A Prayer for Young Writers

You are not too young to do great things for God.

To believe that you are too young is a lie meant to blind you, silence you, and ultimately, hold you back from God’s calling on your life.

Remember the prophet Jeremiah? He tried to use his youth as an excuse to avoid the big task God gave him. And God wouldn’t have it. He didn’t make a mistake in calling a young person. Instead, He chose to both call and empower a young person for His glory.

He did it then, and He does it now.

In yesterday’s post, I told you this: God wants and expects great things from young people. Those things aren’t always big and dramatic, but they are always acts of faithfulness and obedience.

Furthermore, God uses our specific gifts and passions as young people to build His kingdom.

Mine happens to be writing.

And I know I’m not the only one. I have met so many other kind, gifted, winsome young women who want to write for the glory of God.

For those young women, here are five truths to consider as you seek to use the gift God has given you.

1. You are not too young to be a writer.

Just like you’re not too young to do mission work, start a charity, or support an orphanage, you are not too young to write. People will try to tell you that you don’t have the life experience or maturity to write. They’ll tell you that you should never dream of writing a book as a young person.

But that’s a misguided perspective. We all have life experience to draw from—and we all could have more maturity (including older writers!). And if we’re surrounded by mentors and community, grounded in God’s Word, and plugged into a church, we’ll be protected from many of the pitfalls writers face.

Writing, whether fiction or nonfiction, prose or poetry, is a way to serve others. If that’s your focus, age is not the issue.

2. The goal of writing is worship.

Again, whether you write fiction or nonfiction, your goal is the same: worship. Your writing should reflect the image of God displayed in you and uphold the power of truth. It should draw your affections to Jesus.

As author Ann Swindell writes, “If we seek to worship Christ and commune with him in our writing, we will be freed to do what we really want: find true purpose and worth in our work.”

3. Read as much as you can.

The best writers are the most voracious readers.

I’ve heard it said a million times before: Good writing is good reading. The best writers are the most voracious readers. Read the kinds of things you want to write. Then read different things. Read as many good books as you can get your hands on.

Finally, read books about writing. A few places to start are On Writing Well by William Zinsser, Wordsmithy by Douglas Wilson, and The Christian Imagination edited by Leland Ryken.

4. Find writing mentors.

Look for people who can help you grow as writers—people who will answer your questions, champion your spirit, celebrate your wins, give you feedback, and help you grow. Don’t just look for people who will pat you on the back and constantly affirm you, though. Look for people who are willing to give you criticism and be wholly honest.

You probably know people like this. Look for people who have the time to invest in you, and be respectful of those who don’t.

5. Seek to serve others with your writing.

Write to fill a need, not just to add to the noise.

This is something that my mentor, Brett Harris, consistently impressed upon me: Writing is about serving others. Write to fill a need, not just to add to the noise. Look for legitimate ways your writing can build up and edify others.

At the same time, the source of a writer’s joy is humility. Don’t write for praise, flattery, or human approval (Gal. 1:10). Write with the humility that God is the one who gave you these words, and He will do whatever He wants with them.

That’s often my prayer with my writing: “Lord, do whatever You want with this. It’s Yours anyway. Help me to see that, believe that, and rejoice in that.”

And young writers, if that’s your prayer, God will answer it.

About Author

Jaquelle Crowe

Jaquelle Crowe is a twentysomething writer from eastern Canada. She’s a graduate of Thomas Edison State University and co-founder of The Young Writers Workshop. She is author of This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years (2017). You can find more of her writing at JaquelleCrowe.com.

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  • Tiana

    Thank you for this, Jaquelle. I’m 14 and want to be an author. I write mostly children’s books since I have 5 younger siblings, but I’m currently working on a devotional as well as a Christian teen novel. I have a lot of discouragement in my life when it comes to my writing. I entered the Assemblies of God Fine Arts Festival last year with a short story I had written and I was 1 point away from winning. That was a discouragement in itself, but people keep bringing it up and telling me that I’m not going to be able to publish a book as a teen because I couldn’t even win Fine Arts. I run a Christian blog for teen girls called Fearfully and Wonderfully Made and I don’t get very many views on it. And I’ve had people close to me tell me that it wasn’t a real blog and that I’m not a real writer. But even though there’s those few people that are a discouragement to me, I also have friends and family, my pastor and youth pastor, and other Godly adults who are constantly encouraging me in my writing journey. It’s because of those people that I haven’t quit, even though I have seriously thought about shutting down my blog and throwing away my notebook full of stories I’ve written. I’m going to check out those books you linked and maybe buy one of them to help me as well. P.S. I got 2 copies of This Changes Everything, one for me and one for a friend, and it’s a really good book. My friend that I gave it to told me that she started reading it, got halfway through, and thought is was so good that she had to read it again so she flipped to the beginning and started all over again. It really is an inspirational book. Thanks for using your writing talent to glorify God and help teen girls like me with your writing on this blog and in your book!

  • Duskflower

    Thanks for the encouragement. I’m doing NaNoWriMo right now and, more than ever, I want my novel and its themes to be centered around God in whatever way possible. He has encouraged me and picked me up when I’ve fallen as a writer, and I’m glad for the opportunity to (hopefully) glorify Him. I also have been wanting to write some blog posts and am having to overcome my shyness and believing the lie that my voice and the words God has given me don’t matter. This post has been very timely 🙂

  • Elaina Silvestri

    Thank you so much for this post! As a 16 year old writer, it is easy to become discouraged. I am at the point in my life where I must decide what to do with my future. So many around me have tried to convince me that a writing career is unstable and unpredictable and that only a few select authors succeed in this field. While I do understand this fact, it is undeniably my dream to author novels. I must continuously pray and plead to God to show me where my future will take me. Thank you again Jaquelle! You are such an inspiration!

