Thursday, October 9, 2014

Why I Stopped Writing Fiction (31 Days of Healing in Him)

I am not an author. I don't have a bookshelf full of novels or a bestseller label preceding my name. But I do write a lot of fiction.

One warm summer day I slouched down on my kaki-colored couch and started concocting a riveting story about how my friends had decided they didn't want my friendship anymore. I wrote compelling dialogue — conversations they must have been having with each other about me. And how I had been replaced, irrelevant, and overlooked.

My spiral downward took only a matter of minutes and it left me a weeping mess and completely out of sorts. I was convinced they were conspiring against me and I had proof.

Only problem was, none of it was true. Not one word of it actually happened.

In essence, it was all fiction.

This would have been a fine thing had I been aspiring to write my first novel, but in life, the kind of fiction I was writing stunk.

It took me several long, emotional days to realize what I was doing.

As I struggle inwardly with accepting my worth, the lies, if I'm not careful, will continue to give voice to my deepest fears and insecurities.

With help, I am learning how to stop writing fiction. I can do this through awareness — knowing when I'm reacting to fact or whether I'm just making stuff up — and by understanding my tendency to allow my emotions to run wild with my imagination, so I can stop the lies before they send me reeling.

It's hard to recognize something that has become a pattern of thinking. Harder still to stop it. But it has honestly been one of the most positive, peace-filled choices I have made.

Instead of filling in the gaps with my own, uncomplimentary tales I am learning to rest in Him and the truth that I do know.

When we stop writing fiction we stop assumptions, uncertainty, and worry from taking control and we learn to live in and be okay with the mystery.

Are you a fiction writer? Do you ever catch yourself being angry, sad, or frustrated about something you made up? (It sounds strange, but I've done it.)

**I decided to re-post this from the archives. I wrote this last year, but the truth of it stays with me today. It was an important step in my healing process to stop "writing fiction" about myself, about my relationships, even about God. And I hope it will encourage and challenge you, as well.

This is a post from my 31 days of Healing in Him series. You can find all the posts in this series here, updated each day in October. Category: Inspirational & Faith #write31Days


Unknown said...

As an introvert, I sometimes "rehearse" possible scenarios of conversation, especially when it involves people I fear I need self-protection against or a confrontational matter. What I have found, though, that this "fiction" is so detrimental to the relationship. I think this post is so helpful in bringing awareness to how we self-protect.

Courtney said...

I once heard someone say that when we write this fiction in our minds - the imaginary conversations and scenarios, we are really playing God, in a puppeteer sort of way. It's about our need to control, and a lack of trust in the One who actually knows what everyone is thinking and what they will say. Thinking of it that way has really helped me.

Jody Lee Collins said...

We are 'neighbors' this week at Soli Deo Gloria. I like the way you put this--the 'fiction writing' we do is all in our heads--Scripture calls it 'high imaginations.' That is so true.
I liked this line very much,
"When we stop writing fiction we stop assumptions, uncertainty, and worry from taking control and we learn to live in and be okay with the mystery."
the idea of learning to live in and be okay with the mystery...of trusting God is a wonderful thought.

Pamela said...

Guilty...flat out guilty! In my career I write non-fiction but in my head--oh the fiction that goes on. You've written quite a challenge and one I will work on.

dayebydaye said...

Oh, we can get so creative with our make believe worlds, can't we? So thankful you have made the decision to stop yourself. I love the verse about taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ. When I find myself "writing fiction" I am reminded of that verse!

Trudy said...

So true. I am so guilty of this. "When we stop writing fiction we stop assumptions, uncertainty, and worry from taking control and we learn to live in and be okay with the mystery." I love this! Just giving it over to God and being ok with the mystery of what others are really saying or thinking. Thank you, Christy!

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