A Tightrope

Writing is a tightrope because on the one hand we are told as Christians not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought, and on the other we are told that as writers we should talk about ourselves so audiences can identify with us. By being vulnerable we can draw readers in and so help them benefit from our life and work.


John Stott, the well-known London pastor, writer, and speaker who died in 2011, was famously reluctant to say anything about himself. Though his books sold millions and he spoke to thousands all over the world, he almost never said anything about his own life. Stott navigated the tightrope by simply getting off it. He remained staunchly Bible focused. That is clearly one valid way to resolve the issue. As noted earlier, however, we can benefit greatly from writing directly about ourselves, telling stories about ourselves, writing in first-person singular. Doing so can be an exercise in remembering. And when we remember, we have an opportunity for confession and for thanksgiving to God.


from “Write Better: A Lifelong Editor on Craft, Art, and Spirituality” by Andrew T. Le Peau, Intervarsity Press