How does my faith affect my writing?
By Dianna T. Benson
I started out in suspense mainstream with my first agent. When my husband was diagnosed with head and neck cancer in 2009, for comfort and support during his surgeries and radiation treatments I read inspirational fiction. Unaware of its existence, I stumbled across the genre of inspirational suspense. I loved reading all the Christian suspense I could find. Then I started writing one myself, realizing something had been missing in my own writing all these years – a faith element in my characters and plotlines.
Before I even started writing inspirational, though, my faith kept, and still keeps, me writing. During those times when the cursor is blinking at me, taunting me to write something but nothing good will come to mind, my faith reminds me to grab a bunch of paper and a pencil (I write my best on paper with a pencil) and allow myself to just write, even if it’s crappy. As I dig in to do just that, I have faith that those handwritten pages will lead to solid writing I can turn into my editor.
My faith reminds me life is individualized and unique for us all and I’m walking the right path for me since God placed me on it; after all, He not only gave me the skills but the passion to write fiction. The word passion seems so overused in today’s world to describe how we want to spend our time on Earth and what we feel God wants us to do with our life. Yet, in the few times it’s in the Bible, all are negative. I found that interesting, so I asked my Pastor, John Ulrich, about my findings. He agreed. When I mentioned the word zeal for a replacement for the word passion, he said: “The Greek word for zeal and jealousy are the same—zealos. Zeal is a good thing when it’s directed at honoring God and glorifying His name. Zeal is jealousy when it’s self-directed, protecting our own name and turf. So zeal for the gifts God has given us is good if we are seeking to glorify Him, but bad if we are only about self-advancement.” All that said, I’ll change the word passion above to zeal…the zeal to write fiction. I believe my zeal to write fiction is my professional purpose. The word purpose in the Old Testament and the New Testament mirrors each other:
Romans 9:17: I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.
Before Jesus came and after He ascended, nothing changed in the way God wants us to live – our purpose is His.
Dianna T. Benson is the award-winning and international bestselling author of The Hidden Son and Final Trimester. Persephone’s Fugitive is her third release. An EMT and a HazMat and FEMA Operative since 2005, Dianna authentically implements her medical and rescue experience and knowledge into all her suspense novels. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and their three children. www.diannatbenson.com