Writing Christian fiction is an intensely fierce calling, but so many readers never see the fight that goes into their favorite books. Many people think of writing as a very relaxing sort of job. Long, quiet hours to yourself. Getting paid to daydream. Communing with your favorite characters all day long.
Even if novel writing was 0.000002% as peaceful as that sounds, it's even less for the Christian author.
The battle can come in all shapes and sizes. There's the mental struggle, the very typical I'm not good enough to be a writer insecurities that can be crippling. There's the constant I need to check my book sales and if I don't get a new review today I'm going to throw in the towel mentality that can keep us glued to our sales page when we should be writing.
But there's also the deeper issues.
When I drafted The Beloved Daughter, the spiritual battle while I wrote about Christians in North Korean prison camps was so intense the only time I felt truly free was when I was singing hymns to God. The rest of that six-week stint was one constant fighting match.
In other cases, my family has come under attack. Paralyzed, book 2 in my Christian suspense series, talks a lot about PTSD and the way the church does (or doesn't) handle mental health issues.
A month and a half after Paralyzed was published, I was on a medevac plane with my son who was having such severe panic attacks he stopped breathing altogether. And somewhere in the back of my head I wondered (and still wonder) if this was all some strange coincidence or if there was more to it than that.
On the one hand, you could say that maybe my maternal instincts were picking up on subconscious cues that my son was struggling with anxiety. And maybe that worked its way into my Kennedy books.
But there's another way to look at it too. If writing Christian fiction is a spiritual battle (which it is), could I potentially invite certain kinds of influences into my life by the sorts of things I write? Did I jinx my son by writing about a character who struggled so much with anxiety?
There's one more explanation worth considering. Maybe God uses my books to prepare me for what's to come. Instead of somehow "creating" an atmosphere of anxiety that resulted in my son's panic, maybe God knew my son would struggle with this issue regardless of what I wrote and was preparing me for it through my story line.
In truth, I have no idea which of these options is the most accurate, and I don't think they're necessarily all-exclusive, either. But the next time you pick up a piece of Christian fiction, remember to say a prayer for the author since you have no idea what he or she went through in the spiritual realm to get that novel in your hands.
Categories: Behind the Scenes