By Andrea Grigg
As writers, we are continually faced with rules. Rules for grammar, spelling, punctuation, (English vs American vs Australian vs colloquial) rules for point of view, rules for dialog, rules for genre, rules for publishing, rules for marketing, rules for social marketing… phew!
Now, while I’m an advocate for following and learning the rules before you consider breaking them, all this rule-keeping can be exhausting. We become so concerned with doing the right thing, using it as our measuring stick, that it can be easy to lose sight of what we are called to do.
What each of us is called to do is very much a personal thing, depending on what God has said to our individual hearts. For example, it might surprise you to know I don’t feel so much called to write as to encourage.
This being said, I’ve stepped out of the familiar, and started writing for the general market.
These previously unknown, unchartered waters started me thinking about Peter when Jesus called him out of the safety of the boat.
Would those in the boat have been cheering him on? Possibly. More than likely they were questioning Peter’s sanity in stepping out onto a surface that logic told them would not take his weight.
The thing was, as soon as he struggled, Jesus was right there to help him, lift him up, and walk beside him.
I’ve found Jesus is right there with me in this writing journey—calling me out of the HMAS Safety-Zone, out of the familiar, and into something new and exciting.
There may be some who will question my reasoning for stepping out of the firm confines of a genre that allows me to talk about my faith in concrete, evangelical terms—but as I said, my calling is to encourage.
What’s the name of the boat He’s calling you to step out of? The safety net you need to leave behind, trusting that Jesus will lift you up if you sink a little, struggle a little?
Maybe it’s that you too, are thinking about aiming for a different market, trying a different genre, being nudged to embrace social media, to take up public speaking ...
It’s said that courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to do it scared.
Too often we measure ourselves by those who are called to something different, who are sitting somewhere different to us. The others didn’t hop out of the boat—but Jesus specifically spoke to Peter, didn’t He?
What I’ve realised is that unity as Christian writers is not uniformity. Difference need not be dishonour, that we can move on to the endeavours God calls each of us to, and not be afraid.
In essence—let’s do it scared. Because He’ll reach out and help us out if we flounder.
Andrea Grigg lives on the Gold Coast, Queensland, and is author of two contemporary Christian romance novels, and a novella. She would love to connect with you via: