So maybe this seems obvious. If you want to be a Christian writer, you have to be a Christian first. But it goes beyond that - if you want to successfully write with a Christ-centered focus, you have to keep Christ as your focus.
I heard this over and over at BRMCWC - from Jerry B. Jenkins' keynote speech to the notes on my critique - the advice from all was to always be sure that your personal relationship with Christ comes before your writing. Your personal relationship with Christ comes before trying to get published. Your personal relationship with Christ comes before everything.
As so often happens, this advice has been put to the test immediately in my life.
Returning from the conference, I've been engulfed in an avalanche of work crises, family needs, and writing goals that have buried my good intentions to keep my priorities in order. So it's high time that I put this little nugget into practice!
Some specific applications for me personally - it's funny how when I start the day with my exercise program (Jillian's 30 Day Shred - day 14), by the time I've had my shower I have to leave for work. But if I start with my quiet time and THEN exercise...it's still time to leave for work by the time I've had my shower. Where does that time I spend with God go when I exercise first? Somehow it seems to evaporate. So from now on - God first, exercise second.
And in the evening, a lesson from Jerry B. Jenkins - time with family first, writing second. Mr. Jenkins relates in "Writing for the Soul" that by committing before his children were born that he would write only after the kids were in bed, he was actually far more productive during those few hours each evening. He writes that once he devoted his entire day to writing, he actually found that he wrote less.
Isn't God's economy amazing? 26"Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Matthew 20:26-28
He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:20
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26
If we put God first, then whatever the outcome, we can trust that it is exactly what He has planned for us. With our writing, or with our life, God must be pre-eminent. Our relationship with Christ must come first. Some make the distinction between a Christian writer and a writer who is a Christian - but in reality there is no such thing as a writer who is a Christian. Nor is there any such thing as a lawyer who is a Christian. Or a doctor who is a Christian. With Jesus, it is an all or nothing proposition. If He isn't first - if he isn't Lord of all of our life - then He isn't our Lord at all.