why I am not a Christian writer

But #2 is a bugger. And apparently I'm not alone or clueless in having this fear.

Earlier this year I had a conversation with a friend who is a priest. He is very supportive, commenting on my Facebook page and liking my writing, even the posts about boobs and girly stuff. We're both a little eccentric and there are things we don't see eye-to-eye on, but we have mutual respect and that's a good thing.

During our conversation, he congratulated me on going public and getting my writing out there on my blog. I confessed that one of the biggest hold-backs for me was the fear of what church people would think of what I wrote.

What if they thought it wasn't "Christian enough"? What if, based on my writing or my thoughts, they became convinced I wasn't even a Christian, aka "No one who is a real Christian would think/say/believe/promote that."

(For example, I almost didn't use the word "lucky" in the first sentence because in my head I heard Sister Christian chant, "Cindi, there is no such thing as lucky. You are blessed!" )

He nodded. "We Christians are a tough audience, quick to crucify our own. I don't blame you for being skittish, but try not to think about it too much."

Basically, he said, do what you do and leave the rest to God.

Which brings me to my second reason - Audience.

There are a ton of Christian authors. They write what they feel called to write. Or what makes them money. Western Christians have deep pockets, and they love to spend their money on Christian stuff. So if you are a Christian author who has a way with words and a great marketing strategy, you can make a killing.

That's not my gig.

I'm not very good at writing to a template or writing to please or writing to comply with someone else's set of beliefs. I don't enjoy being safe or predictable or pat. And I don't enjoy preaching to the choir.

I want to reach a broader audience. I don't want to lose a reader who might not normally read a "Christian" writer. I might have something to say that speaks to them
where they are.

I want my fellow believers to read me too, but I don't want my first thought to be "does this sound Christian enough"?

I don't want to censor myself in the fear that someone else might read it and based on their particular flavor of Christianity deem me apostate or heretical or any of those other religiously-excluding words.

I enjoy sharing all the quirky thoughts and feelings and experiences I have without hesitation. When I write, I always want my thoughts to be:

Is this well written?

Is this honest? Is this helpful?

Is this meaningful?

Is this challenging and compelling and entertaining at the same time?

Is this something that another human being - regardless of belief or creed or culture - can read, enjoy, learn from?

And, most of all, am I being authentic to who I am, to who I feel called to be, without fear of reprisal?

If I can honestly answer all of the questions Yes, then I am satisfied that it is ready for public consumption. At that point, because of my faith, I do exactly what my friend the Padre advised me to do at that point.

Don't think about it too much, and leave it to God.

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