All gifts from God are good and they are to be used to bring his love to the world. We can only use the gifts of God for his greater glory and so our writing will never be used for hate literature, for example. Since God is the giver of all good gifts, it is he who will bless and guide us to use the gift of writing to serve his own purposes.
Our words will ring out and no matter what we write, be it prose or poetry, the ordinary reader will be able to find in our writing a lingering spiritual quality. This, of course, does not mean that we can only write explicitly on religious literature. Our gift can also be used to produce good literary fiction for children, for instance.
For myself, I have always been drawn to journaling and I have kept diaries since my childhood. I have dabbled with literary activities like drama and debates and even poetry and story writing. It was just that I did not know that all these were not directly due to the fact that I was simply a lover of books and reading. It was more than that, and this became more and more obvious as I found my journals taking on a more spiritual slant. In all my retreat journals I found also a desire to record prayers and quotations and inspiring messages that seemed to come so naturally.
Now then, how does one discern between a writing gift that comes from God and one that is simply a natural ability? Perhaps some questions might help. Do I find writing a form of prayer or contemplation?
Do I enjoy this form of praying a great deal?
When I try to express my love for God or serve him, do I naturally turn to writing as one of the first activities?
Have I had feedback from people who tell me how much my words have nurtured their faith?
Have I been able to give encouragement to others so that they grow and desire to find more of what is true, good, noble and perfect?
Have I the grace to bring people closer to God or help them to desire a life that is more pleasing to the Lord?
I have had opportunities to write to people in prison, dying persons and also the lost and the depressed. All these came by way of requests and my letters have brought tears of consolation. In all these exercises, I learned that God had been using the gift of writing for me. Always there is a deep connection between the spiritual life and the gift of writing. Prayer and contemplation follow closely, and so one can safely conclude that when this is missing, one has only a natural ability and not a spiritual gift.
The gift of writing must empower one to be a channel of God’s creativity. God will use one to create works of truth and beauty to reflect the fullness of human experiences, and in all that one writes, only God is given all the honour, glory and praise.