I never wanted to try to tackle this question before, because it's SO subjective. But it plagues so many writers of Christian fiction that I can't ignore it anymore, especially not when I feel God has given me an answer.
I'll share it with you, but remember, this is "my" answer. If it doesn't ring true in your heart, then move on and don't stress. All I can do is share my experience and see if it relates to you or not. Don't let this post hinder you if it's not what's in your heart.
How's that for a lighthearted blog post introduction? haha!
Okay, seriously. You've heard authors say they are called to write Christian fiction. And you might passionately agree.
Or you might be one of those who sit there and think "Well... huh. Am I, too? How do they know they are? Where is my writing on the wall? How can I tell?"
Or you might just stand there and say "You're called? That's cool. I just like to write."
Calling vs. Hobby.
Seems so tough to determine, but its pretty much what you make it.
For me - I'm called to write. I know this for several reasons, one being that writing has been a part of me since I was a little girl. I really don't remember ever NOT being in love with written words and journals and books and notebooks and pens. I started writing short stories on our first home computer when I was seven years old. The passion only grew. It was like God had put that in my DNA.
But there was a distinct moment when I was about 12 years old, when I found a Robin Jones Gunn novel under a pile of laundry in my older sister's room, that stands out to me even today at 28. It was WHISPERS from her Glenbrooke series, and after reading that first venture into Christian fiction, I was done. I knew. I was supposed to write romance like that. Clean, quality novels that inspired women toward romance, that inspired them to not only wait for the right guy but to wait for the Lord. The true lover of our souls. To inspire in readers what that book inspired in me.
There are moments since then, as I pursue that calling, that cement the calling for me. When I get busy and stressed over the details of life, when I get caught up in the endless to-do list and wonder if I'm supposed to be writing now at all, I only have to look at one thing. When I'm closest to God, I want to write. When I'm in a church service, I'm eager to work on my story. When I'm having a quiet time and feel the Spirit, I'm inspired for my novels. The burden is lifted and the path is made clear. When my heart is still before my Creator, He reminds me what I'm supposed to be doing.
That's what I hold to when I doubt the calling on rough days.
Maybe it looks different for you, but that's my story. :)
Here's another truth - just because you aren't sure you are CALLED to write, or even if you know you're not CALLED to it in a ministry form, doesn't mean you won't be successful and doesn't mean that God won't bless your socks off through your writing and open doors. If writing for you is a hobby or a business or both or neither...who cares?
So what? Does it change anything? Does it make you want to stop writing? NO :)
Don't get caught up in the semantics. Don't get legalistic on your soul. Calling, hobby, ministry, business, whatever - God can use all of that when our hearts are right. How awesome is that???