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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

BEHIND THE BOOK with Sherri Johnson

Meet Sherri Johnson:  
Sherri Wilson Johnson lives in Georgia with her husband and two children. She is represented by Les Stobbe, is a member of the ACFW, a graduate of the Christian Writers Guild writing course, an active blogger, and a former homeschooling mom. She loves to dream of romantic places and romance in general–good, clean romance. She is a bird-watcher, loves the ocean, roller coasters, ice cream, her family and her Chihuahua, who faithfully sits by her side every day when she writes. Sherri is the author of To Dance Once More (OakTara) and Song of the Meadowlark (OakTara).

And now . . . Behind the Book:

How Writing Has Changed Me
There have been times (too many to count) that I’ve blurted out whatever was on my mind and I didn’t really care about who might be affected by my words. Since becoming a published author, I’ve realized that all things rolling around in my head don’t necessarily need to be spoken—especially not before sifting them through my filter. Some things are best left unsaid or maybe best if they are fictionalized.
Writing, to me, is a way to say things that often have to go unspoken in real life, things that might hurt someone if they’re said. It gives me the opportunity to say whatever it is I’m thinking without actually saying it, to examine my thoughts and my heart before I put it out there for others to read. Writing is a beautiful form of expression when it’s tempered with discernment.

Being a writer has given me a way to share my faith with others when I might otherwise be a bit shy about doing it. It allows someone into my heart and mind. Some writers write simply to entertain and not to offer encouragement, instruction, or any type of guidance to readers. After all, readers want to escape the realities of this world. They want to believe that good conquers evil. That’s where the beauty of fiction comes in. It can be an escape. It can be fun. It can take the imagination to unimaginable places. It can also be a writer’s limitless opportunity to bring joy into someone else’s life, if only for a moment, and to offer hope. Fiction allows me to create a messy scenario and then fix it, which is something I can’t often do in real life (especially if it’s a real-life person that I want to fix).

As a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, I gladly take on the responsibility to make sure that my readers walk away from reading my books or my blog posts feeling encouraged, entertained, challenged—but never led astray. I want readers to be able to recommend my books with confidence. I want readers to come back for more. The way I do this is to take on the responsibility of writing with a moral and spiritual compass, knowing that my readers will hold me accountable.

In short, being a published author has changed me because I am more aware now than ever before of the effect my words have on people. I certainly haven’t mastered the art of holding my tongue or of making sure that harsh words never come out of my mouth, but I do try to stay on the right path. Being a writer gives me that chance to filter out the things that don’t need to be heard. No matter what topic I’m writing about, I want to let God's light shine through me, like it says in Philippians 2:15 (Shine like stars in a crooked and depraved generation).

1 comment:

Sherri Wilson Johnson said...

Thanks so much for hosting me today!