A friend and I are having an email discussion about Myers-Briggs and how some of us are wired or bent to feel more comfortable writing in certain genres and touching certain topics . . . And I read an article about Brett Lott, and I finished his book that’s a retelling of Ruth/Naomi last month – (it was lovely). I’ve also been thinking a lot about this insistent trend to tell stories that simply have a Christian worldview . . .
And it reminds me of a story I once heard Karen Kingsbury tell about her children. Seems Kelsey and Tyler were in the car as the family was coming home from church after just hearing a rip-snorting fire and brimstone sermon. Kelsey was giving it to young Tyler in the back seat. “Where do you want to do?” she asked him. “Heaven or hell, Tyler, where do you want to go?” At which point Tyler pulled out his pacifier and said, “Disneyland.”
I can’t dispute that we are all wired differently . . . and I’m grateful for those differences. But rather than wed ourselves to a genre or to a certain kind of book, I think the story dictates whether we take the reader to heaven, hell, or Disneyland.
I’ve just handed in a story that’s as hellfire-and-brimstone as anything I’ve ever written. I have a proposal out that definitely focuses on heaven. And who knows but that I’ll want to write a Disneyland book in the coming year.
But earthly time is too short to squander on stories that do not illuminate or edify or instruct in some way. I know that the Spirit of God can use anything, but I also know that he chooses to use us and we are responsible to be witnesses to the truth.
How should I interpret that responsibility? If I knew I could only write ONE more book, what would I like it to say?