Spirituality in writing

So, I’m only two (or three) days out from having the editing finished on my current WIP. Then a few beta reads, then publishing. My original plan from there is to launch into the sequel of it. (EDIT: since writing this, I’ve discovered the sequel isn’t next in line) I’m not  If you know me at all personally (I’m sure most who read this don’t) you’ll know that I don’t take things lightly. I have taken a spiritual road that, four years ago, I would have never imagined I’d take. No, I’m not gonna get all religious on you. I don’t believe in religion, in the way that most people think of it.

When I set out to write stories, I want them to say something. I want them to speak of hope, and love, and fortitude. I want people to maybe take away something they didn’t have when they sat down to read it. I’ve had long conversations about this with many people. There are some who write just because they want to tell a good yarn, the characters perhaps are interesting, the situations engaging. But do they say anything? I’m not talking agenda here. I’m not talking about pushing God on people through fiction (something I’ve abhorred when I have read some “Christian” fiction). I’m not talking about pushing political views either. (Although sometimes, that comes through in writing as well) But for me, the most memorable stories are ones where hope, and love, and goodness, run through them, even as darkness threatens to overwhelm, where goodness wins in the end. Or at the very least, doesn’t completely lose. I’m not opposed to telling a story where things aren’t bad for the main character at the end of the story. I put my main character in my current WIP through some not very nice things and left him in misery at the end of the book. (I said it before, there will be a sequel.) But one thing I never, ever do is start a project like this with the intention of having nothing to say.

I have taken a spiritual road that, four years ago, I would have never imagined I’d take. No, I’m not gonna get all religious on you. I don’t believe in religion, in the way that most people think of it. When I set out to write stories, I want them to say something. I want them to speak of hope, and love, and fortitude. I want people to maybe take away something they didn’t have when they sat down to read it. I’ve had long conversations about this with many people. There are some who write just because they want to tell a good yarn, the characters perhaps are interesting, the situations engaging. But do they say anything? I’m not talking agenda here.

I’m not talking about pushing God on people through fiction (something I’ve abhorred when I have read some “Christian” fiction). I’m not talking about pushing political views either. (Although sometimes, that comes through in writing as well) But for me, the most memorable stories are ones where hope, and love, and goodness, run through them, even as darkness threatens to overwhelm, where goodness wins in the end. Or at the very least, doesn’t completely lose. I’m not opposed to telling a story where things aren’t bad for the main character at the end of the story. I put my main character in my current WIP through some not very nice things and left him in misery at the end of the book. (I said it before, there will be a sequel.) But one thing I never, ever do is start a project like this with the intention of having nothing to say.

I’ve had long conversations about this with many people. There are some who write just because they want to tell a good yarn, the characters perhaps are interesting, the situations engaging. But do they say anything? I’m not talking agenda here. I’m not talking about pushing God on people through fiction (something I’ve abhorred when I have read some “Christian” fiction). I’m not talking about pushing political views either. (Although sometimes, that comes through in writing as well) But for me, the most memorable stories are ones where hope, and love, and goodness, run through them, even as darkness threatens to overwhelm, where goodness wins in the end. Or at the very least, doesn’t completely lose. I’m not opposed to telling a story where things aren’t bad for the main character at the end of the story. I put my main character in my current WIP through some not very nice things and left him in misery at the end of the book. (I said it before, there will be a sequel.) But one thing I never, ever do is start a project like this with the intention of having nothing to say.

‘m not opposed to telling a story where things aren’t bad for the main character at the end of the story. I put my main character in my current WIP through some not very nice things and left him in misery at the end of the book. (I said it before, there will be a sequel.) But one thing I never, ever do is start a project like this with the intention of having nothing to say.

I have heard some authors say that, to paraphrase, “our job is just to tell the damn story.” While I agree with this on some level, I believe it is not my job to tell a spiritually dead story that says nothing of the human condition, that leaves no room for the things I mentioned. Every writer, I believe, writes what is within them. Dean Koontz had this to say, “Everything I believe about life and death, culture and society, relationships and the self, God and nature–everything winds up in the books, not in one more than another, but equally, title after title. A body of work, therefore, reveals the intellectual and emotional progress of the writer, and is a map of his soul. It’s both terrifying and liberating to consider this aspect of being a novelist.”

For me, that just about sums it up.

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