So, in honor of Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I wanted to get to the heart of the matter…of writing, that is.

Ask just about any writer, even the published ones, and they’ll most likely tell you is wasn’t the money or fame that spurred them forward on this path. Okay, maybe J.K. Rowling and Stephen King can claim those factors as motivation at this stage in the game, but I’d almost guarantee those were off their radar when they first put pen to paper. In fact, both were initially rejected many times, Rowling a dozen times and King thirty times.

What is it, then, that compels the writer to write? Madness? A little. A tendency toward masochism. Maybe, but I hope not.

For me, I like to think of it as a matter of the heart (and soul). As I reflected on this in the new year—Why do I write? For what purpose? Personal or a grander scale?—I kept coming back to several reasons that I personally write. I’m sure the reasons look different for each author out there just like every athlete, artist, singer, etc. have their motivations to pursue such difficult industries.

The honest to goodness first reason I put words on a page is that I must. I’ve known for quite some time that it was simply part of who I am, part of the makeup of what makes me, well…me. I couldn’t always say that. I knew something was missing. A part of me silenced until I started to call myself a writer and began this up and down journey of learning to write and actually doing it. And a peace came with finally doing what I had been created to do. I’ve noticed at certain points in my life when I’ve had to take time off from writing just because life is crazy or when I’ve been stuck on a plot, my life always feels off-kilter. Not quite right. There’s this innate drive inside of me that must write.

Another reason I write, related to the first, is because I do believe God has set a course for everyone’s life with tasks of His choosing, and mine is to write. Of course, I have other things He has set before me to do as well. We all wear many hats in this life, don’t we? But I know He created in me a desire and ability to write, and I want to do it faithfully. It humbly reminds me that the words I say might have an impact on someone else. I might, God-willing, be a fresh voice of love, peace, or redemption to someone in need. And do you know what? All the doubts, the tears, frustrations, hard work, chewed-up fingernails, and headaches will have been so worth it if even one person sees the acceptance of Christ because of what God said through something I wrote.

I write for my family. I didn’t have a lot growing up. We always had just enough, which was just enough for me. But in my young mind—opportunities, achieving dreams? Those were fantasies. Don’t get me wrong. My mom did a phenomenal job believing in me. To this day, she’s one of my greatest fans. I think for a variety of reasons, I just didn’t believe in myself and assumed I wouldn’t amount to much. For a long time, I didn’t see the big dreams God had for me, and even if I caught a glimpse, I didn’t allow myself to truly imagine they were possible. So, I write for my family. My children, my husband, my mom, grandma and grandpa, my aunt, for everyone. Because I want them to see how incredible God is. How He’s so good. I want them to see how a person, like me, who has nothing to recommend her, can pursue a big dream and win. Not win in the eyes of the world, but on the heart level. On the soul level. And for my children, who see me working hard, sometimes losing, yes, but never giving up. Because I want them to pursue what God has planned for them too.

And, if I can be so indulgent, I suppose I write for myself as well. I love telling stories. As I said, it’s part of my DNA. I’m one who sees a writing challenge and something giddy and gritty swells up in my chest. I can procrastinate with the best of them, but when I buckle down, nothing gives me more joy and satisfaction than tapping out those words like my fingers are on fire. (Okay, other than my family, but you get it!) It gives me a sense of fulfillment like I’ve completed a race when I’m finished.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us… Hebrews 12:1

Do you have a big dream you’re pursuing? What’s the “heart of the matter” (your reasons) for doing what you’re doing?

A born and bred Midwesterner, Mollie Rushmeyer makes her home in central Minnesota with her husband and two spunky, beautiful daughters. From a young age, she loved putting words to page and dreamed of becoming an author. As an inspirational contemporary romance and women’s fiction writer, she loves to bring stories of hope to messy, prodigal gals just like her. 

She’s an active member of ACFW and is the Vice President of her local chapter. In her “spare” time she lives out her Lois Lane fantasies as a local print journalist, writes encouraging online content for Crosswalk and iBelieve, is an outdoors enthusiast, a passionate champion for the freedom of human trafficking victims, loves to sing and read, and enjoys full-time employment as a monkey-catcher… ahem, mommy.

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