Standing Out in Your Writing {And What Not to Include}

 

Standing Out in Your Writing {And What Not to Include}

 

Hujambo! (That’s Swahili for hello!)

Thanks to Adriana Gabrielle for allowing me to post on her blog! I feel blessed for this opportunity!

So I went back and forth a few times while debating what to write about. I mean, there’s so many options. But I had to settle on something close to my heart—it’s one of my passions. Something important. Something that needs to be thought about.

But first, so you know where I’m coming from, let’s play a get-to-know-Rachel-game!

I’m going to list five things about me below:

1. I am in love with Jesus Christ, my Redeemer and Creator.

2. I am called by God to make a difference through the written word. A favorite term I’ve heard is Warrior of the Pen.

3. I’m an army brat. I’ve moved about ten times and they’re still racking up. I’ve been to nine schools (and homeschooled for a few years). I’m about to head to my tenth this fall (and hopefully the last…)

4. Jazz is my jam.

5. I could eat rice and beans three times a day…every day. But I don’t.

So today’s post is about standing out in our writing and being different. And, if we want to stand out and be different and make a difference…what we should leave out of our writing.

There’s a lot of popular fiction out there, aye? We’ve got contemporary YA, dystopian, steampunk, apocalyptic, sci-fi, fantasy…the genres go on and on.

And I have a problem.

A lot of popular fiction that people rage about (in a good way) is filled with worldly ways. Chock full of swearing, drugs/drinking, and inappropriate relationships…and these things are viewed in a good light.

I don’t know about you, but this stuff bothers me. Last year I tried to pick up a popular YA book that I really wanted to read. I wanted to see what everybody was going on about.

Let me tell you. I read about five pages and I had to put it down. There had been at least ten swear words (hint: not darn) and a few times where God’s name was taken in vain.

And I found out later that there was definitely some pre-marital inappropriateness going on in the book. I’m relieved I didn’t read it.

But there was a catch in my spirit, y’all. I wondered how my God-loving friends could be reading this and celebrating it. I wondered why they weren’t bothered by this blatant immorality.

As a Christian I’m supposed to be different than the rest of the world. My life is an example. What I read, listen to, watch, and write…should be monitored so that I’m not filling my head with the junk that’s already so prevalent in the world.

Words are influential. They impact people. They can save lives. They can also destroy them. It’s our duty to ensure that our words are full of worth. That our words are full of truth. They should encourage and speak life and love. They should stand out like a lamp on a hill.

Under no circumstance should they blend right in with the rest of society’s words.

That’s a red flag.

We have a responsibility to the people reading our stuff. We have a responsibility to tell them about our Heavenly King. We can’t let them down. We can’t let the lost continue in their brokenness just because we want to fit in and not cause a stir.

Jesus went into the temple with a whip, y’all. He wasn’t afraid of making a stir.

We can save lives.

If our writing glorifies anything on this list…we’re doing something wrong:

 

1. Swearing. Okay, people are already surrounded by this continually throughout their days. Do we really want to give them more? Are we going to look like the rest of the world? God’s Word says to keep our tongues from filthy talk, and to keep our minds on things pure. {2 Timothy 1:16; James 5:12}

2. Sex. Really? Really? Do you need to have inappropriate scenes in your books? Is that going to make anybody feel better? Are you going to stand out and make a difference? No. You’ll be just like everybody else. And trust me, that isn’t a good thing. The Bible has all the answers you need about this one. From staying pure before marriage to steering clear of sexual immorality. It’s chock full of warnings and cautions.

3. Drunkenness. The Bible doesn’t say it’s bad to drink. Jesus drank wine. But it does say we shouldn’t get drunk. Don’t support this in your writing. {Ephesians 5:18}

4. Drugs. Why? Just why? Drugs don’t bring good. Solomon talks about trying all the stuff under the sun and how it came to nothing. I’d say drugs definitely can fall in that list.

 

If your writing portrays any of things, be sure the characters receive consequences from their actions. Be sure the things portrayed are known to be bad. Make sure readers don’t perceive that you are pro these things.

I have characters who partake in lifestyles I am against. But I don’t glorify that. It is known that these things are wrong. There are definitely consequences.

Being a writer means we get to dabble in things we’d never be able to do in real life. But that isn’t an excuse to dabble in things that go against God.

There are ways to express real life without gory details. There are ways to express real life while still retaining the innocence of yourself and your readers.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

Basically, if there’s something in your writing that goes against what God’s Word says, there’s a problem. If you’re glorifying something that’s wrong, you aren’t making a difference. You’re just adding to the noise. And I’m pretty sure most of us want our writing to stand out.

If you’re not sure, check your Bible.

God Bless! I hope to hear what you think!

 

Rachel Lester is a daughter of the King. Soon she’ll be off to college to follow God’s call on her life to be a writer and missionary. Rachel has been writing since she was a wee thing, but only during the past few years has she really delved deeper into the realm. She’s fought battles, especially with fear, but Christus Victor! She enjoys reading, almost anything outdoorsy, rockin’ out to jazz, and eating rice and beans. She has a passion to reach those who are broken and tell them the Truth. Rachel loves Jesus Christ, her Author and Redeemer.

{2 Timothy 1:7}

You can find her writing blog here: http://waterandpen.blogspot.com/

And you can find her young women’s Christian blog here: http://nolongerstone.blogspot.com/

Find her on Pinterest at: https://www.pinterest.com/waterandpen/

 

Advertisements

One thought on “Standing Out in Your Writing {And What Not to Include}

  1. Good points. It is disappointing to read it a book and it includes a slew of profanity, sex, and etc. I was given a book by a famous author for my birthday and I couldn’t stomach ten pages because there was at least one f-bomb for every page. Putting so much filthy content limits the audience and makes the story a less pleasurable experience. If the content is put down that’s one thing, but explicitly having it is just of bad taste.

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply? I love to talk! I'm a friendly gal, I promise!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s