Monday Meditations

Write It Down

Lies can swirl inside you. Lies about your writing ability, your value, your future…

Amid intense passion or grief, it’s difficult to measure your words. And I don’t think we should try. There are situations which deserve a release of language equitable to the emotion–be it vulgar, be it shocking.

For example, in a prayer for the punishment of the wicked (Psalm 58) there’s anticipation for the writer to wash his feet in their blood. This isn’t your modern sanitized devo.

You can write the un-sanitized

This is my biggest motivation to encourage private writing and journaling. What a Psychology Today article describes as release: “Step one of catharsis is feeling what you feel. Step two is finding a way to release it, if not give it a voice.”

Perhaps you’ve known people who felt entitled to your secrets. Parents who were concerned about gatekeeping external actions of sin, or roommates seeking to exploit vulnerability rather than know you. Or worse, self-judgement. As though once it’s written, it remains as truth forever and you cannot toss it. This can make writing scary.

Which is a shame, because I’ve found that the best way to see the truth of something ruminating is to bring it out into the light and look at it straight on.

Edit it, burn it or password protect it

When you write it down to share with the Lord, he does not judge you or sever relationship. You do not need to fear his audience. It may not surprise you to hear his voice gently expose what is false. Especially if you are consuming as much truth as other media.

And once you’ve formed the initial thoughts, you edit them. This step of being honest and unguarded will have another benefit: Your fiction writing will be less overtly issue-driven, and you can get to the point of the adventure.

Just don’t use 1234 as the code for your private journaling app.

About this post:

Beliefs represented by individual authors are not necessarily shared by all members of ICW.


  • Hilarey Johnson

    Hilarey Johnson grew up hearing that she would be a good student if she could get her head out of the clouds. Her daydreaming still makes it possible to get lost driving anywhere. She loves characters with a hidden or unknown worth who rise up to claim their identity. She writes redemptive stories from Idaho and travels in the Pacific Northwest with her husband. Someday Hilarey hopes to time travel. She is the author of Breaking Bonds, and Dance of the Crane fiction series. She has written books and articles for Guideposts, Brio Magazine, Christian Living Magazine, local news papers such as the Times-News, North Lake Tahoe Bonanza and others. She blogs weekly about "Intimacy with God for the Over-Churched" at Hilarey Johnson is the current President of ICW.

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