Passion to Publish

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by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

If I say, I will not make mention of [the Lord] or speak any more in His name, in my mind and heart it is as if there were a burning fire shut up in my bones. Jeremiah 20: 9 (Amplified)

Fire in the bones. That’s how I describe the irresistible passion that kept me writing and seeking publication until the dream came true. Without that “fire in the bones,” I don’t see how any writer perseveres through the hurdles and heartaches until they not only become published, but start to make a career out of their passion to write.

I believe this fire has to be an innate gift from God because it cannot be manufactured. The blaze can be stoked and fed, and skills can be trained and grown, but the fire itself cannot be worked up by the will of man. Without it, manuscripts molder in desk drawers or on hard drives. Without it, poems or journals may be started but never finished. With it, fruit comes to maturity in the completion and sharing of words that can make a difference in other people’s lives.

Every person has gifts and callings, whether they ever discover them or not, or whether they choose to use those gifts to serve the God who gave them. We’re offered the choice of who we will serve with the divine spark within us. I read once that Elvis Presley began his career singing Gospel, but then he received some enticing offers and chose the spotlight of the world’s fame. We see where that road ended for him, but the gift-the passion for music-did not dry up simply because he didn’t choose to serve God with it.

How can you tell if you have the passion? Take this simple test: Ask yourself if you can stop writing. If you can, then perhaps journaling or the occasional poem might satisfy the temporary, momentary itch. If you cannot lay writing aside without feeling as if you’ve put a cork on a volcano, then the passion is a force in your life. Yield to it, and yield that force to God.

His direction will make the most of the gift He has given you, and He will lead you to the outlets for your creativity that are best suited to His purposes for your life. Proverbs 16: 9 says in the Amplified: A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure. What a promise! Along His path is the most satisfaction and success possible.

These are the things I needed to believe even before I reached the milestone of my first published novel, or I never would have seen that book in print . . . or the others that followed. Even now, I encourage myself with these thoughts, because no matter where a writer is along the route of her career, there is still a long road ahead.

Lay hold on the passion inside, dear fellow travelers. It will carry you farther than you ever dreamed!

Award-winning author and writing teacher, Jill Elizabeth Nelson, writes what she likes to read-tales of adventure seasoned with romance, humor, and faith. She delights to bring the “Ahah! Moment” to students. Her handbook, Rivet Your Readers with Deep Point of View, is available at Visit Jill at

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