God has led me into a two-pronged writing approach: fiction and non-fiction.
For eight years now, I’ve been posting devotionals every Wednesday on my blog. There are weeks God doesn’t nudge me about what to write until I’m close to my deadline, but I’ve learned that this is His ministry and that He will supply what’s needed. The only time I’ve repeated a post was one of those times when I really needed to hear that message again, myself.
There’s the truth of the matter: what He gives me is what I need to receive. The act of listening so I’ll have something to share keeps me open to hear. The message may be for me, but often it will resonate with someone else as well. Occasionally I’ll get an email from someone who’s been touched by a post or who has forwarded it to bless a friend. You sort of expect that, or at least hope for it, in writing devotionals.
God has also given me fiction, which is my true writing love. I think there’s a lot more life-changing Christian non-fiction than there is fiction, but different things in a novel or short story can touch individual readers. As writers, we never know what’s going to speak into a person’s particular situation.
I often pray my fiction will be useful to the Lord, and every so often I’ll hear how He’s used it. One book took a reader back to past pain, but she said God brought her more healing that she hadn’t known she’d needed. Another reader, who struggled with fear, confided, “I prayed the prayer with Carol” (where the character was working through her own fears).
Moments like these humble me and challenge me to do my very best work. They motivate me to pray over the development and writing of each novel, and to pray for the readers when it’s finished, for how God may use some portion of it to make a difference.
Fiction and non-fiction, my target readers are Christians. Some writers focus on reaching those who still need to know Jesus as Lord and Saviour, but my heart has always led toward writing for the building up of believers. I’d be thrilled if my words helped a soul find salvation, but I’m just as thrilled when God uses something I’ve written to encourage or grow a soul that’s already in His Kingdom.
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Janet Sketchley is the author of the Redemption’s Edge Christian suspense series. She loves Jesus and her family, and enjoys reading, worship music, and tea. You can find Janet’s devotionals, reviews, and fiction online at janetsketchley.ca. Fans of Christian suspense are invited to join her writing journey through her monthly newsletter: bit.ly/JanetSketchleyNews.