Kern_web shot Jan here, writing on a drizzly but pleasant evening from northern California.

Did you know that yesterday was Hug-A-Writer Day in Canada? I’m wondering how many people knew about it—in Canada or anywhere else. I mean, did you get a hug yesterday? For being a writer?

As writers and speakers we enjoy those hugs once in a while, don’t you think? If not physical arms wrapping around our shoulders, at least someone in our corner who is willing to encourage us from time to time and say, “Hey, keep going! You can do it! You’re on the right track.”

But many days we keep going, pushing toward those deadlines and fulfilling speaking obligations, often without those background echoes of encouragement. We feel carried forward by our passion for our current WIP, our topic, or sometimes simply by the pleasure of stringing words together. It seems like enough.

Not for long.

I’ve experienced the crashing, my energy draining. Have you?

At those moments, I feel as if I’m wandering through dark, foggy streets, the lampposts too far apart to offer light for me to see my way. I sense I am horribly alone.

It’s like this on those days I’ve set out down those streets with a false and deceptive confidence that I could take on the world by myself. I cannot.

Words float in a whisper toward me as I pass a lamppost. “I’ve never left you. I would never leave you or forsake you.” I feel heartened.

I pass another. “Apart from Me you can do nothing.”

The truth stabs and yet comforts. I stop and look up through the swirling, parting fog. “I do need you, God. All the time and more than anything.”

That continual, vital connection to him is crucial for writing, speaking, mentoring, coaching—all that I do.

When I lean into relationship with God in the daily rhythm of life, and I rest, listen, share my questions and dreams, suck in with starving breath his wisdom and direction, I can then step out recharged, ready. His voice echoes the encouragement that is charged with everything I need to carry me forward.

Yes, and along the way he smiles and delights in bringing along a friend or two to offer those hugs a writer enjoys from time to time.

If you get a chance this week, hug a writer. And as you bend near her ear, remind her to lean in to the Life Giver, the Word. She’ll need him for the journey.


How might you need to lean into Jesus more in your writing and speaking?

What will you do to make that a part of the daily rhythm of your life and work?

What do you long for more of?

What would you pray?


Jan writes nonfiction from her home in the foothills of the California Sierras. She is currently working on more material for the teen/ya audience and for those who deeply care about them. She also enjoys life coaching and mentoring writers. Visit her site at

4 thoughts on “Hug a Writer


January 26, 2010 - 00 : 01 : 29

Your words are balm to my achy soul. Thank you, Jan. I can’t tell you how often I’ve wanted to quit during some very dry seasons, and yet your post reminds me, “I do need you, God. All the time and more than anything.” How can we keep going unless we draw all that we need …from Him?
Beautiful post.

Stephanie Shott

January 26, 2010 - 10 : 16 : 10

I feel as though your post hugged my scattered heart! Thanks so much for the sweet reminder and the fresh words of encouragement.

Jan Kern

January 26, 2010 - 12 : 41 : 09

You’re welcome, Vicki. And you’re so right–how can we . . . unless we draw from Him all that we need?
Blessings on your day. May God continue to encourage your soul.

Jan Kern

January 26, 2010 - 14 : 19 : 20

Stephanie, I’m so glad the words, in their own small way, offered a ‘hug’ for your heart. It is my prayer that this day, this week will bring many more sweet reminders to you. . . and maybe a few hugs too!

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