By John W. Tucker
Christian writers have a variety of reasons for wanting to write. Here are eleven: 1) to fulfill a personal need; 2) to honor God by using this gift; 3) to reach sectors of the population with a message of hope; 4) to earn a living or supplement it; 5) to set an example and help reproduce other writers; 6) to write again and again, creating new stories for our avid readers; 7) to earn enough to fund other needs in our communities and the world; 8) to produce curriculums and coaching materials for teaching and training; 9) to evangelize and win the lost; 10) to trigger a reader’s imagination, opening the theatre of the mind, causing action and reaction to take place mentally, physically, socially, and spiritually; 11) to heal, bring hope, challenge, warn, embrace, stand with, and guide. You are welcome to add your reasons as well.
I write because I have an active brain, always thinking about current topics in the media and on the local scene. When I hear reports that young people are taking their lives by suicide, it breaks my heart. Even young soldiers are taking their lives! How my heart aches for them. So, I began writing an article, “Why Teens Commit Suicide.” In it I thought of my own upbringing, how my parents weren’t home when I got home from school. What’s a kid to do with that free time — homework! But, with no one there to make me do my homework, I watched television or made something to eat in the kitchen.
With young people today, if they come home to an empty house, what do they do? How do they feel? If they’ve been bullied at school or on the Internet, do parents know it? If Dad or Mom or both, work late every night, how do kids feel and respond to the lack of connection? Reading statistics from Christian newsletters I receive in the mail helps me understand the dilemma young people are facing these days. Life is not easy, and it’s even harder when a kid is a loner, bullied, or left out of the social scene at school.
So, I base my article on my own experiences as a kid, use some of the statistics from research done by Christian ministries, interview a few kids or my own daughters, and put the article together. I also try to come up with a few practical solutions. One solution is to ask around and see if parents that are home after school would mind if “our kid” could stop by and stay there with their friend until “we” get home. Another solution is to check for after school programs offered either by the school or in the community, for young people getting out of school.
Here, I’ve taken a current topic and addressed it, off the cuff. I didn’t intend to write about it, but this whole idea of the writer’s “cause” pushed me to tackle the subject as a potential piece for the newspaper or a magazine. Maybe I could develop this into a book. With better research on my part, maybe a survey of the kids at the school, interviews of one or two professional counselors or Christian people in my community, and checking some books on the topic, I could pull together enough relevant subject matter and do the book. It depends on my motivation and time.
The Christian writer’s cause is inspired by current events, someone’s heartbreak, a personal story we’ve been living, or startling statistics that slap us in the face! And out of these situations flows a fiction novel or a non-fiction manuscript ready for publication.
John W. Tucker has written a trilogy entitled, Dragon Riders of The Realm, for teens. He re-edited Book 1 in October 2016, adding a map of The Realm and correcting some grammatical errors. He is self-published. John resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado with his wife and two grown daughters.