Monday, May 4, 2015

A Letter to Christian Readers and Writers

I may have said it before, but I love writing letters. That's why I've decided to write a letter to my fellow christian readers and writers out there. This will be the last installment of my Christians and Creativity Series. Within the series I've covered my thoughts on the origin of creativity from a Christian perspective, and how we should look at secular literature in a balanced way. I want to take the time now to wrap everything up by hopefully encouraging and challenging others like myself out there.

So this is for you, guys.

To my fellow Christian Readers,

Out of all the ways God could have shared Himself with us, He chose to do it through written word. God chose to use stories, letters, and a book. I think that's very special, don't you? Stories are powerful things. They are a wonderful form of communication where the author is speaking directly from their heart to the heart of the reader. In a way, when you read a book, you're taking part of a grand conversation between human hearts that spans generations.

Reading is more than simply a passtime. The books we love are like old friends aren't they? Friends we've grown up with and take with us to each new phase of life. Other books are like our new besties that we're still freaking out over. I would never discourage you from reading.

But maybe I would discourage you from reading things that are not worth your time. Time is so precious. When I was younger I would read anything. I had way too much spare time and an insatiable imagination to feed. I read good books that had great themes and great writing. But I also picked up books that, looking back, were useless fluff. I'm in college now and I have tons of things yanking for my time and attention every day. I can't waste time on fluff books, and I would say you shouldn't waste time on them either. I'm not bashing any book or series in particular, I'm only saying that you shouldn't read garbage. Garbage in, garbage out, as they say.

Read things that will make you a stronger Christian and a stronger writer. You know, if you only read bad writing that's all you're going to be able to imitate. If you really have the hunger to create then God gave you something very special as a gift. I challenge you to be a good steward of your time and your talent. Read what's worthy and prepare yourself to be a great writer.

I'm right there with y'all,


To my fellow Christian Writers,

You know, when I was doing all this reading about Christians in the arts and so on, I came across something that I found disturbing. I guess I knew it deep down, but I'd never actually read it somewhere. Secular authors and artisits look down on Christian writers. It's not because of some religious bias or anything. If it were I might be able to just ignore them and move on. No, they look down on Christian authors because of something worse. They don't think Christians make good art, or good stories.

Why? Well because so many Christian authors just preach through their writing. Writing devotionals is a different topic, but when an author is constantly preaching through their fiction it gets annoying. Another issue is some Christian writers think the spiritual lesson will cover up other flaws in the story like predicable plot, undeveloped characters, or just poor writing. It doesn't . A badly written story is a badly written story.

I don't want it to be this way with my book or your book. If you really have the desire to publish something, then I challenge you to do it well. God has made me and you a steward of our gifts. Being a steward of your creative gifts means being serious about your craft. If you write fiction then read good fiction to give you an example. Pay atttenion in English or Literature classes. If you write poetry then learn the forms and rules of poetry. If you write historical fiction like I do, then learn how to write a research paper so you can really learn about your setting. Take every oppurtunity you can to practice your skill and hone it. Learn your craft and become a real craftsman! This is what I'm challenging myself to do, and I hope you take the same challenge to heart.

Any Christian can be an author and write a book. But imagaine a real lover of writing, a real wordsmith and craftsman who also loves the Lord. That author's work would change the world.

Keep writing!


I hope you all enjoyed this series as much as I enjoyed talking about it with you. If you have any comments or questions I would love to hear them.

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I'm very eager to hear your thoughts or questions. Please use the comment section to encourage good conversation for curious readers and fellow writers. Thank you for commenting! I try to reply to most comments so make sure to check back!