Tuesday, January 30

On writing a book

My 8th grade history teacher, Mrs. Pevey, was the first one to predict that I'd write a book someday.

Since it's been more than 40 years since I was in 8th grade, I'm not sure that I quite lived up to Mrs. Pevey's expectations. She might have been thinking that I'd write a book when I was 30 years old, perhaps.

But I didn't know much at 30 years of age, so maybe 40 would have been more like it.

Nope, 40 came and went and still no book.

By age 50 I'd written a small book, but I'm not sure that would qualify as fulfillment of Mrs. Pevey's prediction.

But now, here I am, 54 years old, finally living into the potential that Mrs. Pevey saw in me.

Well, at least I'm under contract to live into that potential. (In case you missed my announcement, I'm currently writing a book for InterVarsity Press. The book is called Mythical Me: Escaping the Trap of Comparison. You can read more about it here.)

I have no idea if Mrs. Pevey is still alive to be proud her former student, but I sure am excited to be writing this book. . . although I will admit that this is one of the hardest things I've ever done. A writing friend of mine posted this on Facebook last week:

The human brain is amazing. 
It functions 24/7 from the day you're born 
and only stops when you sit down to do some writing.

Ain't it the truth?

As I write, I'm reminded of the pledge I made when I started this blog. I pledged to live according to the words found in Ephesians 4:29: "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is useful for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearer" (NKJV).

Yes, I'm excited to be writing a book. I like to write. I'm grateful to be given the chance to write for a larger audience. 

But if my words don't impart grace, they don't need to be written. 
If my words don't express the amazing love of God, they don't need to be written.
If my words don't, at least in some small way, point people to the wonder and glory of God, 
 they don't need to be written.

The world is full of books. Perhaps the last thing we need is another book. But if my book can point people to the love of God, the work of writing it will have been worthwhile.

As often happens, an old hymn expresses my thoughts very well:

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry,
Nor could the scroll contain the whole
Though stretched from sky to sky.

Oh love of God! How rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints' and angels' song.

                           - Frederich Lehman

Would you be willing to pray for me as I write this book? I want to write it. I've signed a contract to write it, so I must write it. But I want to be faithful in the writing, and I know I need God's help for that. 


  1. You can do this Richella. It is a topic that so many suffer from. I think it has been a lifelong topic, but even more accelerated in this day and age of social media front and center 24/7. I am praying for you!

  2. Yes, I will pray!
    Also, it's so funny that I also had a wonderful 8th grade English teacher, Mrs. O'Shea, who gave me so much encouragment in my writing. I've never forgotten her either.

  3. Isn't it amazing how the words of one person can make such an impact on us. Best of luck with your book..

  4. Wow! I pray God showers you with grace. As He does, it'll overflow into your book for us all to partake.
    I just stumbled upon your article as i am trying to find encouragement to write my first book. I typed "grace for writing your first book" and your blogpost came up.
    Thank you for sharing!


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