April 15, 2014

Confirming Purpose - Tracy Krauss

Many of this month's posts have focused on 'purpose' - what we want our readers to take away after reading something we have written. I found Shirley S. Tye's post 'Writing In the Nude' especially thought provoking. Putting your writing out there for all to see is a lot like exposing yourself. It's scary, uncomfortable, and even embarrassing at times. A sense of inadequacy accompanies the excitement, and inevitably, no matter how polished you thought that manuscript was, you wish you could 'make it better' once it's been put out there for all to see.

Several novels and plays later, I still feel inadequate. Then why put myself through all the hard work and stress? Simple. God has given me a desire to write.

I have learned that one of the worst things I can do is compare myself to others. I'm not talking about learning from others. This is a good thing and we all have room to grow. I mean the comparison game that leaves one feeling envious. Connie Inglis addressed this well in her post 'Sehnsucht'. Even Christian writers are not immune to the green-eyed monster. It takes purposeful prayer to eliminate these feelings of envy so that we can truly rejoice with our brothers' and sisters' successes. It also takes reliance on the Holy Spirit to rest in the fact that God also has a plan for me and my writing, separate, and different from what He may have in mind for someone else.

I write fiction. I'm not that interested in writing devotionals or other non-fiction, and I usually don't feel apologetic for that. (I did self publish a devotional recently called 'Life is a Highway' based on a series of speeches I gave at a women's retreat.) I was pleasantly surprised when a reader contacted me and told me she could identify with some of the things I said. I also got a personal card in the mail thanking me for my children's book 'The Sleepytown Express', saying how it touched her heart and reminded her of her own childhood memories. Cool. Truthfully, however, I don't plan on illustrating any more kids books or writing any more devotionals.

Like I said, my passion is to write fiction. I believe fiction can be a powerful tool and can profoundly affect people, just the way non-fiction can. Sometimes I feel like what I write is drivel, however, compared to what others are writing. My books lean heavily on the romantic side of things, (even though I insist that I am not a romantic!) This is why positive responses from readers of my fictional work is so encouraging. Even seemingly simple comments on facebook or elsewhere can be hugely validating.

One of my favorite examples happened several months ago, before Christmas. My daughter had lent my book MY MOTHER THE MAN-EATER to one of her colleagues. (Just as a side note, the book is quite long and in retrospect, I see lots of things I would like to change...) In any case, her co-worker was touched by Joleen's story because she also had a less than perfect past. She wanted her own copy and also bought one for her sister-in-law who was not a Christian, but whom she thought might also be able to relate to the 'realism' of the characters.

These are the kinds of responses that give me confidence; that confirm I am writing in God's will. I don't need to become a New York Times best seller (although this would be nice) and I don't need every reader's approval. I just need to continue to write what I feel God is calling me to write and let Him do the rest.

Tracy Krauss is a multi-published author and playwright living in Tumbler Ridge, BC. Visit her website for more details. tracykrauss.com


  1. Tracy
    Exactly - what God is calling us to write. I write to encourage others in our faith. That is what God has put on my heart.
    Loving my sabbatical.

  2. I do appreciate the realism in your books. I am always so pleasantly surprised when the characters mess up and are not cliched. I often think back to the characters in your book because of something I see or hear. Keep on writing in the way God has called and gifted you, Tracy. I believe it is really having a profound effect on people. For every positive comment you get from people there are likely several people who also liked it but just haven't said anything.

  3. I agree that fiction can profoundly affect people and have found it to be true in my own life and walk with God. And it's good to be reminded that God's plan for me is just that--for me and nobody else and it's different than His plan for everybody else because He's made each of us unique. I LOVE that. How mind-numbing life would be if we were all the same. Thanks for your words Tracy and press on.

  4. thank you for your words of encouragement, everyone.

  5. I agree with you Tracy. When you feel God calling you to write, then you write.

    Great post!

  6. Encouraging post Tracy. Each Christian writer has the Holy Spirit's power. I love the variety with which He expresses Himself! I wrote a novel, but don't know what to do with it - besides editing! lol! I'm sure it'll find it's place when the time is right.

  7. To be honest, while I do wish I could write like others I admire, I also battle pride, thinking everyone should be astounded at my writing.
    You're right, ti's simply doing what God has called us to that brings the happiest results.

  8. Tracy,

    Your candor about your own struggle with 'comparison' encourages me.

    In my heart I know where He wants me to write, but when I look around I tend to think, oh my, I should be writing like that... or like this... I easily get distracted and worried I'm not doing it 'right'.

    Over the years I've learned to hear and recognize His voice in other areas of my life, and so I am now learning to trust what's in my heart about writing. As I see it, it's just another beautiful way He is touching lives.

    If we all write as we feel called to write, He'll have all the bases covered and everyone will hear in the 'language' they understand and can accept. And all shall be well.

    I'll try to remember that when I go posting on my blog later on.

    Thanks again, Tracy!


  9. As a final note after reading all your comments, I am feeling very blessed to be part of INSCRIBE. and truly appreciate the encouragement and support I feel here.

  10. Inspiring post Tracy! Writing what we are called to write...great reminder!
    And thank you for answering this question for me that I have asked myself a few times "Then why put myself through all the hard work and stress? Simple. God has given me a desire to write." I love it!

  11. So true Tracy! Such a good reminder to just "mind my own business", spiritually speaking. Thanks for posting.


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