Christian Writer: How Real is Too Real?

I’m often torn about how “real” to be when it comes to writing. I’m not a cookie-cutter Christian and I don’t want to pretend to be. Some Christians make the mistake of pretending to be something we are not. We are flawed, we make mistakes and our actions don’t always reflect our beliefs. Don’t get me wrong, I know some true Mother Teresas and Ms. Claras (War Room) out there, but they too are flawed.

Like many, my past is not some wholesome Christian journey to freedom. So, when I write fiction, realistic fiction, I want to stay true to my reality and the reality of so many others. Yet, I struggle with knowing where to draw the line.

I’ve learned the main culprit of my struggle is worrying too much about what other people think.

My biggest pet peeve is being misunderstood and hearing false perceptions of me. The thing is, as an introvert and more as a writer that comes with the territory. Thankfully, my husband and a few close friends have mastered the art of not caring and remaining true to them regardless. I’m slowly learning from them.  More importantly, I’m reminding myself of the only opinion that matters. In everything I do, I strive to please God above all else.

Ralph Emerson once penned, “To be great is to be misunderstood.” To Be Great Quote (Instagram Post)You have to be you, and not worry if people get it. At the end of the day, you must know and remember WHO you write for and WHY you write.

Do you struggle with ‘how real to be’ in your writing? Do you struggle with being misunderstood? What are some ways you handle it?


Ebby ♥


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19 responses to “Christian Writer: How Real is Too Real?”

  1. Maybe we relieve ourselves of pretense when we relieve the other guy of pretense through the vulnerable door of humility? IMO, one honest confession opens the cell doors for many others.

  2. Sometimes I find it easier to be “real” in my writing, than in my day to day, face to face, life. Perhaps that is because not that many people read my writing yet. I do sometimes find myself holding back on a few things because of concerns about how my church would react. Not quite sure if that is a good thing or not?

    • I completely understand how you feel. I always have in the back of my head what would my church think or how would they react, but I also think about how the only opinion that matters is God. Some times what He places in our hearts others won’t understand. Look at Christ, He came to set us free and people still ridiculed Him. In the end, we have to be true to God in us and not worry so much about how others, even the church will react. I’m still learning how to do that. Thank you for sharing. I apologize for the delayed response.

  3. As a Christian and a blogger, I struggle not to be deemed as a Christian blogger because I am afraid I cant live up to whats expected from a Christian blogger. I used to publish everything for everyone’s access but recently, I tried being private with regard to my personal posts because my life instead of being a good testimony could become a way to get Christians judged according to how I live, although I for one am quite normal but you know, I am imperfect and there are others who would particularly agree and I dont want my readers get conflicted. I publicly posts everything except for personal posts. I am open to opinions, religious talks, politics but not personal because mybeing real isnt as inspiring for others. I am not happy w/ the sorting but I felt compelled by certain situations

    • I had the same struggle of not wanting to refer to myself as a Christian blogger, because I knew I couldn’t live up to that and I would disappoint. I feel the same when it comes to my novels. The root of that fear is the stigma that Christian means wholesome and perfect. That is our fault. Yes, we are held to a different standard, but perfect is that standard. If more of us could be honest that our walk is a daily battle, I think our testimony, our witness would be more impactful.

  4. It’s interesting because as a Christian I tried the whole cover up first with my life and failed miserably
    For me I purpose to embrace the story, of the journey and capture it.
    Where feet fail and courage dwindles..
    I pride in the pick ups from the mess sometimes I have created for myself and not just the out come
    I keep my story honest enough to inspire and yet communicate truth.
    I only really care for God’s opinion and approval and everyday it’s a lesson on how to take the criticism and learn from it.
    Thank you for asking.

  5. Ebby, I can more than relate to this– and yes, I followed this post from the reblog. I am most honoured. <3 <3

    The truth is, while writing that series, I was at war with myself– somehow, it seemed to me the "rawest" I have ever been in my writing… I had fears, worries; just as you rightly spoke about– what would people think? What would they say? And then I spoke to a writer friend about it, and he made me realise there was nothing to be worried or afraid about. In fact, the problem with the world is that we are often too busy trying to act problem-free and perfect, that we fail to realise everyone else is too busy worrying about themselves to worry about every other person.

    I say we go for it. If it is a story that must be told, someone must do the telling. If the telling is done by us, even better. Life is not perfect; life simple "is". And the stories that we tell and narrate too, do not have to be perfect; they just have to "be".

    Thank you so much ma'am! I appreciate you. <3

  6. I am literally dealing with this right now…how “real” to be…how much can one share about the down/negative/imperfect in their lives. But this evening I typed and typed, edited slightly and hit publish! It’s ok to share your imperfect because we can all relate so thanks for sharing.

  7. I struggle with that as a Christian extrovert writer… I often wonder if I’m pigeonholing myself by sterilizing myself and my syntax by opting not to use “colorful metaphors” out of fear that I’ll be misconstrued and alienate a potential audience, but I’m getting to a place where I realize that words matter less when you measure them against the confines of our deeds.

    • “I realize that words matter less when you measure them against the confines of our deeds” I love that! Beautiful stated! Thank you for sharing!

  8. I also struggle with this as a Christian introvert writer. With each post I overthink how much I want to share about my personal life because I’m an extremely private person and I don’t want to give the wrong impression about anything. The biggest barrier to my creativity is caring what others think, but I recently experienced a breakthrough in this area (thank God!). As artists, we have to let go of pleasing people in order to be authentic. Those who get it will appreciate it, those who don’t….well it’s not for them and that’s okay. I think it’s when we are our most vulnerable and authentic that our art can truly touch and heal people. Let’s face it, this Christian walk is not always easy. It can be downright ugly sometimes and it’s a fight. I think sharing that truth will have more impact than sugar-coated words any day. Excellent post!

  9. This is a tough one. I’m married to a rabbi, so I get it. First, fiction is art, not reality. A novel has its own reality, and your characters must conform to that. On the other hand, completely avoiding topics like sex and violence will cramp your style in major ways. So what I’d say is express as much as you can by implication. We don’t need graphic details unless they’re essential to the point you want to make.

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