Save Your Soul: Stop Writing
In the age of push-button publishing, self-disclosure isn’t always God’s best.
A few weeks ago, the writer Glennon Doyle Melton announced on her blog that she’s getting divorced while in the same breath saying that Love Warrior, a book on life and marriage, is still forthcoming. It was a post not unlike most of Melton’s writing: raw, emotive, quaking with transparency and defensiveness at the same time. While she has a questionable view of orthodox Christianity, her words seem to be carried like torches along the hallways and byways of the “wounded warriors” who read her.
I have never been a particular fan of Melton’s writing, but I bear no ill will toward her. Marriage is hard, and I am married to a man who walked through the pain of a spouse’s infidelity and the crucible of divorce. That someone can write a book on marriage in the same year they announce their divorce is not a sin as much as it is a reflection of poor discernment. Although Love Warrior may have beautiful words and compelling stories that minister to many readers, Melton is an example of a writer who has succumbed to the pressure to prematurely make public what perhaps ought to be kept private. Elizabeth Gilbert is another example. Last summer, Gilbert announced her divorce from her husband and then recently revealed yet another self-discovery story—that she’s in love with a woman (the real reason for the divorce).
However, I’m less interested in the personal dramas of Gilbert or Melton and more concerned with what they represent: the altar of personal narrative that readers, writers, and publishers worship at. So many of us give in to the pressure to make public what God is still doing in private. We’ve been consumed by the instant gratification of push-button publishing and …