Want some writing advice?
Of course, you don’t have to write books and blog posts. But it’s amazing how much time you and I spend writing. Whether it’s tweeting or texting or typing, you and I write, and we write a lot.
In order to help you grow as a communicator, as a writer, below are some (really) random tips from some of the most influential Christian writers alive.
1) Tim Keller on Writing Preparation
What practices have helped Keller?
“Reading,” says Tim Keller.
“That is far and away the most important discipline. You must read widely in general for years before you become capable of recognizing good writing. And then before you write a book on a subject, you should read 20 or 30 good books on the subject carefully and skim another 20 or 30. If you just read three or four (and refer to another three or four), your book will be largely a rehash and will offer few fresh insights.”
2) John Piper on A Calling To Write
Is God calling you to write? Here’s what Piper thinks:
“There is the impulse to write, not only to learn and not only to create something beautiful or interesting or compelling, but also the impulse to instruct and awaken and delight and transform people into obedient worshipers of Christ. When this impulse takes hold of a person, he is experiencing a call from God to write.”
But what does this look like? Piper elaborates:
“A divine calling to write is a calling from God, through God, and for God. Until the writing is for God, it is not a calling from God. So we move from truth discovery through writing to creative expression — through writing to the role of a servant in writing — which I described earlier like this: the impulse to instruct and awaken and delight and transform people into obedient worshipers of Christ. Instruct in the infinite expanse of truth, awaken to the glory of God radiant through all that he has made, delight with craftsmanship of poetry and diction and style and story, transform people into those who enjoy God with us and walk in a way that pleases God.”
3) J.I. Packer’s Advice to Non-Fiction Writers
Here’s Packer’s 3 pieces of advice to Christian writers of non-fiction:
1. “Go deep in personal worship.”
2. “Write to hit hearts.”
3. “Write from a sense of calling.”
More from Packer:
“There are writers who think that simply by crisp, orthodox formulations of Bible truth and wisdom, without any searching application to the reader, they are fulfilling the full role of a Christian writer and that nothing more is required of them. That I do not believe to be so. There are enough people around already who can verbalize orthodoxy on paper. What we haven’t got is writers who can join truth and wisdom about God from the Scriptures with personal communication — communication that hits the heart, that makes you realize that this writer is a person talking to other persons, that this writer is trying to search me in order to help me, and I must let him do it.”
4) Randy Alcorn’s Practical Writing Advice
Here’s some practical advice from Alcorn:
Be a voracious reader. “To improve my skills I continue to read and reread books on how to write. Good writers are readers, and writers who don’t have time to read won’t ultimately be worth reading.”
Work hard at it. “Anything that’s easy to read is usually hard to write. What’s easy to write is hard to read. I heard one author say, ‘“Writing is like giving birth to barbed wire.’” Writing is 5% inspiration and 95% perspiration.”
“Learning to write well is not a matter of memorizing a set of rules. It’s a matter of mastering a set of techniques. The artist—and writers are artists—who desires to excel at writing must dedicate his life to mastering the skills. You’ve heard it said many times: How does one learn to write? By writing, and writing, and writing.”
Write to please the Audience of One, Jesus Christ. “If your writing is about you, not God and His glory, find something else to do that you can make about Him.”
5) Kevin DeYoung’s 5 pieces of Writing Advice
DeYoung gets right to the point:
- “Write well whenever you write.”
- “Speak out loud what you’ve just written.”
- “Don’t wait until the last minute.”
- “Get a good friend to be ruthless.”
You may also like: