life and faith writing

reality: on truth, fiction, storytelling and keeping it real

I write at an old oak desk, positioned close to an open window, lift my gaze briefly from the screen to savour a soothing sea breeze and quay-side view. Air is rich with birdsong and fragrance pouring forth from a nearby arbour of flowers. Butterflies flit like my thoughts, alighting on something bright and fresh. Cut! That’s pure fabrication, of course. Here’s the reality…

Or should I share? Aren’t we aiming to inspire one another with our words, rather than discourage with life’s gritty reality? After all, what’s a bit of softened lens viewing between friends?

It helps us to imagine ourselves in a more salubrious place, a better pair of shoes. It fits us to enjoy flights of fancy without leaving the house, and it suggests a kind of lifestyle others can aspire to.

Hang on a minute, do I hear you say, isn’t this taking creativity a tad too far? Well yes, so it is. I am a writer, after all. But here’s the thing: being open, real, transparent and honest actually helps to foster trust and build connection—in real life and in the writing sphere.

How about poetry that emotes with feeling more than languidly describing a beautiful scene? It tends to glean the most responsive reactions, engenders those ‘you too?’ moments more frequently, the ones we all secretly yearn for.

Hanging out our proverbial dirty laundry in public is often frowned upon, because life can be hard enough without someone else’s mess flapping in our faces. Who needs a fresh dose of daily grime when TV and media already offer more than their fair share? And can we cope with viewing a person’s heart bleeding out on paper?

Such things nudge us out of our comfort zones, stir and provoke us into action, into caring, or maybe turning away. I’ve found in sharing personal story with transparency and vulnerability (laced with lots of God-given wisdom, sensitivity and discernment), we can make a better heart to heart connection with our readers.

It’s still a risk to speak openly about our brokenness. Some might seek a more uplifting tidbit elsewhere. And others? They will stay—hooked by our reality, see themselves within our stories, find they resonate deep within their soul…

To read the rest of this post, please follow me over to the Association of Christian Writers (ACW)  ‘More Than Writers’ blog where I am sharing my words today. Just click here to join me there. Thank you!  🙂

6 Comments

  1. BettieG 18th March 2017
    • Joy Lenton 18th March 2017
  2. Gayl 18th March 2017
    • Joy Lenton 18th March 2017
  3. inspiredbyjune 20th March 2017
    • Joy Lenton 20th March 2017

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