer’s soul as it is for those who read it. But first those of us who write because God tells us to and allows us to, have to be empty before we can be fed. Pouring out the words on the page, wrestling with all of the drafts and discerning what God wants us to weave in between those moments that seem so imperfect and create such enormous vulnerability has to happen first.
So sisters write, dump it out.
Don’t filter it, pour the words out even if it means feeling naked in front of the entire world. Because only in that nakedness are we able to see that it’s God who clothes us, and it’s God who helps us recover, and it’s God who strengthens us so that we can continue to pour out on others. Write the words that scare you to death. Write the messy stories. You can always hire an editor later, don’t edit the first draft. Pour it out, pray over it, then let God say what happens next. Yes, writing is hard, but because God is in it writing is good, and it is worthy, and it is what you were created to do.
So write from the bottom of your soul and from the scariest moments.
Just write and let God do the rest.
Hey there friend! I’m Angela J Herrington, MA, LSCC and I’m a Faith Deconstruction coach who provides soul care for people who are untangling from toxic religion.
As a certified life coach and seminary-trained online pastor, I have a lot of experience helping people connect with God. But this is also a very personal journey for me.
For the last decade, I’ve been on my own journey to break free from learned smallness and step into wild sacred holy womanhood. Long story short, after finding faith in my early 30’s I began to realize that what I was hearing from the church about women didn’t always line up with what God was telling me. I loved God but realized the church was teaching some really toxic stuff.
So this Enneagram 8, first born, Gen Xer started deconstructing. I questioned and challenged everything I thought I knew about faith, gender, and myself.
It was messy and took a lot of work to sort it out. Therapy. Coaching. Bodywork. Spiritual healing. Conferences and retreats. And even a couple of college degrees.
You name it…I tried it.
But the thing that made the biggest difference was the presence and support of wise people who helped me up when I didn’t know where else to turn.
That’s why in September 2021, I created and hosted The Deconstructing Faith Summit. I gathered 20 phenomenal deconstruction experts to share their expertise and hosted over 1100 attendees in the week-long virtual event. Those who attended realized they weren’t alone, had a safe space to ask questions, learned dozens of strategies to help them deconstruct, and released tons of pent-up emotions they didn’t even know they were carrying around.
We laughed, we cried, and we danced, but the best part was…We did it together.
It was AMAZING and it was just the beginning.
So now, I’m doubling down on my commitment to create an inclusive support system for people, like you, who are longing to get away from toxic religion and cultivate a nourishing spiritual life.
I WOULD BE HONORED TO BE YOUR GUIDE, BE BY YOUR SIDE THROUGH THIS ENTIRE PROGRAM, UNCOVER WHAT’S HOLDING YOU BACK, AND CO-CREATE A PLAN TO BREAK FREE.
I find this truth to be so revealing. Wanting to share how Jesus can take the messy parts of my life and turn it into a message that Glorifies Him isn’t always easy. Strengthening others while sharing my faith is sometimes scary, but showing others even in the midst of our chaotic lives He is in control makes the hard times worth it. Thank you for reminding me.
You’re welcome Carlene! There is so much wisdom available to our readers when we open up the messy parts of life. You can do this. God is with you. Keep writing!
God has been calling me to write since 2011 and I have avoided it so long and quenching the fire.
I hope and pray that I will be an obedient and useful tool for my Lord.
It delights me to learn and watch God’s ways through other Christian women.
I am inspired.
Your posts and articles are really edifying and comforting. Thank you for your wonderful work and dedication.
Thanks so much for your sweet comment! It’s an honor to heart that these words encourage you! If God is calling you to write, He knows there’s something beautiful, powerful, and holy that will come out of that experience. Trust Him to form the right words in your heart and pour them from your pen.