Writing is hard work. However, it is a task I feel called to pursue. I am grateful that I am not alone in this difficult pursuit. Although I have envisioned writing as being a part of my ministry, three years ago I felt it was time I take this calling seriously. Now the blank page excites me as much as the pulpit or lectern.
The shift in my thinking did not happen overnight. It was a gradual two-fold shifting. First, there was a time I considered it almost sacrilegious to think of a call to writing as being on the same level as my call to preaching. I listened to the hissing lies of the enemy and it formed a false dichotomy in my mind. However, I now see the two as intertwined. I could fulfill neither calling without the other’s help.
The second shift, although related to the first, was one more of self-doubt, than calling. I have enjoyed writing from a young age but felt uncomfortable calling myself a writer. I felt like it was a title I hadn’t earned. This self-doubt could have stemmed from the fact that, although I have a college degree now, I never graduated High School. Even though I returned as an adult to academia, I missed a bunch.
So, what changed my mind? As simple as it sounds, podcasts played a tremendous role in making me rethink my call as a writer. Like I mentioned above, I am not alone in my call as a writer. Podcasts helped me realize all writers struggle with their calling and with doubts. Here are three podcasts that have influenced me on this journey with the written word. Since this is a journey, I will arrange them in the order I encounter them.
Around three years ago, I committed to an exercise routine. Walking almost every morning, I listened to Home Row with J.A. Medders. I found this podcast through a Facebook page called the Reformed Writers Collective. Jeff, a pastor, along with his various guests encouraged my calling as I made my way around and around a fallow field in rural Georgia. It was on this well-trodden path where I rethought the connection between preaching and writing.
God used this podcast to fan the embers of my imagination. I saw myself as a writer needing to submit to honing my craft and learning the business. I am grateful for my early mornings with Jeff and his guests. You can check out this amazing podcast here.
If Home Row with J.A. Medders stirred my mind, then the PastorWriter with Chase Replogle was an arrow to my heart. I came across this podcast by what seemed to be a random Facebook ad. However, I admit this podcast has been the most influential on the list.
The distinguishing mark for the PastorWriter is its contemplative approach to craft of writing. Influenced by Eugene H. Peterson, Chase’s message is about bringing glory to God by developing the author through the act of writing. As Chase interviews various guests, the topics of productivity, platform, and publication arise, but he encourages writers to draw from the deep well of calling and mature in the craft as stewards of the gift.
The third podcast, The Prolific Writer, caters to the indie publishing scene. Unlike the two previous shows, I can’t nail down when I came across Ryan’s podcast. The Prolific Writer encourages people to write “fast, often, and well.” On the show, Ryan interviews various prolific authors allowing a peek behind the curtain of their success.
Pelton’s podcast prompted me to place my bottom in a seat and write. A writer writes. If I wanted to be a writer, I needed to place words on the page. They didn’t need to be great words on the first pass. I could refine them later through the editing process. But you can’t edit a blank page.
The list above is short. I could have listed several more podcasts. But these are the top three podcasts that have encouraged and shaped me in my writing ministry. What about you? What writing podcast have influenced you? Leave a link in the comments below!