You Want to Write with Freedom? Gotta Live Free First

By James L. Rubart

James L. Rubart is the best-selling and Christy award
winning author of six novels. During the day he helps
businesses and authors make more coin of the realm through his marketing company. 
In his free time he dirt
bikes, hikes, golfs, takes photos, and occasionally does sleight of hand. No,
he doesn’t sleep much. He lives with his amazing wife and two sons in the
Pacific Northwest and still thinks he’s young enough to water ski like a
madman. More at

Do you want to write with unfettered freedom? So do I.

I think a lot us do.

As my fellow Novel Rocket columnist Allen Arnold says, “You can’t write a better story than you’re living.”

Two weeks back, Allen and I taught on that idea and others during a three-day, seven-hour course called Live Free, Write Free at the excellent Oregon Christian Writers conference.

Here’s the class description: 

“Imagine writing free of all the things that currently hold you back. No more fear or loss of heart. No comparison. No striving. No doubt. Live Free, Write Free  is a revolutionary approach to writing because it starts not with the story on the page, but rather the story of your life. 

“Once you understand your truest identity and the story you were born to live—then you’re freed up to write without limits. This is the foundation for Christian writers from which everything else follows—a game-changer for your story and the stories you’ll write.”

We’ve taught the class multiple times together, and each time I’ve wondered two things:

1. Will anyone show up for a class that isn’t full of tips and techniques for getting published, and/or becoming a best-selling author?

2. Will those who do show up get anything out of Allen’s and my ramblings about living a life of freedom so they can write with freedom?

Based on the class selling out, and the feedback from those who came to the class, I have to say yes.

But still … 

… I often ponder how many of those we’ve taught over the past three years have applied what God spoke to them during the class.

Why do I wonder? Because I learn as I teach. And sometimes, I don’t live out what I’ve learned.

It’s a Battle

  • It’s easier to seek relief (can you hand me that remote?) than restoration (a time of solitude walking through the woods, listening to the Spirit)
  • It’s easier to try the latest marketing technique than to wait till the Lord moves on our writing
  • It’s easier to bounce around our Facebook author groups than mediate on a truth God has shown us
  • It’s easier to shoot out a bunch of e-mails and think we’ve made true connection with another soul, than truly connect on a heart level with a friend

Whether it’s a diet, or getting in shape, or pressing into a rocky friendship, relationship, the way of life is always more difficult than the way of death.

The path is narrow, no?

You know what restores you. You know what gives you relief. And those are two very different animals. One is the blue pill. One is the red.

So what do you do to live free? What do you do to restore your soul and spirit?

We want to (and need) to know.