Writing Hurts



Writing what an author knows isn’t simple. Writing hurts. (Tweet That!)

Has anyone out there experienced a broken heart? Rejection? Betrayal? Desertion? 


How about the death of one so dear you can’t imagine living another day yourself? 

Or the burial of all your dreams and plans alongside your child? 

Smith_Wilson-Lee_gravestone_79bd5963-8773-4a3b-9d4b-b9aaba3d09e6Don’t we long to move from the shock and denial of grief to the ultimate stage of acceptance? Who wants to go back?

How does revisiting pain sit with you as either a writer or a reader? Can you watch such memories morph from black and white to Technicolor without flipping off the switch? How does any author set it out there in all its bitterness and leave it for the world to worried-girl-413690_960_720view?

Writers have a choice when writing. They can revisit innocence, fulfillment, success, love, laughter alone … all the aspects of life that bring us joy and peace … and experience delight again and again and again. 

grief-1022032_960_720Or they can tackle hard places. For words to touch the depths of readers’ hearts, authors must revisit guilt, shame, misery, dissatisfaction, failure, loss, lovelessness, loneliness, depression, grief, and tears. 

Laura Ingalls Wilder *[Public Domain]

As a writer of historical fiction, I appreciate authors like Laura Ingalls Wilder, who wrote Little House in the Big Woods and the stories that followed, and Catherine Marshall, who penned Christy

Would the “Little House” stories be remembered today without the struggles involved in homesteading on the prairie? Danger from Indians, illness, death, drought, crop destruction, and the foibles of characters like Nellie Oleson?

What effect would Christy have on readers if Catherine Marshall hadn’t exposed Appalachian poverty, illiteracy, 

Ona's husband George Brooks never advanced far beyond dirt poor.

lack of proper hygiene and medical care, challenges to faith, and the destructive nature of family feuds and revenge?

Such hard realities aren’t easy to consider, dwell on, and communicate. Harder still, the “heart” issues that result: rejection, unworthiness, estrangement, hatred, and grief.

But wrestling in hard places produces richer fare. It shows the depth of light-pathway_1345753_960_720darkness and the desperate need for light. (Tweet That!) It reveals pathways the darkness hid. It brings into focus human frailties and our need for power outside ourselves. 

As an author it isn’t easy to write what I know. It hurts. But it’s rewarding. Because it grows me. It forces me to plug into the only Source of Power outside myself, the Light Himself.

darkness_eye-1359234_960_720So, writers, we must take heart. It’s worth it. And, readers, thank authors who take you to hard and dark places and then scatter the darkness with the Light, who is Jesus. It isn’t easy. It hurts.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.

John 8:12 NIV


*[Public Domain] Laura Ingalls Wilder, circa 1885
Unknown photographer – Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2511787
File:Laura Ingalls Wilder cropped sepia2.jpg
Created: circa 1885

2 thoughts on “Writing Hurts

  1. You are so right, Linda! The first book I wrote [Party of One — yet unpublished] was a fictionalization of my life as a widow. Good times made for good stories, but tough times makes them richer.

    1. Because of the dark valley you walked, Clarice, you can write reality into a story and make it richer. Thank you for sharing that with us. I hope you’ll publish it.


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Nameless Is Its Name

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth …
Philippians 2:9-10

Nameless School

Ever feel invisible? Pointless? Nameless?

How Nameless was named

I have. So has a certain once-upon-a-time Texas community and school.

Friends of Nameless School – What gracious hostesses

A few days ago I was privileged to attend the Open House of Nameless School, the original school house in the once-upon-a-time community of Nameless, on Nameless Road in NW Travis County, Texas.

A group of gracious ladies, Friends of Nameless School, who adopted the 1909 one-room school house, hosted an open house to introduce the public to the historical site. The most unusual label has, as you might imagine, a colorful story. The Texas historical marker above explains. 

The school was in operation from 1909-1945.

When my husband I traveled to the site, we were relieved when we found the sign labeled Nameless Road  and then the school: Nameless.

Old fashioned persuasion

The Friends of Nameless School wore names badges.  I scribbled my signature inside the book cover. The guests introduced themselves, and so did I–by using our names.  And folks all over the place called one another by name

Matter of fact, I chose Ella Jane for the heroine of The Calling of Ella McFarland to honor my maternal grandmother, Ella Jane. Because she left a name worthy of a great-great-granddaughter–my granddaughter, Ella Jane. 

The original Ella Jane and one of her namesakes, Ella Jane McFarland. (The other namesake is my granddaughter.) 

Which reminds me that God doesn’t leave His children nameless. In fact, He values names. Adam and Eve and all their descendants have worn names, some chosen by God, others for the meaning behind them. God ordained a long list of names for Jesus, each of them chosen to convey his role and place in believers’ hearts. 

Thankfully, no one who has chosen kinship with the Lord Jesus Christ has to worry about namelessness. On the final day, we won’t be called Nameless; God’s name will be written across our foreheads. (Revelation 22:4). And the names of the saved will be written in the Book of Life. (Revelation 21:27)

Without Jesus I would be nameless. (Tweet That!) With Him I will have the Name Above All Names written on my forehead. And my name will be written in the Book of Life. 

Thank God!

When we feel overlooked or nameless, remind us of these truths, Lord. May anyone who has not yet named Your Name do so today. For Jesus’ sake

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