What should I do?


I’ve always wanted to be a novelist ever since I was little, and constantly I thought of stories in my head that I wanted to turn into a book one day. It has been a fervent and passionate desire of mine since I can remember. Last year I was prayerfully considered the will of God and I felt this was not His will for me. I seemed to be moved by the Holy Spirit not to go in this direction (when I think about it I feel REALLY moved not to go in this direction), instead I felt working with people of Africa has been God’s will. I made a promise to God I would never become a novelist or think about my stories again. For a long time I kept my promise. Now I’m forgetting the people of Africa. Then one day I started thinking…I got sucked into it…and now everyday I’m intensively thinking about those things which I promised not to think about (stories). My heart races with excitement, this seems to be my passion. They seem innocent stories but they are not because I promised not to think about them. I promised I wouldn’t do this unitl I get to heaven…I would spend my life working on earth…I have offended God over and over again with my choices

Should I still continue to break my promise and think about these stories?
How do I rebuke a promise?


seiously, i don’t think that the Holy Spirit or God would mind if you wroie your stories ~ if you strongly believe that it’s something the Spirit wants, He’ll tell you again


There is no need to focus your entire mind on your one vocation (which it sounds like you haven’t even figured out yet). I see absolutely no reason you can’t write stories on the side or for fun regardless of your vocation. You made a promise to God but I don’t think it was an appropriate promise. A much better promise to make is “Lord I will remain open to your will”. Don’t shut down any options that may be from the Lord. (There are obvious things that shouldn’t be considered (such as being a hooker) because they aren’t things God would ever call us to. Except for such extremes we should always remain open to the Spirit’s guidance.)

I recommend you speak to your confessor about breaking a promise to God. My lay opinion is, you shouldn’t have promised in the first place and God knew you weren’t going to be able to keep it so the only apology necessary is for closing yourself off. I don’t necessarily think serious sin has occurred but I do think it would be good to speak to your confessor.

Christ’s peace be with you.


If you felt that it’s not God’s will for you to write stories, but now you really want to, could it be that it wasn’t His will at that particular time? Maybe He just wanted you to focus on something else, then… That’s the problem with making promises to God… my priest told me we shouldn’t do it… I think he had a good point. Don’t beat yourself up about this but do talk to your priest. Maybe he could give some good suggestions. Try not to think about the stories till then - for the sake of your conscience.

Also you might examine the reason for writing stories… if you want to write them to glorify God (as CS Lewis and others did), that’s a good reason… if it’s for something selfish, maybe you should re-examine your motives. For the longest time, I wanted to write poetry, but it was out of a pride issue. When I finally got to the point of wanting to write poems from God, He allowed me to write a poem (before then, I was unable to.)

I’m sorry I don’t have a concrete answer…

God bless


These last two responses have got to be the most beautiful responses to a question I have ever read! Ditto!


Been there, done most of that. I don’t know who I am when I’m not writing.

Who gave you that charism, that desire? I have to ask what makes you think God doesn’t want you to write?

I’ll go into my whole three-years-in-the-desert thing and this past Lent if pushed into it. :stuck_out_tongue:


Start writing. You may want to take a writing class. If there’s a college near, sign up for a class and develope you skills.

It is a wonderful thing for a person to be given a passion. Don’t turn away from it even if it is for yourself.


you cannot make such a binding promise until you are old enough, and have discerned with your spiritual director that this is truly God’s will for you. That is why people join religious orders, rather than going out on their own to do such missionary work, the Church recognizes they need guidance and support it is not a DIY project.

There is no reason you cannot pursue whatever vocation God has planned for you and continue to write, as long as what you write is not contrary to His commandments in any way. Plenty of saints have done so, and plenty more good Catholics. Writers write, they write every day, no matter what else they do, no matter where or under what conditions they are living. Write. Also read, read good literature, read lives of the saints and good Catholic books, but also read good world literature in which authors have captured and portrayed universal truths about the human condition. Good writers read good books.

You don’t say your age but you sound young, too young to make a binding vow to God. Ask your pastor who you can talk to know about a possible vocation to work in Africa–chances are he knows someone in the diocese. I know a young lady who while she was preparing for Confirmation was torn between the desire to be a missionary, and to become a doctor. She just got her degree in public health and is serving in the Peace Corps in Africa doing public health work. She will have a pretty good idea when she comes back of what her eventual vocation will be.

Learn all you can about both your loves–they are not mutually exclusive. In fact, you might want to write about Africa.


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