The bitter and the sweet of being a writer By Claire Musters

Today is the deadline for me delivering my manuscript to the publisher. I began this week full of enthusiasm after the brilliant ACW Writers’ Day in Birmingham. However, I also knew I had an almost insurmountable amount of work still to do to meet the deadline so there was some trepidation mixed in with the enthusiasm.

I began the week by reading the Bible and in prayer, seeking God’s inspiration and anointing to help me finish off my book.

I was bowled over by the verses for Monday in the devotional I am working through, particularly this one:

‘I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.’
(Psalm 32:8)

I immediately had a vivid picture of God watching over me in love as I write, helping to give me direction. Yes writing is a struggle. It is difficult and takes so much out of us. And yet God loves to see us being creative, using the talents he has given us.

In the last few weeks leading up to today’s manuscript delivery, I penned this poem (and bear with me as I’m not a poet!). I wanted to capture the sense of the bitter and the sweet that we can experience during the process of writing…

Being a writer

Being a writer…
Staring at that blank space, willing it to fill itself.
Trying to capture elusive inspiration; it seems just a whisper away…
And yet it remains out of grasp.
Deadlines looming, stress levels rising, desperation beckoning…

Being a writer…
The delicious joy accompanying an idea that’s developing well;
Quiet celebration of a phrase beautifully executed.
Completing a project and feeling wonder at the achievement;
Knowing I have poured my best into those words.

Being a writer…
Wanting to hide away and not face the world;
The birthing of a work too painful to bear.
No one understands the anguish yet so many have an opinion;
Behind closed doors the tears begin to flow.

Being a writer…
The exquisite agony and ecstasy of creativity;
Of wanting to be alone with my words.
Locked into a scene, a concept; awareness heightened.
Quite simply – nothing else but being a writer will do.

Claire is a freelance writer, speaker and editor, mum to two gorgeous young children, pastor’s wife, worship leader and school governor. Claire’s desire is to help others draw closer to God through her writing, which focuses on authenticity, marriage, parenting, worship, discipleship, issues facing women today etc. Her books include Taking your Spiritual Pulse, CWR’s Insight Into Managing Conflict and Insight Into Self-acceptance, Cover to Cover: David A man after God’s own heart and BRF Foundations21 study guides on Prayer and Jesus. She also writes Bible study notes regularly, and her latest co-written book, Insight Into Burnout, was published in February. Her next book, Taking off the mask: learning to live authentically, is due for publication in November 2017 by Authentic Media. To find out more about her, please visit and @CMusters on Twitter.


  1. Oh Claire, you've captured the agony and the ecstasy so well. Thank you! I'm going to print this out and stick it up in my study. I hpoe you got those edits done!

    1. Ah thanks Fiona :) Just reading through the last few chapters now...

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  3. It's funny, but the birthing of other people's books feels like the birthing of other people's babies. You know how it is when you're preggers and oh my goodness the nine months feels like it's going on For.Ever. (Esp with sickness.) But then you see a friend in the community and first she's pregnant and then boom the baby arrives. I feel like you were only just getting down to some serious writing (maybe at our Christmas lunch) and now you're submitting your draft to the publisher! Fantastic! (And now the fun and challenging stage of rewriting following the edit!)

    (And one can't edit one's post easily without everyone knowing about it! Hey ho!)

    1. :) So true. But I've been on such a long journey with this book a lot of it was written before I signed a contract. It is SUCH a long process though isn't it. Been rewriting and reworking like mad in the last month or so - it will be such a sense of achievement to finally press send and get it off to the publisher. But then it will be deep breaths and preparation for all the rewrites and tweaking that need doing after the editor has been through it! It will all be worth it I"m sure (actually had an amazingly encouraging chat with two teachers at the school gate this morning. I told them all about the book and they were intrigued and said I seemed so passionate and it sounded like a great book).

  4. "Quite simply - nothing else but being a writer will do."

    That's it exactly, Claire. Excellent poem.

  5. I'm reading your post sitting behind a book signing table at our church spring fair, trying not to mind when people just glance and turn away. I have sold five books in the first half hour so it's not too bad. But yes, love, love, love writing; hate, hate, hate marketing! The agony and the ecstasy, indeed. Great poem, really resonates.


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