Ah, I hadn’t really wanted to open up this can of worms, but since my friend, Heather, did, and I decided my response was too long for a blog comment, I decided to post here.
First of all, I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer to this question. I don’t think all writers are “called” to write. I think you absolutely can be gifted and successful as a writer without it. I don’t think you have to be called to write to do it to the glory of God.
But I know without a shadow of a doubt I was called to write. I can remember the specific moment, the almost audible voice of God telling me to step out in faith and write. And I said no. For six years.
I’ve heard that voice of God in my heart each time He’s asked me to step out in faith. But the only time in my life He’s ever “called” me to something was to write. He didn’t call me to marry my husband, or give birth to my kids, or to be a stay-at-home mom, although I’ve done all those things with His favor and blessings, and I believe they were in His will for me.
One thing that I can compare it to in my life is singing. I love to sing. God’s given me some measure of talent and opened the doors to allow me to use this gift in ministry. And I love doing it. But it’s not the same as my calling to write. I can’t explain it other than that. It’s just different.
For me, the calling to write is to sit my butt in the chair. That’s basically it. The rest, like publication and success, is in His hands. And I also feel that if I’m not faithful to keep my butt in that chair I’m being disobedient.
But I would emphasize most of all, that all of this is very personal. My experience doesn’t mean it’s true for anyone else. Or should be. It’s just what God has told me to do.
Can people be called to other things, like plumbing? Sure. Why not? Does everyone have to be “called” to something? I don’t know. Maybe not. I think part of the difficulty is that calling and will and purpose are all interrelated but not the same things. While I don’t have the brain power right now to tease apart separate definitions, I think that may be one place to begin a discussion on this subject.