rebelling against low expectations

The Struggle of Every Young Writer


Let me paint a picture here that will likely bring butterflies to many of our stomachs.

Every Writer’s Dream!

Lets say you’ve had this idea that has been brewing in your mind for some weeks now. An important truth that you finally wanted to take to the keyboard. So you do. You sit down in your favorite writing spot. The day is free of distractions. Your mind is clear. And your inspiration soars.

The ideas fall into place and the words practically write themselves. You are deeply satisfied with the result. You make your edits and publish the post online. As that deep sense of worthiness and satisfaction simmers within, you go to bed. You fall asleep with anticipation and curiosity lingering in your mind. “What will they think? Will they see the same significance in this that I do?”

The next morning you wake up to the confusing noise of notifications on your phone and computer. “Yay I got some likes!” Through blurry eyes you try to make sense of the screen. You are stunned. It is teaming with notifications from every social media outlet. Dozens? No, hundreds. No wait, is that a thousand shares?

Your article has completely exploded. You’ve got emails and messages crowding the screen. Actually, theres a few emails from a few christian publishers. They want to talk about potentially turning this into a book idea. Podcasts. Organizations. All wanting follow up. All wanting more.

Every Writer’s Dream?

Would you take this opportunity if you could? There is a catch, however. Once you get on this train you can’t get off for months or maybe years. You have to keep up with weekly writing deadlines, interviews and new projects. Yes this brings a massive platform. But the platform comes with many demands. What do you say? Take the red pill and proceed, or take the blue pill and go back to your normal teenage life?

Though this situation won’t actually ever happen to most of us, it is the fantasy battle of every aspiring young writer. This was a great internal struggle for me, especially though the first few years of discovering my love for writing, as well as the challenges of the world of social media and platforms. It is the desire to be heard. It is the desire to keep up. It is the desire to be justified in our work by the voices of the world around us.

One of the basic principles of writing success is that you must write often and must write a lot. This is absolutely true. But for us young aspiring writers, we might be tempted to write about more than we actually know. We must fight the temptation to let our skills get ahead of our understanding. In our fast-paced world of instant communication, we must fight the temptation to get caught up in the process and forget that God takes all our words very, very seriously.

The Great and Terrible Significance of Words

To write is to place words and ideas into the minds of others. To write is to shape the way people see the world. To write is to direct the flowing affections of people’s hearts. And there is nothing more precious to God in the whole created world, than the human heart. This is why Jesus said that we will give an account for every careless word we speak (Matthew 12:36).

And you can bet that applies to every careless word we write.

James speaks of this issue in even more inflammatory terms. Our tongue is a fire. Our words either build up the world or destroy it (Jas. 3:1-12). Solomon chimes in here to tell us that it is the very nature of the fool to speak (or write) continually about things he doesn’t fully understand (Prov. 18:2). Have you ever considered the fearful possibility that your careless words can impact others’ spiritual lives? How lightly do you take this amazing and terrible stewardship?

Have you ever considered the fearful possibility that your careless words can impact others’ spiritual lives? Share on X

The Call of Wisdom

A couple of years ago I heard an interview with Albert Mohler. One of the questions asked was, “How do you produce so much writing, teaching and content?” His response stuck with me to this day. He said that his work is the natural product of a life of constant learning and growing. Your give yourself to a life of growth, of understanding, of seeking truth. And then you see that all those little seeds that fall into the heart over the years start to take root and produce fruit.

This is the principle that Solomon continually pushes into the heart of his young disciple: seek wisdom, seek understanding (Prov. 15:14). This is the principle I have taken for myself. I love to write. I love to use words to drill God’s glorious truths deep into the hearts of the people around me. But this means that the only way I am going to avoid the sin of the fool, is if my personal thirst for truth always exceeds my passion to communicate it.

