I would love to stop worrying about how people of my faith will accept my writing. I wish I didn’t think about how many faces will cringe if they read a curse, a traumatic scene, or a wrong decision. But writing isn’t about characters who are perfect; it’s about characters who are real, so that we can learn about reality through a story. This post is absolutely beautiful. I also had a hard time making it through Mystery and Manners, but it was worthwhile all the same.

Write at Your Own Risk

Some time ago a friend who is of my faith said to me, without any sort of prompting, “I’m sorry, but I can’t allow your books in my home.” She did not elaborate. We both knew what she was talking about.

Some of my students who love their religion have asked me how I, as a writer, cope with the expectations of people in a faith community. These young writers have no desire to rebel, and yet in an effort to portray the truth, sometimes fiction offends.

When I am writing, it is between me and God. I don’t allow anything, not my parents or my religious leaders or my children or my neighbor whom I am obligated to love, to interfere with what happens when I am putting pen to paper. I find that every book I write demands that I wander in the wilderness for a time. I’ve…

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