Sunday, 4 September 2016

Writing Isn't Bonkers by Ruth Clemence

Freelance writing was never a career option - or so I thought. At the age of 18, I ruled it out on the basis that it would be an unstable way to earn a living, no one I knew was doing it as a 'proper job' and I had an education to pursue at university, so no time to have my head in the clouds.

Seven years later, I sheepishly write to tell you that I am a freelance writer. It's actually happening somehow. As of the 1st September 2016 I left my seemingly stable, proper job to pursue writing and to start a year as a youth work trainee. Bonkers.

One morning this week, I woke up at and started blogging before my shift which started at 9am - I couldn't wait until later. I was still in my PJ's 15 minutes before I was set to leave the house for work. That's the deep need to write that never leaves. Bonkers.

I love writing. Dare I say, I love my job as a writer? Can I take myself seriously enough to say this is what I actually do? When I was unemployed after graduating with a first class degree, I felt like I had nothing to say or share about my work - or lack of it. I spent months wrapped up in the false idea that my worth and identity came from my career. My husband told me to tell others that I was a writer when they asked that intrusive question 'what do you do?' Bonkers.

What I want to share from the bottom of my heart is that there is freedom in Christ to pursue Him fully in whatever we do - including our work. He delights in us and our gifts. Writing is a gift that we can use to glorify God and the words we use are important to God whether we're writers or not.

It's our heart that He looks to. He knows us deeply and our words have the power to build up or tear down.

'Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.' Ephesians 4:29
The paraphrase of this verse from The Message translation reads:

'Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.' 
Words are a gift and as writers, we have the ability to share words that can bless those who read them. What a privilege and opportunity. The writer life may be bonkers in many ways, but it's simply a brilliant way to exercise a gift, glorify God and satisfy that continuous need to get on and write!    


  1. A beautiful post, Ruth, and something we all need to hear. Thank you for this

  2. I've never seen that verse – which means a lot to me – applied to written words but I guess it's valid. Thanks for the encouragement, Ruth.

  3. I've never seen that verse – which means a lot to me – applied to written words but I guess it's valid. Thanks for the encouragement, Ruth.

  4. So true, Ruth but we often feel so inadequate about our writing don't we and hardly dare own up to the label of writer. It's much easier to say like me 'I'm a receptionist for a Podiatrist' and work at catering sometimes at the local racecourse and omit to mention the writing altogether!

  5. Lovely encouraging post Ruth, thanks. Need to bookmark this! :)