Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Dipping the Quill Deeper: What Do You Want as a Writer?

by Eva Marie Everson @EversonAuthor

I made a life-changing discovery in 2017.

While at the Blue Lake Writers Retreat, I spotted a piece of paper—an 8 ½ by 11 and nondescript—which told about a prayer labyrinth that could be found on the property. Although I had heard about prayer labyrinths, I knew little about them. So I did what I always do when I learn a little about something but know next to nothing—I research.

In time, that research led to a deeper walk with God . . . and a book, The Third Path, which won the AWSA Golden Scroll Book of the Year this past August. The research also led to several years now of teaching a speck of what I learned by studying the questions God asked in the Bible. 

I initially wondered why God would ask questions. After all, He’s God. He’s omniscient. He knows everything! But a chat with my Jewish friend Miriam led to an answer. “The Orthodox believe,” she went on to teach me, “that God dwells in every one of the questions He asks.”

He does not ask so He can know the answers, but so the answers are revealed to us . . . by us and through the provoking and prodding of His Spirit.[i]

When I teach this concept of studying God’s biblical questions to writers, I often begin with the most basic of questions: What do you want?

John 1

From “word one,” the apostle John cuts to the chase—In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Then he goes on to tell the story of John the Baptist and of the baptism of Jesus—a story that spans three days. 

On the third day, John points to Jesus and says, “Look! The Lamb of God!” (John 1:35). 

Two of the baptizer’s disciples heard this and, in a sudden move, stopped following John and, instead, ran after Jesus who turned around and asked what we know to be the first question* by Him that was recorded in the Book of John: What do you want?

The two men—one of whom we know was Simon Peter’s brother Andrew—asked a simple question: Rabbi, where are you staying? This question, literally, is where do you abide?

Staying and Abiding

For me, as someone who “stays” in various hotel rooms, conference center rooms, and in the quest bedrooms of many hosts and hostesses, staying means one thing. Abiding means another. 

Abiding, for me, is home

As children, we often sing of making Jesus a home within our hearts. Even though this is a childhood song, the truth of it hits when we become adults. Jesus dwells with us . . . within us . . . in our interactions with family, with friends, and with our work. In fact, in every moment of every day—Jesus.

So, that said, this means that for us writers, Jesus lives within the thoughts, the ideas, the words, the phrases, the paragraphs, the chapters . . . the books, the articles, the posts . . . every word. Our work. His words.

Keeping That in Mind

Keeping that in mind—Jesus in your work—imagine Him turning to look at you, sun gleaming in the reflection of His dark eyes, and asking, “What do you want?”

We already have Him abiding with us and with our words . . . so what else do you want from Him? When it comes to your work, what do you want?

Grab a pen . . . and your favorite journal . . . and begin a new leg of your journey by answering this important question. I can almost assure you that it will change the trajectory of your journey as a writer with and for Him.


Eva Marie Everson is the CEO of Word Weavers International, the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference, and the contest director for Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. She is the multiple award-winning author of more than 45 books and countless articles and blogposts. She is also an award-winning speaker and a Bible teacher, a recipient of the Yvonne Lehman Award (2022), the AWSA Lifetime Achievement Award (2022), and the ECPA Gold Medallion (2023). 

Eva Marie is often seen at writers conferences across the States. She served as a mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild and taught as a guest professor at Taylor University in 2011. She and her husband make their home in Central Florida where they enjoy their grandchildren. They are owned by a cat named Vanessa.

Eva Marie's latest book, The Third Path Journal, is a companion to her book, the AWSA Golden Scroll Book of the Year, The Third Path. The Third Path looks at 26 of the questions God asked in the Bible, then makes them personal to the reader. The premise of the book is currently her most asked for continuing workshop at writers conferences.

[i] Everson, Eva Marie, The Third Path, Bold Vision Books August 2022, page 19.

*The first recorded question of Jesus in Scripture can be found in Luke 2:49.


  1. Thank you for one of the most thought-provoking posts I've read in a long time. Blessings.

  2. "Our work. His words." Those few words say it all. Thank you.

  3. Thank you for sharing such a valuable lesson. Blessings.