A Reason to Stop in Your Writing Path

I am a woman of unfinished projects. I stopped mid-sentence at the climax of a story in the middle of a series, I stopped mid-scene in the middle of another series, and I haven’t yet finished The Oxborough Series, as I’m struggling to plan out what comes after Book 1.

Before too many doubts start creeping in, such as “Am I even a real writer? I’m a fake!”, or “My first book isn’t worth reading and no one can make it past chapter four,” allow me to bring up one real reason that you should not continue in your writing path.

My dad mentioned yesterday that when one focuses on something or someone, one will become like that thing or person. This was said in the context of criticism. If someone is constantly focusing on how bad, foolish, hurtful, unjust, or evil someone is, and criticizing him or her, then that person is going to become the person they criticize. Of course you should bring up when someone is doing something wrong. But you shouldn’t ruminate on it.

It makes me think of the phrase “let no bitter root spring up among you,” which comes from Hebrews 12:14-15, “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled.” I can’t say I totally understand the fullness of meaning in these two sentences.

As far as I can glean, the best writing addressing issues with people will do so in love, without excusing and blowing over what they are doing or have done wrong, and without cultivating a hard, vindictive spirit. The Bible commands many times to rebuke others (1 Timothy 5:20), and says that “when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible” (Ephesians 5:13). Is it correct to say that if you are in the light, you will expose evil deeds?

Writing about wrong in love is a tall order, but we’re all called to it as writers. Our example is this: “By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him” (1 John 4:9). God didn’t “tolerate” or excuse or ignore our sin, and He didn’t torch us all the moment Man sinned, but He made a way of peace for us through putting our punishment on Himself in order to reunite us to Himself. Love is righteous.

If I haven’t given you enough verses already, I come back to another: “[Love] does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth” (1 Corinthians 13: 6-7).

Stop writing if you are doing so in a vengeful spirit, and stop writing if you are counting evil as good and good evil.