As I look through my own writing I find myself asking this question a lot. What kind of writer am I? Am I a Christian writer whose work is mainly about Christian themes and how they apply to the world around us (my definition), or am I writer who happens to be Christian, in that I write generally, but am a Christian.
Is this important? To me, certainly.
I wouldn’t class myself as a Christian writer. given some of the things I write about, but there are parts of writing that I avoid due to my faith. Sex scenes and swearing are two examples.
Asking myself whether, as a Christian, I should be writing detailed sex scenes, if any at all, is something natural. Sex happens all the time in relationships, while it’s commonly used violently by men who want to control women via rape. Because it happens do I HAVE to write about it?
An answer given to me by another Christian was, ‘if you want to get published, yes.’ Really? As Christians, do we bow before commercial need, or should we set the example, even if it means not getting published?
Swearing is another point. Despite being a Christian I can’t ignore it in my writing as part of writing is about life. If I have a criminal in my book he’s not going to be stomping around killing/robbing people and say ‘get the heck out of my life you tart’. But where’s the line to be drawn? How much swearing should I use before describing what he/she is saying as a foul mouthed tirade.
Both of the above lead me to a question that disturbs me a little. When writing, how much of what I put down is a reflection of the life around me and how much is me taking the easy way out to get my book selling in the genre? It’s not a question that non-Christians, or to be more open, people without a religious faith, will face much of the time.
As a Christian I believe I am meant to stand out and reflect Christ in my life, but am I doing this while filling a book with sex and violence? Or is it the way I show it the important point?
So many questions and no concrete answers.