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A Caveat for Writers

Make sure your motives are true.

Apoorva Tadepalli, “Careerism,” in The Point, Winter 2022.

Those who feel a calling to write can be powerfully drawn, committed to doing whatever it takes to get into print. But the wholesome desire to write can warp and become corrupted into mere careerism, in which pride and self-seeking supplant the desire to communicate, the need for recognition and reward becomes paramount, and writing becomes an obsession and a drudge rather than a fulfilling and beneficial avocation.

The writing life must carry intrinsic rewards, or it can become self-destructive. Writing is hard work and it seldom produces the kinds of benefits associated with material success. Those truly called to write, however, will find a way to muddle through. Tadepalli notes, “We know all the reasons and more why the writing life isn’t worth it, and clearly none of them really matter because we still write.”

Writing that satisfies creates “the feeling of reverberation in our sternums, of confronting the stars, dazzling and demoralizing all at once.”

Christian writers are not immune to such temptations, and so must work to keep a proper focus for their work. Writing for ministry seeks to honor God, represent truth, and serve readers. By keeping this focus, writing can truly be a calling from the Lord in which He is the primary audience, subject, and reward.

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