Tuesday, April 21

Pondering Fiction

I've been writing fiction for as long as I can remember. In my writing folder, I even have a type-written script from my early elementary years. I can honestly say that my writing has improved since then! A fact for which I am grateful.

Within the last several years, it's grown harder to find time to write my very independent characters. I miss the time often and have looked for ways to "carve out" a writing night once a week, but even that has turned into my night to blog or work on other non-fiction projects. As I am learning to be more disciplined with my time and calendar, my fiction time has seemed to shrink even more.

Over the past several months, I have really struggled with whether writing fiction was even something worthwhile *ducks in anticipation of stones and begs to be heard out before more stoning takes place*. I have felt guilty about taking a night away from my accountability relationships, errands and "to do lists", and what seems to be more serious, biblical projects in order to write about imaginary people and their problems. I have wondered if it's a waste of the short time God has given me here on earth.

This led me to put aside my plotlines for a while. And, I have missed them.

Tonight, I decided to do a little research on what Christian thinkers said about this subject. After a little surface research, I was quickly reminded of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and George MacDonald--profound Christian thinkers whose fiction works sit on my bookshelves. One article tied in fictional writing with Jesus' use of parables (fictional stories with a spiritual truth).

So, here's what I'm pondering right now: I think that writing imaginatively, like any talent, is a gift from God. A gift He has mercifully given me. A gift to be used wisely but definitely to be used. Like other gifts, it can be used for our own idolatrous purposes or to bless other people with the grace we've been given. I should be asking myself why I am writing--is it for my own glory or to bring God glory? I should be writing as a means to encourage, challenge, and bless other people instead of out a need for catharsis personally. Writing should be a worshipful and servant-hearted endeavor.

At least I think so. I'm still contemplating. What's your opinion? I would love to continue reading on this subject if you have any suggestions....

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