Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Writing Real

Photo by graur codrin
Realness is such a vague term, though it shouldn't be. Real means something that exists, not imaginary...tangible and understandable.

I've been told several times that I am not like the normal preacher's wife. When I first heard someone tell me that, I was not sure if I should be offended or not. I want to be a good preacher's wife! But then they said other preacher's wives they had known seems too perfect, too good...and hard to relate to. I was told I was "real".  Yeah, I've got a lot of flaws and I guess I'm not good at hiding them. While I regret that I am flawed, I am glad that others don't think of me as "too good" for them or "un-relateable".

But what does being real have to do with writing? I'm glad you asked.

Writing real involves being real. We write from the experiences, trials, joys, hopes and dreams that are uniquely ours. Every turn in our life journey gives us wisdom to build upon. Each step we take gives us layers of character that makes us who we are. We become more real each and every day.

How do we incorporate this realness in our writing?

Remember that you are a sinner who was given grace by a gracious God. Sometimes we Christians forget where we have come from and tend to gloss over our need for a Savior. Use that need, that longing for grace, in your writing. Your character needs something...and ultimately needs the Lord. Use your knowledge and feelings to make your character "real".

Energize yourself with the presence of God. You need His touch on your life to write the story He has placed on your heart. Take the time to stay in the Word and pray about your writing. Join a Bible study or fellowship with other believers. Those like minded people will encourage you and lift you up.

Ask for help. Just as we need God's help and guidance in life, we definitely need help in our writing journey. Yes, it is sometimes difficult to ask for help, but from what I have learned is that the writing community has the biggest heart and wants to help! I would imagine if you posted on Facebook that you need help in a certain area, then I bet you would get a list of people willing to help out. Just ask!

Lay down your mask. God sees through the masks that we wear. We may try to mask our pain, our sin, our hurt, our temptation, but God knows it all...and loves us anyway. In writing Christian fiction, we need to make sure our characters lose their masks. Yes, they can "try" to keep up appearances, but real life can be a messy life and our characters need to be messy in order to grow and find freedom in Christ.

These are just a few ideas to help you write real.

What would you add? How do you write real?

This post is brought to you by
 Sherrinda Ketchersid

Sherrinda is a minister's wife and mother to three giant sons and one gorgeous daughter. A born and bred Texan, she writes historical romance filled with fun, faith, and forever love.


Beth K. Vogt said...

Oh, BRAVA, Sherrinda! Brava!
I knew I liked you ... and yes, one of the reasons is because there's something intrinsically REAL about you. Heart-honest.
Loved this post!

Pepper said...

Oh Sistah!!! I am SO with you on this (as you know).
Maybe that's why we get along so well. Beautifully flawed preacher's wives :-)
GREAT post, Sherrinda and wonderful reminders

Unknown said...

This is a good post. To write honestly, I start out writing with pen and paper as if no one else will see what I've written. I'm free to write anything. Then I can go back later and decide if I want to keep what I've written. Typically, I don't delete much. Also, sometimes I will write in my prayer journal because my prayer journal is between me and God, but sometimes I pull stuff from it to use because it's so gut-wrenchingly honest. I find that I tend to put my filters on when I type my thoughts directly onto a keyboard. Not sure why. Maybe it's just me.

Jill Weatherholt said...

This is beautiful, Sherrinda! "God knows it all." Love this!

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Loved this, Sherrinda. So well stated. To write real, sometimes I think on a situation when I've felt what my character is feeling, and then I write from that place in my heart.

So glad you shared these today!

Mary Vee Writer said...

As one of the other Alley Cats, I can easily say Sherrinda's honesty is one of her gems. Her words are sincere and comforting. Wise and warm.

Yeah. We love her too:)

Mary Vee Writer said...

I am so proud of you and Sherrinda walking the road of a preacher's wife. It can't be an easy job. So many expectations placed on you, and yet both of you still know how to laugh, and be the best kind of friends.

Mary Vee Writer said...

There is something about the pen and paper that invites heart. We have to slow down our thoughts to match the speed of our hand. Our words are ripened and true.

Not saying this can't be done on a keyboard for some. But my keyboarding speed is too fast which gives plenty of opportunity to skip words.

Thanks for sharing.

Mary Vee Writer said...

So true. God does, know it all. In this case, Sherrinda was not able to be here to respond at this time, giving me the opportunity to dialogue with you.

I feel blessed.

Mary Vee Writer said...

Great idea.
I've heard some writers keep emotional journals, writing in them each time an experience happens. They record their emotions leaving a treasure of fodder for their works.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Beth, that is what I think about YOU. Real..and I like what you said...heart-honest. It's not always easy to be real, because that sometimes makes you vulnerable, but I reckon it's better to be open and honest, than someone who hides from others.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Mary!!! You sweet thing, you! Thank you for helping out with the comments. Work was...well, let's just say it was one major cranky pants day and I couldn't get away from all my work projects.

Thank you, friend. Your words always soothe and comfort. LOVE you!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Oh Pepper! We are two peas in a pod, for sure. You are one of those REAL people...but unlike me, you don't have any cranky pants in your closet. ;)

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Kate, I can soooo relate about a filter being on the keyboard. Like you, I have a prayer journal where I can be brutally honest. There is something so freeing about the pen flowing over paper, wet ink waiting to dry our words written in honesty. Annnnd if you really needed to, you could burn the paper!!!! lol

Thanks for sharing how you write real. I love hearing how other people do it.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Jill, I confess, I have to remind myself all the time that God knows it all. He does know the good and the bad, the pretty and the ugly. He knows ME and loves me still. Such a comfort!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Jeanne, I think that is such a key for writing real. We really have to experience real emotion to portray that in a way that translates to the reader. Being empathetic is so important. :)

Tiffany Jane said...

LOVE this post!!!