The one where I talk about writing


“I want to write always,” I texted one of my friends a couple weekends ago.

“You were created for such,” they responded.

They probably don’t know how much those five words meant, how deeply they penetrated my crusty heart or how much resistance they would have been met with had they been said 15 (or 10) years ago.

Flashback to 7 year old Sophie. The year was 1996, the Chicago Bulls and my dad held my entire heart (except for the part I shared with Columbo. I was a weird kid), and my dreams in life were to play in the NBA, meet Michael Jordan and be a cashier at Kroger.

I repeat: I was a weird kid.


Obviously I was unconcerned with writing and preoccupied with more important matters. Like fashion.

Writing wasn’t on my radar. Especially since I wouldn’t, you know, learn to read until I was 8. Bless my mother’s homeschooling heart. Curse that yellow phonics book to the depths of Sheol. 

When I did start reading, I was hooked (on phonics?). Why in the world did I stubbornly resist this magical experience of exploring far off worlds, adventuring through my sister’s Calvin and Hobbes cartoons and poring over pages upon pages of fairy tales Olympic and basketball (read: Michael Jordan) history?

Enter elementary and middle school, where my precious mother forced me to write about every new state or city we visited (which were many since we traveled a lot for sports) and signed me up to participate in every speech competition known to man. Writing reports and speeches became a normal thing as did speaking to crowds. I won almost all my events, was applauded, and asked to speak to different organizations on behalf of 4-H or whatever charity we were super pumped about at that moment. I hated it all.

But my parents possessed this crazy we-know-you-better-than-you-know-yourself function so they always seemed to know I processed things through writing, even before I did. If I was overwhelmed about something they would ask, “Have you written this out?” “Have you journaled about this?” “Write it out and then we’ll talk.” “Write it down, you’ll feel better.”

And I did. Every time. Parents are geniuses. It’s weird.

Flannery O’Connor once said,

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.”

Yes. Preach it, Flannery.

Somewhere in high school I realized I wanted to be a journalist. I wanted to write and report and make black letters on white paper come alive.

I still do.

I want to write more than profile articles for the magazine and blog posts though. I want to write books and other things of importance. I want to paint pictures with words and cause people to see colors more vividly, water more shimmery, stars more radiantly, people more beautifully, creation more significantly and God more gloriously.

I want people to smell the earth written of, smell the coffee fictional characters spill, the fruit they pick, the perfume they wear. I want people to taste and see that the Lord is good, and that happy, blessed, favored, are all who take refuge in Him.

I want people to sense the safety He brings, the holiness that pours forth from His being and the anguish He experienced as He rejected His Son for fallen, rebellious humanity.

I want people to feel the reality of grace. To drink it in and be drenched by it. To absorb it into their pores and pour it out just as profusely.

Lord, use my words to lead people to Yours.

May my pen only be a highlighter illuminating the True and Living Word.

May my voice only echo the voice of Him who causes the dead to live.

May my stories only be a reflection of the Greatest Story.

What are your dreams? What is your “You were created for such” passion? What makes your heart explode with all the feels? What is God leading you to pursue that connects your enthusiasm to His global and eternal worship?

Do it. Join me and let’s follow Him into the exciting and sometimes terrifying adventure of obedience. We will never regret doing His will. So no more excuses. Let’s saddle up this dream and do the hard work while choosing to enjoy every second of the ride.

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6 thoughts on “The one where I talk about writing

  1. Cheryl Tyler says:

    hi Sophie, just tried to read this and it does not pull up when the “read more” button is pushed. So I was wondering if this bug has been fixed. thanks

    Sent from my iPad


  2. […] it to the Olympics. I didn’t make it to the NBA (shocking). My childhood dream of being a cashier at Kroger never panned out (although I could potentially still accomplish this). I never met Michael Jordan. […]

  3. […] buttons and handle people’s money [which is probably why God never let me experience my childhood dream of being a cashier at Kroger]), I love being a waitress. I love getting to talk to people and […]

  4. […] reading, and writing are three of my favorite things in the world. Anne Lamott’s classic Bird by Bird combined […]

  5. […] And, while we’re chatting about words and writing, may I just admit how ridiculous it feels to call myself a writer? Sitting on an airplane recently, the passenger next to me asked what I did. “I’m, uh, a writer,” I said with a swallow. It feels shallow and hollow and self-promoting, as though I feel I have something to offer that no one else does. But that’s simply not the case. I’m a product of all I have read and this month’s intake has been necessary and refining in both word consumption and production. (For more on my love of words and writing: The One Where I Talk About Writing.) […]

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