The only way I am going to avoid the sin of the fool is if my personal thirst for truth always exceeds my passion to communicate it. Share on X

If you love words, if you love language, if you love to use the creative gifts God has given you to paint powerful pictures in the minds of others, there is one thing you must love more. You must love the truth itself. You must pursue Truth, both in the person of Jesus Christ and in the words the He has left written for us. You must commit your life to be a learner. You must seek wisdom and understanding at all costs. You must learn to write every word as if the Author of life himself reads everything you write. Because you can bet that he does.

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About the author

Andrey Bulanov

is a 26 year old juggling life at full speed. He is a husband to Liya Bulanov, and a father to Gracie and Nathan. He works as a registered nurse. He is also a pastoral intern at Living Word Bible Church in Bellingham WA, where he oversees youth and college ministries. Throughout his busy 20’s he has also had a passion and commitment to writing regularly at his blog Well Said, which focuses on effectively communicating the christian faith in today's secular culture.


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  • Your article brought to mind a Bible verse, Philippians 3:16 “In any case, we should live up to whatever truth we have obtained.”

    Writers should certainly be aware of the impact their words have on others, but they shouldn’t let fear of making a mistake prevent them from communicating what they learned. A writer physically can’t anticipate every way their words can be twisted and neutralize those misconceptions ahead of time – that’s where you have to trust God.

    Like you said, writers “must pursue Truth…in the person of Jesus Christ,” aiming to imitate Him in every way, because that is when the words will fall into place.

    • Great point here. Being misunderstood is actually part of the perilous journey of writing. 🙂 I think that when I speak of fear I am referring, not to a paralyzing fear of other peoples reactions, but of a reverent awareness of the fact that what we do we do before God. Our God is a God of words, being the eternal Word himself. The fear of the Lord that informs the christian writers also then trickles down to a holy reverence of the responsibility of influence over people because they are image bearers of God. As Jesus noted, causing “one of these little ones” to stumble comes with terrible consequences because souls and hearts are precious to God. So, its fear of the Lord that causes us to approach the stewardship of words with a holy reverence. Once again, thanks for this point! Its a great observation.

  • Wow. This is convicting. I’m not a writer myself, I’m a musician, but it’s surprising how much you can communicate through music. I love you statement about personal thirst for truth needing to exceed passion to communicate it. And I know from experience that it’s when I focus on God’s truth that I play with the most sincerity, when I focus on His grace that I play with the most beauty, and when I focus on His love for the world that I play with the most passion.
    Just my thoughts.
    Thanks for the article!

    • Naomi, thanks for your honest feedback and thoughts! I think this is a really good point – this truth truly applies to any creative work that we undertake. Anytime we are expressing our creativity, we are mirroring the image of God in us, pointing to the ultimate Creator. This surely applies to music. What comes out of our heart only comes from that which fills us! Thanks sharing!

  • i love this!

    i am a new writer. but each time i open my Mac to write my ” newest book” i write for, oh 12 pages, then i stop. what the plot? what will happen to Priscilla? what NOW?? an i fall on my back devastated.

    but this has given me a new start in my books. now i see, what i NEED to write about. thank you Andery.

  • Wonderful! As a fiction writer this is slightly different than my dream, but let’s be honest it is pretty close. I can’t begin to say how many times I’ve started a book or series but I can tell you how many times I have kept on writing after a year, after chapter one, after chapter 2, after chapter 8 after chapter 15… Once. Which is shaming. I have started so many stories and never finished a single book. I’m close as close as I have ever been but editing? Rewriting? far from the end. I’ve given up before, I’ve fallen back on my knees so many times, and I’ve down right quit saying I’d never even try again only to come crawling back to my laptop tail between my legs. But what I’m trying to say in a thousand words is I’ve struggled, and this gave me a new outlook. So thanks this was pretty sweet.

    • Keep at it Ivory! I think that one of the things that also specifically applies to fiction writing, as we think about it from the standpoint of a christian worldview is that the truest and most powerful inspiration starts with the work of the Word in our minds and hearts. There is nothing that can ignite us to create and tell stories that build up the kingdom of God as powerful as the Word of God. C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien and John Bunyan are shining examples of this. God is the greatest storyteller and we mirror him as we labor with words. Keep up the good work!

By Andrey Bulanov
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →