When Trevin Wax was preparing to graduate from his doctoral program, he still wasn’t quite sure how to sum up his next step. As part of its #iamgoing marketing campaign, Southeastern Seminary had provided Wax and his fellow graduates with circular signs containing big, capital letters that read “I AM GOING TO” followed by a long blank space—an invitation to share their post-graduation plans with the world.
He watched as the other members of his cohort took Sharpies in hand and wrote down the names of the cities, schools, and companies they were heading to after graduation. Wax, though, had a different approach: When the marker came to him, he filled in his response—not the name of a town, an institution, or the title of his next job. Instead, almost without thinking, he found himself scribbling one short verb: “Write.”
Apparently—and somewhat to his own surprise—he had just decided to become a writer.
Since that moment, he’s made good on his intent countless times over: As Bible and Reference Publisher at LifeWay Christian Resources, a pastor, a contributor to websites like The Gospel Coalition, and the author of books like the recently released This Is Our Time, Wax’s words have filled the pages and screens of countless readers.
On this episode of The Calling, CT managing editor Richard Clark sits down with Wax to find out more about his vocation as a wordsmith, his writerly influences, and the obstacles facing writers in the Digital Age.
On G.K. Chesterton’s influence: “Chesterton’s not one that I look to for theology. It’s his way of seeing the world—the tree, the house, the sheer joy of living that comes out in his writing. Chesterton brings me life when I read his work.”
On how the Internet has changed writing: “There is a dehumanizing factor to writing in public for any length of time. There simply is. People don’t see the person behind the words or ideas.”
On writing’s challenges: “The biggest struggle is bouncing back and forth between pride and humiliation. If you’re not careful, that mix can paralyze you. If you take praise or criticism too personally, it’s bad for heart. It’ll shut you down.”
…and its joys: “I can’t say I love the process of writing—I love what happens when I write. I love when I feel like something is crystalized in my mind because I’ve written. I love when other people tell me, ‘I’ve been wanting to say that, and I’ve not known how to express myself.’ That’s one of the most rewarding things.”
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The Calling is produced by Richard Clark and Jonathan Clauson.
Theme music by Lee Rosevere, used under Creative Commons 4.0.