Advice for Writers from Packer

J. I. Packer, best known as author of Knowing God, has some sage counsel for writers. In the following video, we get a bit of classic Packer as he offers some clear, straightforward counsel.

He begins by saying, “Go deep in your grasp of God and his will and his ways and the spirit of worship because you must constantly be expressing those things in every bit of writing you do.”

But then, interestingly, he spends the majority of his time on his second point: “Understand . . . that it’s as important that you communicate with people as it is that you set before them truth and wisdom.” He goes on to say, “Some think they do enough to present truth without searching application.” Mere head knowledge is not enough. Truth must touch the heart.

He closes with an equally important point: “Don’t attempt to be a writer unless you have got things to say which must be put on paper and are being called by God to do it. Being a writer is as vocational as being a preacher.” Do you have a call as a writer? A joy and delight in the craft and art of using words may be an indication of that. But more is needed. Listen for the call too.

Even in giving these brief comments, it is clear that Packer has followed his own advice.

Author: Andy Le Peau

I've been an editor and writer for over forty years. I am passionate about ideas and how we can express them clearly, beautifully, and persuasively. I love reading good books, talking about them, and recommending them. I thoroughly enjoy my family who help me continue on the path of a lifelong learner.