Fiction—the Creative Sacred Place

ACFW Advice, Authors and writing, Encouragement, Friends of ACFW, writing 24 Comments

by Terri Gillespie

Fiction matters. Just as Jesus used parables to convey or hide a message for His chosen to discover, Christian fiction compels us to think and connect with our Creator. We develop stories that reveal who we are, the state of humanity, and the greatest theme of all, God’s love.

As Christian writers, we pull from a sacred place of creativity. We hear voices. We see mountains and streets and dragons and beauty parlors. We see the frailty of an antagonist and the flaws of the protagonist. We understand that conflict builds character and drives a story forward.

We are the authors in this world. Which means we understand in a way, a relevant part of our Heavenly Father—the Creator of the Universe. And His Son, Jesus, the Author.

Hebrews 12:2 says: “Let us look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

We have been given insight into a secret realm of cause and effect where conflict creates character and God’s Hand is always present in the story. Our stories can show a hurting world that even when things look desperate and hopeless, there is an Author who knows the ending to the story—and it is good.

This is a profound mystery that we understand because it is part of the authenticity of a story. What an honor that is!

Whether we’re a seat-of-the-pants writer or a meticulous plotter or somewhere in between, we know that our story needs to have a satisfying ending. No matter the highs and lows of our characters’ journeys, as inspirational authors our readers expect us to give them hope. What a privilege!

Then there is the business part of writing. It’s an essential part of getting our stories out to as many readers as possible. Finding agents. Writing stories that will reach the widest audience. Editing. Marketing. Sometimes in the flurry of business, we can lose the wonder and awe of sharing creativity with the Creator.

This is why it’s so important to go to that Creative Sacred Place regularly to reconnect with our Abba and the reason why we do what we do.

Here are 3 ways to get there:

  1. Read a chapter of Proverbs and Psalms
  2. Journal
  3. Creative writing exercises

Reading a chapter of Proverbs and Psalms each day is a powerful tool in our faith journey, but it’s also a powerful tool in our creative journey. Proverbs not only teaches us how to be wise, but it gives us incredible insights into humanity—our frailties, our abilities to do great good or harm.

Reading Psalms takes us into the world of lyrical emotion, poetry, wisdom, and worship. It’s also a direct channel into the Sacred Place.

Journaling. As writers, we exercise our gift by writing our books and blogs. But, when we journal our thoughts—how disappointed we were, how grateful we are, how beautiful the first tulip that flowered in our garden is—we stay real. Journaling keeps our motives for writing pure. We keep ourselves centered in who we are as created beings made in the image of God.

Even if it’s just a few lines each day, try to journal.

Creative Writing Exercises. My favorite creative writing workbook is The Playful Way to Serious Writing by Roberta Allen. But, there are many out there. Writing exercises are great tools to usher us into that Creative Sacred Space—even if for only ten minutes. It’s story for story sake. It can also help with that infernal writer’s block.

As we continue to journey the story road, may we remember to spend time with our Creative Creator in the Sacred Place.

Have you visited your Creative Sacred Place? @TerriGMavens #ACFWBlogs #writing #encouragement #amwriting Click To Tweet

Terri Gillespie: author of Making Eye Contact with God—A Women’s Devotional, She Does Good Hair (2013 LYRA Best Women’s Fiction) and CUT IT OUT! (2014). She was a managing editor of the Tree of Life Version of the Holy Scriptures (Baker Publishing). Member of ACFW and AWSA.



Comments 24

  1. Thanks Terri! I love this part:
    “We have been given insight into a secret realm of cause and effect where conflict creates character and God’s Hand is always present in the story. Our stories can show a hurting world that even when things look desperate and hopeless, there is an Author who knows the ending to the story—and it is good.”

  2. Terri,

    Thanks for this wonderful message.

    As Christian writers, we have the privilege of partnering with God as we create. It’s important to know how to nurture our own relationship with our Creator so that we can encourage others. Reading scripture, journaling, and doing writing exercises are great tools to prepare us.

    Your reminder to spend time in our individual sacred place of creativity is so important!

  3. I love your very first words; “Fiction matters”.
    I’ve always been drawn to nonfiction books but I’ve discovered there’s usually a little bit of truth in fiction. I also love the parables of Jesus but wondered why he chose that way to teach. I never thought of it as a way for His chosen to discover His message. What a blessing! Thank you!

  4. What a thrill to read your first post on this blog. I love the elegant simplicity of how you write … looking forward to many more offerings.

  5. The sacred space of fiction
    fills my heart with awe
    because – no contradiction,
    it was what Apostles saw.
    The Author of all that I am
    taught in gracious stories
    that cut to bone, no flim-flam
    that shaded out the glories.
    Now He’s passed the torch to me,
    and my hands they are a-shakin’.
    Will He give me eyes to see?
    Can I bring home the bacon?
    He spurs me onward in the night
    to bring the morning sun, His Light.

  6. Terri, as usual, your writing is so insightful. I think this gives the authors who write fiction the validation that their work can have an impression on others.
    Thank you for sharing!

  7. Thank you, dear Terri! Your wonderful, inspiring post reminded me of Psalm 91:1: “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High God shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”

    As we take shelter under God’s loving care through our obedience to His Word, He watches over us as we write the stories of His heart.

    You are so right! We are honored and privileged to be given the joy and the responsibility of co-creating with our Creator! Amazing!

    BTW, it’s great to “see” you again, dear sister in Christ! Shalom to you! 🙂

  8. I love your three steps toward creative writing: Reading a Psalm or Proverb daily, journaling and using creative writing exercises. Very insightful & inspiring advise.

  9. Well stated Terri. I’ve often found inspiration to live for the Lord in the fictional writings of Stephen Lawhead, C.S. Lewis, and now in your books. Fictional characters can not only encounter deep struggles, we have the privilege of “hearing” their thoughts as they work through those struggles and that often helps me examine how I think as I am going through similar difficulties in my life. Please keep those wonderful books coming our way Terri. 🙂

  10. Thank you Terri for the privilege of reading your insights. Sometimes we need little inspirations to put us back on track!

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