Most Authors Write Alone, But Here’s One Co-Author Worth Considering

by | Writing | 13 comments

“All writers find themselves – at some point – in the desert. A place where they feel isolated. Burnt out. Disheartened. Fearful.” —Allen Arnold

image by evafelizitas

image by evafelizitas

Was last year’s writing experience less outstanding than you hoped? Possibly, you’re working as if you’re an orphan—not so much alone—but as an orphan. I’ll expand on this.

I listened to Allen Arnold’s CDs, “God’s Disruptive Invitation into Creative Intimacy.”

image by Unsplash

image by Unsplash

Here are points Arnold made that changed how I approach writing:

  • Like many, I thought my writing was a noble quest because I wrote for God. I believe God called me to write, but now I realize He called me to write with Him, not for Him.


  • God calls me into a relationship with Him. What I do grows first from my relationship with Him and then from the writing gifts and desires He’s given me.
  • image by nasirkhan

    image by nasirkhan

    I asked myself: Why do I throw up a prayer for God to help me write for Him and then proceed to create on my own. Like I’m an orphan.
  • Then I asked myself: Am I more about production than relationship, i.e. more about word count than seeking God’s lead?
  • Finally, I asked myself: Why would I want to create on my own like I’m an orphan, when I can work side by side with the Creator of all things?

When I seek my Co-Author constantly, I receive more direction from Him than when I throw up prayers and then work like an orphan.

image by ranbud

image by ranbud

How exciting to work with the Co-Author who created peacocks, mountains, and sunshine.

Create WITH the Creator of hippos, instead of creating FOR Him. Click to tweet.

image by ardelfin

image by ardelfin

How have you worked with God on a project?

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  1. Rick Barry

    Terrific thoughts, Zoe. Thanks for sharing!

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      It was a helpful paradigm shift for me, Rick.

  2. pamelasthibodeaux

    Great post Zoe and a wonderful reminder.
    Thanks & Happy New Year!

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Thanks, Pam, and a Happy New Year to you and to every one.

  3. Laurean Brooks

    Thanks, Zoe. I needed to hear this. The last couple of years, though I still have the ideas and desire to write, I’ve lost a lot of the excitement. Your post is timely for me. Maybe a Godsend. I need to take more time in prayer, ask God’s words to flow through me as I write…or revise. I think I’ve become too lax in that area. After all, if I’m writing “for” Him, I need His input. So writing “with” Him is the solution.

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Laurean, I’m so glad this was timely. I hope you have a great year writing with God.

  4. Jane Foard Thompson

    Right on target. if we are “capable” and conscientious people we so easily charge off on our own. It seems like we end up out on a limb, alone, way too often, and should learn that lesson sooner! Thanks you!

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Jane, I like your out-on-a-limb by ourselves analogy.

  5. gkittleson

    Thanks, Zoe. I’m wondering how this concept might be employed re: publication?

  6. gkittleson

    I”m also thinking how this applies to memoir writing, which is such a God-and-me project already.

  7. Zoe M. McCarthy

    Gail, I think it applies to all our ministries, even blogging. :0)

  8. First Things First

    Zoe, as a new writer, I thank you. I started writing three years ago and it has not been until the last three months that I realized this same message. It is always a boost when an experienced writer reminds me of what is truly important in our relationship with God.

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Your handle, First Things First, says it all for me: God. I’ve been writing a while, and I just learned the principle of writing WITH God last February. It was another step I’ve been learning in my quest to abide with Jesus.

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