Friday, August 21, 2015

Writers—We Have to Use it or Lose It!

by Bruce Brady @BDBrady007

My recent long-term layoff has taught me several important things about the writing life.

One of those is the fact that the longer the time between writing sessions, the more difficult it becomes to get back into the habit. 

Extended periods of not using our talents may result in our giving up altogether. And that’s not good for any writer, especially those who are under contract or dealing with deadlines.

Matthew 25 (ESV) tells the parable of the talents. While on the surface this story refers to money, it also refers to the personal talents and abilities we’re given. The master’s distribution of the talents clearly indicates that the servants had differing abilities, but were expected to use them as best they could for the benefit of the master. And this is still true today. Whether we’re prolific writers or slow, methodical ones, doesn’t matter.  If we’re blessed with the writing talent, then we must use what we have to benefit the master, whether that master is God or our readers.

We don't all have the same gifts or the same calling.
Another point in this parable is that the master didn’t expect the servants to perform equally. He recognized that they didn’t possess the same abilities. He just wanted each servant to do the best they could. And that’s all we can expect of ourselves. So we shouldn’t compare our work to others’.

We can’t all be a Nora Roberts or a Jerry B. Jenkins. We all differ in our abilities because each of us is supposed to reach a distinct audience. It matters not if we become bestselling authors or if our entire writing career is spent blogging, or just writing letters or stories for family members—never to be seen by the general public. It’s been my observation that writing for fame or fortune eventually drives readers away. I believe using our talents to benefit others should be our highest goal.

This parable makes another clear point. If we don’t use our talents, they will be taken from us. Procrastination is not our friend. And it is often the result of fear. Because the servant with the one talent feared he would lose it, he buried it. He could have observed the one with five talents, then tried his best to produce similar results. But instead, he let fear dictate his actions.

We must over come our fears and write!
Whether we fear failure, or success, if we feel the need to write, then we should write. Every day. Even if it’s junk. Even if we have to dictate our thoughts and let someone or some software program put the words on the screen or paper. We must do whatever it takes to routinely write.

Have you stopped writing because you’re producing junk? Perhaps, like me, you’ve stopped because you’re facing health or physical challenges. Don’t worry about the cause. Just keep writing. Whatever you can as often as you can. You can perfect it later. Find a way to keep going.

If you are called to write, if you have a talent for writing, then write! Don’t let anything stop you. As long as you can think, you can write. There is a way. Your readers need your words. And you will not be happy unless you share those words with them.

What are some ways you keep writing, even when life gets hard? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Writers—We Have to Use it or Lose it - thoughts from @BDBrady007 on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Bruce Brady is an author, writer and playwright. His work has appeared in Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family,, and on stage. Currently, Bruce is working on a Young Adult Novel about a boy who must deal with the death of his dad, being bullied, and helping his mom through her grief. His first five pages took third place in the ACFW South Carolina Chapter’s “First Five Pages” contest.

When he’s not writing, Bruce spends time learning from and helping other writers. He serves as Mentor of Word Weavers International’s Online Chapter, and as a member of Cross ‘N’ Pens, The Writer’s Plot, ACFW’s National and South Carolina Chapters.

“My dream is to entertain my readers and give them hope as they travel the rocky road of life.”


  1. Very well said, Bruce!! Now, I need to get off of here and go write. ;o)

  2. This post is a difference maker full of encouragement, direction, and inspiration. May your words be the motivation for writer's on their path of pouring out word that will bring glory to God like you have done here, Bruce.
    Well done.

  3. What a good word, Bruce! Thanks for both encouraging and challenging me.I heard that parable taught at church last night. Hmmmm.....God seems to specialize in the occasional double-whammy. Take care and keep writing.

  4. Thanks for this gentle nudge. I have not been writing as much this year and I miss it, but haven't been able to get back in the swing. I have felt directionless with my words and so it has been easy to leave them unwritten. I need to remedy this I think.

  5. Great message, Bruce! Praying blessings over you as you recover and get back to writing.