    • You’re so welcome, Elaina. And I can definitely relate to your feelings of discouragement, especially when it comes to having a career as an author. But I firmly believe it is possible, that what happened to me wasn’t just random or unique. That’s largely why I started a program (with Brett Harris) to help young writers become young authors (it’s called the Young Writers Workshop). But people like Jeff Goins also help bust the myth that having a writing career is unattainable. I believe that if the Lord is calling you to it, it’s possible. =)

  • Evenstar

    Guess what I was working on when I opened this email up? Yep! This is exactly what I needed to read right now!!

    I’ve been blessed with friends my age (14) who are aspiring writers like me, and I thank God for them every day because they are also good strong christian girls that aren’t afraid to be honest with me!

    Thank you Jaquelle!!

    P.S. You are totally right about authors being voracious readers!!

    • That’s so cool how God worked out the timing of you reading this! And it’s wonderful to hear that you have an honest writing community. That is so necessary. Blessings to you, fellow writer!

  • Hannah B

    very good post! I’ll be sharing this on Kingdompen 😉

  • Lily Thomas

    I totally agree, writing is a great way to grow, sometimes I think as Christians we think we need to write only about God, but I don’t find that to be completely true. My general rule with everything, but especially with writing, is “would I be okay with God seeing this?” If the answer is yes then to me it’s good. I have a blog and that’s how I get out all my writing spirit. Ironically, my blog is all about books. Because reading is my life!!!!!!! I love reading and it totally does help as a writer. here’s my blog: skyebooks.wordpress.com
    Hope you check it out! Thank you so much for your post.

    • That’s a great rule, Lily! I think that’s something we should live by in every area of our life — writing definitely included. I love that your blog is about reviewing books (fellow book-lover here!). I will for sure be checking it out!

    • Evenstar

      Lily, thank you for that! I actually have been writing by that rule, though I haven’t realized it yet until reading your comment!

      I definitely will be checking out your blog, book-loving comrade! =)

  • Emily

    That is so encouraging. I’m only thirteen and I often feel too young to really make an impact on other people. This has completely changed my view. Thank you so much!

    • I’m so glad this was encouraging for you. I firmly believe that you can make an impact with your words, whether you’re 13 or 30. It’s tempting to let fear or insecurity hold you back, but if God has given you a message, don’t let it silence you. =)

  • Tiana

    Thanks for that encouragement!

    • Melanie

      Hey Tiana, i’d love take a look at your blog! Are you allowed to share links on here? Btw, keep shining for Jesus and doing what you know He wants you to no matter what others think! 🙂

      • Tiana

        Hey Melanie! Here is the link to my blog: fearfullyandwonderfullymade139.weebly.com

        • Melanie

          Thanks so much!!

          • Chrystal

            This was a great encouragement to me! Am only twelve, and writing a book. I was at a point were I was stuck. Thank you so much!

  • Emily

    Thanks Jaquelle

  • Haven Asnip

    I love this!

  • Rhiannon

    I’m 24 and for well over a decade been trying on and off to get something written. Then, when I was 16 I had an idea, and over the past 7 years it has developed and grown to such a magnificent extent, I’m surprised I’m the one who came up with it. It’s got a lot of biblical parallels to it – not intentionally, mind you. They’re quite subtle. I think one of the many issues with Christian fiction is there’s too much focus on preaching a message and not enough focus on a good story and characters. That sort of thing should come naturally to a work, and I believe it has done so with mine. I don’t have a message to say per se, but I hope people can find some good things woven into the narrative.

    It’s also different because it’s more of a graphic novel. It’s not just written words. But it still counts as writing for the most part. My main problem is fear. I’m afraid of releasing it to the world (when I do) because, as with a lot of things in life, I think – what if I fail? Does anyone have any words of encouragement? Thanks.

    • Hey Rhiannon. Fear is a serious obstacle for writers. It can be overwhelming and threaten to hold you back. But no one can ever succeed without failure. No writer has ever, ever achieved anything without failing. As Winston Churchill said, “Failure is not final; it is the courage to continue that counts.” No book will ever win the praise of every person. You’ll always disappoint someone.

      But if you’ve created your best work, had multiple people look over and critique your work, and you believe you’re honouring God through your work, the world needs it. The world needs to hear your unique voice.

      Don’t let fear hold you back until you’re looking back in 10 years wondering, “What if?” Now is the time to pursue your passion and serve others through your writing.

  • AlmaRoa

    Thank you! It’s very inspiring when someone as young as you want to encourage writters to write for the glory of God. I´m praying that I can reach more girls through my blog to encourage them and I’d never thought of some things you wrote, so thanks again!!

    • You’re so welcome. You inspire me, so keep writing faithfully. =)

  • Wonderful advice!! Thank you, Jaquelle.

  • Gabrielle

    And we all said, AMEN! Thanks for sharing Jaquelle!

  • Chelsea Hindle

    This is an amazing post! Thank you for sharing, I’m also a young writer and it can be intimidating to see people saying “oh you’re not good enough yet, you’re not an adult”, but it’s not true and sometimes I need to be reminded of that. Thank you, Jaquelle. 😀

    • I’m so grateful this piece could remind you of those important truths, Chelsea. They’re so important. Knowing that you can accomplish incredible, beautiful things for God as a young person is deeply empowering. Stay strong, fellow writer!