Sunday, August 16, 2020

Writers are Blessed Stenographers

by Tammy Karasek @TickledPinkTam

Recently I came across the quote below on the Blue Bridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Instagram feed. It’s had me contemplating it ever since. One, because of who wrote it and two because of the power that was in the words. Check it out: 

“Writers were blessed stenographers taking divine dictation.” Stephen King
I was first intrigued because of his use of stenographer. My studies in high school and then onto college were Secretarial Science and Office Administration. So, of course, my eyes grew wide seeing that old word and title again. In fact, I have a fun little pin with stenographer on it and it made me smile thinking back to that time in my life. 

I remember sitting for hours taking shorthand in class, as the teacher would read pages for us to write in those squiggly little shapes that translated into real words. I loved taking shorthand and won quite a few awards in college doing so, I was very fast. I found it both fascinating and fun. When I took my first job as a secretary, I was able to put that practice into use. I diligently wrote down the words my boss would speak whenever he needed correspondence sent. Jack, my boss, was a funny guy. Once he was done telling me what he wanted in his letter, he’d say, “Now read the scribbles back to me.” I enjoyed listening to his voice and writing just what he said. I worked hard and kept at it to be able to keep up with him. 

As I read Mr. King’s quote over and over thinking back to the years of using shorthand, it caught my attention that he had said “writers were blessed stenographers.” He’s talking about you and me—we’re the writers. But he said we’re blessed stenographers. Which to me means someone in the position to bless is telling us what to write. A stenographer doesn’t write in shorthand if someone isn’t telling him or her what needs typed. Someone is behind the voice. So who would be the voice for the blessed stenographer?

Mr. King’s last two words answers the question on who that would be, for Christian writers in particular. The voice would be someone divine dictating what needs to be said. 

Stop right there. Is anyone else getting goose bumps like I did? 

We’ve heard the phrase “if God has called you to do something, He will equip you to do it.” The quote above takes that to a whole new level for me. God has called us to write. Check. He will equip us to do it. Check—wait … how?


Through His divine dictation. 

Now you can see why this short, sweet quote has had my attention for a good while. And I’m not lying when I say it came on one of those days we writers sometime get when self-doubt and frustration wants to creep in and take over. 

But this quote. It was so encouraging and exciting to me when I first read it. I hope it has lifted your spirits as well. We’re not in this writing journey alone, even though it sometimes feels like it. The words we write are coming from divine dictation from the One who blesses us with our stenographic skills of writing. 

Be blessed writer, go write the words He dictates to you. 


You’ll find Tammy seeing humor and causing laughter in every aspect of life. Her past, filled with bullying and criticism from family, is the driving force of her passion to always encourage others and give them The Reason to smile. She’s been married to her college sweetheart, Larry, for 37 years, a mom to their grown daughter, Kristen, and wrapped around the paw of a little dog named Hattie. Born and raised in Ohio, her family now resides in South Carolina. She is the President of Word Weavers Upstate SC, member of ACFW and My Book Therapy/Novel Academy. She’s the Blog Editor for Word Weavers International. A Conference Assistant for Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference. A monthly contributor for The Write Conversation. A contributor in the 2018 Divine Moments Compilation Book—Cool-inary Moments. Also a regular contributor to several other blogs. 

Connect with Tammy: Blog:  Email:


  1. Thank you for the encouragement Ms. Tammy. What surprised me about this story is the author of the quote. Who can know the heart of another man? Enjoyed ma'am. Even got a laugh in there as I mentally envisioned you furiously scribbling in shorthand to keep up with your boss' mental gymnastics. God's blessings ma'am.

    1. Glad you had a good laugh, Mr. J.D.!!! Furiously scribbling is quite accurate!!

  2. This was such a blessing. Thank you for offering encouragment and a new look at my part in this crazy calling as a writer.

  3. Thanks for your post, Tammy. I took shorthand in high school and was pretty good at it. I used it at my first job but not since, so I’ve forgotten it. I appreciate the encouragement to listen to the divine voice of our God to dictate His words in my writing.

    1. Thank you, Deena. Hope you enjoyed shorthand and the walk down memory lane! Glad you were encouraged!

  4. This was a great writing, Tammy. I can identify with a lot of it. Thank you for sharing. And thank you for letting us know to listen to God and what he is dictating to us.

  5. Diane, thank you so much. Hope it gives you pause to ponder!