Can I Write a Book? How?

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We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done. Psalm 78:4

One day when we visited a school to talk about writing we learned something from a second grader.  A little guy raised his hand and said, “I can do the stories, I just can’t do the words.”  He captured the struggle that every writer (or wannabe writer) faces.

How do you get the stories out of your head onto the paper?  How do we even have the courage to begin?  Often we write and rewrite stories over and over in our heads, but they never make it to the written page or screen.

The following scripture passages were important to us over our years of writing and we wanted to share some of what we learned.

Give us today our daily bread. Matthew 6:11

Don’t get ahead of God.  If we think we have to write a whole book we can become paralyzed and overwhelmed.  But what if we just have to write one paragraph, or one page.  We can do that.  Can we trust God for the rest?

We had written children’s books for twenty years before we decided to attempt our first book for adults. They are sooo long.  We wondered if we could write a novel of more than 64 pages.
In the wilderness the Hebrew people received manna, just enough for each day.  Why would we expect God to act differently with us?  When we are faithful to show up and do our part, he gives us just what we need for that day, or hour, or fifteen minutes.

When we looked at it that way, we were able to move forward.  Faith matters in writing.

Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them. Jeremiah 15:19

Write from your heart, not what you think people will like or expect from you.  When we changed genres it surprised some people.  We heard a lot of opposition.  “But you could sell another children’s book.”  We chose what we thought God wanted us to write and we had to fight to keep from “turning” to the crowd.  One agent heard about what we were writing and told us to write a Christian romance series, “because you can sell it”.  God calls us to write the words that He gives us, not what we can sell or what we think people want to hear.  Someone else may be called to write that romance series, but not us.

I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Nehemiah 6:3

Commit to the work.  It is VERY easy to get distracted.  How do you carve out time to write?  We started writing during naptime.  Our kid’s naptimes!  It is amazing how productive you can be when you know you only have an hour to work.  We also learned to put writing on the calendar. It helped us to say no to other things when it was scheduled in black and white.  Each time we say yes to one thing we say no to another.

My tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1

 Have confidence.  How do you have the confidence to begin?  If you have read this far then God has called you to write.  He has already equipped you and is ready to use you to write His words.  What do you need to do to cooperate with Him?

 For us, the confidence to write comes from God.  We cover our writing in prayer and have a prayer team praying for our writing.  We love this quote by Corrie Ten Boom.

“It is not my ability, but my response to God’s ability, that counts.”

There’s nothing to fear!  Those stories that are in our heads were put there by God and He will be faithful to give us the words we need.

We would love to hear your thoughts about these passages.  Do you have another scripture passage that has been meaningful to you in your writing?
About The Writing SistersThe Writing Sisters, Betsy Duffey and Laurie Myers were born into a writing family, and began critiquing manuscripts at an early age for their mother, Newbery winner Betsy Byars.  They went on to become authors of more than thirty-five children’s novels. Their first book for adults is The Shepherd’s Song, Howard Books, March 2014. Connect with them online at Writing Sisters or via Facebook.


  1. Malik Hasan says

    Nice write-up! Being able to write creatively is something not all of us are capable of. Count yourself blessed because you have a talent. Getting into the mood in writing does not have a set of rules to follow. ‘To each his own’ is what people say; however, a list of suggestions wouldn’t to write a novel

  2. Duffey Myers says

    So frustrating to have the stories but not the words! It’s so easy to let other things take priority over writing, but when we finally sit down and the words flow there’s nothing like it.

  3. Loree says

    Thank You, Thank You! this is exactly what I needed. So glad I found your blog today.
    Because I too have the stories, its just the words that I have problems with. I need to quit hitting the snooze button on my writing. It seems I let life, and my laziness get in the way.

  4. Rosemarie says

    I like Habakkuk 2:2 “And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.” I’m thinking I should write this verse down in large letters and keep it before my eyes, so I’ll finally get those “stories” into words on paper!

  5. Erin E. McEndree says

    For me, I have to make a very specific goal for myself the night before or I will just hit snooze for an hour. The hour before the kids get up is my best time of the day. Life is so demanding, but I know God is putting all these words in me to share. I do need to be committed to getting my words organized. They are kinda floating in my computer right now…hundreds of devos, about seven children’s books. I need to commit to writing a proposal!!! Thank you for your encouragement today!!

    • Duffey Myers says

      Thanks for your comment, Erin. I can imagine all those great stories and words waiting inside your computer! That commitment is so important in getting them out to the world.

  6. Duffey Myers says

    Yes, trusting God is the most important thing, but not always easy. We like to set goals, but are flexible to leave room for God to work. His plan is perfect!

  7. Sistergirl says

    Great post, it’s hard to just write without expectation when in your mind you need to finish 200 pages. I have to pray that The Lord will tell be when enough is enough and just trust him.

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