I struggle with incorporating spiritual content into my writing. It is so much of who I really am. I feel naked, walking in front of a crowd. How do you get past these feelings? I know I have insights that need to be shared. Please share.
This is a late response, but I think that everyone who ever wrote with a spiritual influence has at times felt like that. I had to decide whether to pepper a recent book I wrote, ONE MORE SERVING with my own faith views and commentary or simply to write it from a different perspective.
The truth is that once I began to interview those who told their stories in the book and write the stories, there was no possible way not to incorporate the spiritual. It is as though, from above, I heard the words..."this is how you will write it" I have found that I actually got equally complimentary reviews from both secular readers and those who shared my views. So, be true to yourself. You might feel naked at first but before long you will be so comfortable in your own skin (no pun intended) that you will feel quite adequately dressed. Best of luck
Christine, thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. Since we are spiritual beings having a human experience (rather than humans with spirits), incorporating spiritual content into your writing is self-honoring. I'm not sure I understand what you mean when you say that you feel naked, though. My first book has just been released, (spirituality genre), yet I don't feel naked.
What I have discovered on my journey is that, when we place judgment on ourselves, on others, or on situations, we cause ourselves unnecessary suffering. Perhaps releasing the judgments you hold—about what it means to write spiritually—would allow you greater freedom to express what is in your heart.
Oh, and I've come to learn that what others think of me is none of my business. I just focus on staying true to my Self.
Hi Christine, I just joined this group, so my reply is a little late.
I wish I had the answer that would work for everyone in overcoming the fear of rejection associated with writing spiritual content, but I don't. When I asked myself the same question a couple years ago, the phrase that kept echoing in my mind was "I am the way, the truth, and the life", and therein I found my answer. There will always be rejection to Godly content in public writing or speaking, and our most prominent example was Jesus Christ. Once I really began to contemplate on the life of Jesus on earth, I realized that it all boils down to the basic need to be about the Father’s business. Each of us who write in the spirit, and of the spirit, have a purpose to fulfill for the kingdom of God, and only by God’s spirit can we face rejection, accept it, and rise above it. After all, who was more rejected than Jesus Christ? And, he is still being rejected today. He is God’s love, and His word, sent to us in the flesh, yet he is rejected.
Then I took this dilemma a step further and fell in love with God. I mean I literally fell in love with all that God is, the trinity to be exact. That did it for me. In our physical terms, He (God) died for His love of me, so how does human rejection even begin to compare with such an act? If this fundamental truth can come alive within your soul, your very being, then I can assure you that this dilemma will no longer exist. In all that I have said so far, please remember also that rejection stems from fear, and all those who reject you and your writing, fear both. I recently posted a blog entitled "It's God's World and it's All Right" on SW. Please read it if you get a chance. I hope this helps. - Jean
If spirituality is so much of who you are, then where is the dilemma? Inevitably, what you write would be of a "spiritual" nature, regardless of whether or not you intend it, or directly label it as spiritual... :)
Boldness is a leap of faith in the beginning stages. Eventually you will find yourself walking hand in hand with the Lord, taking steps of faith. Then you will wonder why you made it so hard to walk in that faith knowing that the Holy Spirit has been in you to guide you the whole time. God gave you the talent and the words to write. you get past the scary stuff by staying in the word of God and speaking to Him all the time. He loves your voice and He gave you a platform to use it.
Feeling naked? I can sure relate. It's been a long, arduous process for me, to allow myself a little exposure. My spirituality helped the most; and I guess that something called grace helped too. I write a blog that's pretty much infused with my spiritual journey, which is, after all, my life journey. Maybe you can look at it and get some ideas. You may notice that I didn't even put up a picture of myself. Instead I have a drawn charicature. I still hide my nakedness too, though by writing, the courage to expose has increased. I have posted my real picture here, on She Writes, and plan to post it on my blog too. Courage, courage. We all must invoke it.
I always remind myself that if my message in my book or on the blog is only for one person, that has to be enough. And realizing how important that message would be if it were designed for the one person, then I have to say it. All our inspirations are the same, the interlocking puzzle, my side fits your side.
When I wrote my novel, I did not intend a spiritual-based story, but it came from a spiritual path of where I was at that time. Then I evolved and the story evolved and the realization of what the novel meant to my life evolved, the more insight I had to what the story was to me. I feel naked, completely naked and vulnerable. So many times I want to hit delete, pull the blogs, cancel the novel on all avenues. Then I share how I feel and everyone who loves me says, 'no way are you to delete what you spend years preparing, it is for someone.' So I leave it and keep taking steps each day to allow it to be.
I write several blogs, some are purely business but the www.womens-fiction.com :: Myths, Dense Observations and the Lies We Are Told is my book suggestions and reviews, plus my fun place and, yes, spiritual truths can be told, though I almost never take it there. The other is the www.essabooks.com which tells the truth about how the novel came to me and what it means now, that is where I also am supporting other authors, just getting started. I also post about spirituality-based books. It's a newer blog, but I am getting time to post now. Any writer who feels we are compatible spiritually, please contact me, I will be posting guest writers. We'll just run around naked together.
Good thread, Christine. I loved Deborah Denson's response about being "naked & unashamed". I like it so much, I wrote a whole novel about it! ;-) I've also written about it on my blog, Naked Prayers.
Throughout the writing of the novel, I would struggle from time to time about whether or not I could say some of the things I was saying. Worried that it would be too this or that, be taken the wrong way, etc. That thinking finally wore me out, as I realized I found my energy in my complete authenticity. I realized my choice was either to fret about what someone else needed & relinquish a piece of my own authentic self or to be completely "naked & unashamed" & risk not having a single person interested in my novel. I opted for the latter because, in the end, if it's not coming from me authentically, it can't really benefit anyone anyway (most especially me)! The result is that it's gradually finding its way into the world & connecting with those it's intended to touch.
When we feel like we're being too spiritual, I believe that's when we're separated from our true selves. Spirituality isn't something we do. We are spirits temporarily experiencing a physical existence.
You are here for a purpose. Live it with full gusto. We need your light. "No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden... Instead he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light."
I just joined She Writes and this group and see that this was first posted in January. So please forgive the late reply! But I can totally relate to this question. I also struggle with the balance between promoting my work and "tooting my own horn" so to speak. As a marketing person for 20 years, you would think that wouldn't be a problem for me. But somehow, writing about faith, life, relationships, etc., is so much more serious and life-changing than promoting a product. And since I try to rely on God's direction, I am sometimes a bit reluctant to forge forward with promoting my work. It can cause some sense of inertia. So can fear of rejection, fear of insulting someone, fear of disagreement, etc. Fear in general causes inertia and is at odds with faith. I am really working on changing all my fear into faith. This last year has been about obedience and stepping out in faith. I find that when I seek God's guidance, I am better able to write from my heart and then the message is so much more authentic. I also believe that if even one person is helped by something I write, then it is worth the time and the sense of "nakedness". That helps me to move past the fear.
I am a writer of mostly spiritual and uplifting poetry.I have been published by writer friends in their anthologies,but have been rejected by numerous magazines and literary journals.The experts advise to write about what you know or experience.I read a lot of poetry these days,which seem to have very little meaning attached to it.Being true to what I am(a spiritual person)and writing about it is much more important than money and acceptance.