How Honest Can I Be?
So I haven’t blogged in a while. Life kind of got in the way. I kind of got in the way of myself.
And so on and so forth. But really, honestly? I don’t feel I have much to say these days. I read a lot of blogs that have things to say. Writers who have a blogging schedule (um, yeah), stick to it, and present their readers with relevant, witty and entertaining posts week after week. Maybe that’s why they have a few thousand followers and I have under two hundred. Maybe that’s why their books are in bookstores across the country. Maybe that’s why they’re being nominated for awards and accolades. Clearly, people want to hear what they have to say. And they like what these writers are offering.
Lately I’ve been wondering if what I have to say is what readers really want to hear. I love what I do, love writing, but I gotta tell you, this is one tough gig. I’m tired. It’s a struggle, trying to find the right words without offending, insulting or ostracizing anyone. Because I know there are a lot of folks out there who are pretty sensitive about what they read and don’t read. And I’ve already had to deal with some not so happy readers because something I’ve written didn’t sit well with them. I’ve tried to approach this logically, kindly and with some understanding. I know we’re all different and we view life through a variety of lenses. But here’s the thing… I need to be honest. I need to write those tell it like it is stories. I need to tackle the untouchables, that character who seems so steeped in sin, hell bound and happy about it. Is there redemption for such a soul? Sadly, many would say no. Me? I say I don’t know. Let’s find out.
Writing is challenging. Writing from a Christian worldview is even more challenging. Who am I kidding? Living in the world as a Christian is challenging. Isn’t it? It is for me, and I don’t profess to be as squeaky clean as I probably should be according to the book of Thou Shalt Not’s that certain sectors of the church seem to think we’re all about. You want honest? I’ve been more disillusioned, disappointed, discouraged and damaged by people within the body of Christ than by friends who just don’t give a rip about religion. But we believers don’t discuss that because it makes us look bad. Ever wonder why so many modern sanctuaries have carpets?
Can I write about that?
So I’m sitting here trying to work this all out. Feel like I’ve been in this boat a while. Wondering where God wants me in all of this. And before some well-meaning soul out there points me towards Jesus and tells me to take it to Him…don’t get your knickers in a twist. I’ve got it covered, but thanks for being concerned about my spiritual well-being. That’s another reason I’ve been quiet lately. When you start asking hard questions, people tend to present pat answers. And I’m just not into that.
I know that if I’m going to write, it’s going to be real. It’s not going to be a let’s skim the surface of sin, sail over it and see everyone get saved by the end of the book kind of deal. And since I’m being honest, I have to say I’m not terribly convinced that the average Christian wants to read those kind of books. I’m not sure if the average Christian publishing house would print them.
So where does that leave me? Do I give in, write a formulaic fluffy feel good read that would probably sell and do quite well, might even make me a few bucks, which is more than I can say I’m making at the moment or keep my head down, keep doing what I’m doing and believe that one day things might change. One day some editor out there might pick up my stuff and smile, because they’ve been waiting for someone to challenge the status quo.
To thine own self be true. Heard it a million times, right? Yeah, me too. But there is some wisdom in those words. Because if I’m going to continue down this path, I need to believe I’m giving it my best shot. I need to know I’m writing the words I feel called to, not the words I think will make me the most money. Realistically, as in any business, the bottom line comes down to what will sell. So maybe I’m being a little stupid here. Maybe I should pack up my ideals and convictions and just go with the flow, write stories that will sell without rocking any boats or ruffling any feathers or turning any little old ladies hair a shade whiter. Maybe.
Or maybe I just keep it real. Keep it honest. And trust.
That’s where I am today. What about you?
Have you ever felt like selling out? What keeps you from doing it?