Monday Meditations

Only You Can Write Your Story

I was at a writer’s conference breakout session when something scary happened. The instructor gave us all prompt, 10 minutes to write, and then asked volunteers to stand and read what they came up with.

The scene was a simple character description: A girl is sitting off to the side of the room, covered in tattoos and piercings. She has multicolored hair. (Honestly, that was a more creative prompt in 2005.)

Immediately, I felt the sensation of being “outside.” I wrote a scene about how she was a believer, but an outcast, and no one knew she was praying for them.

I only remember the gist of what other writers shared. There was one with a feeling of distrust and fear for the protagonist’s son. In another, the outcast was the antagonist in an action scene.

Of the handful who shared—each story was unique. This was the point: to show us that no two people will write the same story.

It was also for courage to let our writing out into the world. New writers can feel scared to share their stories. While it might be better to guard your story while it is still germinating—don’t hide it forever.

Ideas are not worth as much as the work

From one idea comes a thousand variations unique to each writer. And the spirit a writer imbues is more valuable than you realize. Your idea is not what is special. You are.

No one but you can write your story

Even if you start with the same storyline, theme, or prompt, there is something critical that you will bring to the table. Something no one else can replicate.

We cannot know how things will change with AI formulas… but be assured that you have something in you, designed by God, that only you can write.

Now, that doesn’t mean anyone else wants to read it—but that’s another post.

Our Father designed the times of our dwellings and the borders of our habitation. He knows when and where you were born, where you currently live and where you will live on your last day. And like Queen Esther was born for a specific time and reason—so were you.

And that story inside of you cannot be replicated or stolen. It is your gift to write it.

About this post:

Beliefs represented by individual authors are not necessarily shared by all members of ICW.


  • Hilarey Johnson

    Hilarey Johnson grew up hearing that she would be a good student if she could get her head out of the clouds. Her daydreaming still makes it possible to get lost driving anywhere. She loves characters with a hidden or unknown worth who rise up to claim their identity. She writes redemptive stories from Idaho and travels in the Pacific Northwest with her husband. Someday Hilarey hopes to time travel. She is the author of Breaking Bonds, and Dance of the Crane fiction series. She has written books and articles for Guideposts, Brio Magazine, Christian Living Magazine, local news papers such as the Times-News, North Lake Tahoe Bonanza and others. She blogs weekly about "Intimacy with God for the Over-Churched" at Hilarey Johnson is the current President of ICW.

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