Captive Audience

Tonight I went to my second Murfreesboro Writers’ Group meeting. The first time I went, I read a song I recently wrote while on a plane ride. It was called “Fragmented Patches.” Maybe I’ll post it later. I don’t know. Do you want to read it?

I joined the writers’ group for a few reasons. I want to meet new people. I work at home so I have a limited workplace sphere of influence. Through this group, I can influence people. I haven’t been writing very much and I wanted motivation to start again. I have nothing else to do on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month. I used to have Life Group that night, but ours now meets on the second and fourth Sundays of the month.

This writers’ group is a HUGE witnessing opportunity. Huge. Huge. As you’re surely aware, writing is a deeply personal activity. Writers write what they feel. And, if they claim to have no feelings, they make up characters who have the feelings the writer is denying.

What you may or may not know about writers is that they generally value each other’s work highly. For example, this particular writers’ group is for constructive criticism only. There is no tearing down of work, thought or concepts. There are many compliments. Several people are impressed by other people. A lot of the attendees in this group are writing novels and short stories. I am mostly focusing on poetry. When I read a poem, some of the writers have no concept of how to construct a poem. They are in awe of the entire poetry genre. To them, it’s a terribly interesting thing that they like but don’t know how to do.

As I was casually seated in my oversized Barnes and Noble chair, I quickly realized how crucial this opportunity is for me. I can write about whatever I want and they have to sit there and listen to me. The same goes for them. I have to sit there and listen to whatever they say too.

I am a Christian. My life is Christ. Naturally, I write about Jesus/God/the Holy Spirit/worship. Some of these folks “aren’t religious.” Those are their words, not mine. But they are intrigued by the things I’ve written and shared. They find what I say interesting and eloquent.

That’s good, because I prayed they would. I asked God to soften their hearts and make them receptive to the Truth that I’ll deliver. I also asked Him to protect me from any harmful subject matter that the other writers detail.

My first week, I read the part of a flirty, vampire girl. That’s so not my life. But this lady was writing a play and she needed people to read the lines. That was the part I was given.

I’ve heard stories of other-worldly mutant dogs; vampires; back-from-the-dead brothers; a pre-meditated, adultery-headed man; sword-chasing, sci-fi fantasy characters and a seriously demented mortician. Oh the imagination writers have!

And to that spattering of ideas and fantasies, it’s my task to bring Jesus.

I must be intentional with the stuff I present. I have a captive audience. Literally. In two ways. One, they are captive and must pay attention to what I say. Two, they are captives, bound in the lies of the enemy. With the truth that I share through my poems/songs/potential novels, I will hope they see freedom. And, in turn, desire to grasp that freedom.

So, if you’re reading this and you believe in Jesus, please pray for me. I have a unique and powerful opportunity. I’m very excited. I like being spurred to write again, too. It’s such a catharsis for me. I get a little giddy thinking about the possibilities of the words that will come out.

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6 thoughts on “Captive Audience”

  1. I want to read your poeeeem…i haven’t read any of your poems in a really long time, and they are good from what i remember. so that’d be way cool if you did share it..do it do it..:D
    And you have my prayers concerning this…it does sound exciting. it’s also neat how your poems will stand out not only cause of the genre but cause of their meaningfulness.. and how much contrast there is considering the other topics.. good deal. đŸ™‚

  2. As a writer I am deeply unsettled by your plans for your “captive” audience who are “forced” to listen to you. Are you also going to attend other meetings open to the community in hopes of getting some free stage time? Religion is deeply personal and not something that can be forced upon a captive audience. An audience, none-the-less, that has gathered to discuss the craft of writing and not for a philosophical conversation. That smacks of brainwashing. God gave us free will, and I would exercise my own by leaving your writers group immediately if you used it for your own personal agenda. It’s one thing to write on religion if that is what inspires you, but to use such a “safe space” as a writers group to, in your words, “testify”? Totally inappropriate.

    1. I am also unsettled and saddened by “captive audience”. I have been writing alone and without any support for over four years, and was interested in meeting people who shared common goals so I looked up Murfreesboro Writers Group and this is what I found. I can’t begin to tell you how the reek of superiority is still lingering in my throat, how dare you use a creative group to establish yourself as a human being with value, if you are suffering from delusions please do not use others to validate your existence.
      I respect all people, including myself, and their right to believe whatever they wish to believe but you have no right to diminish your fellow man because they do not conform to your narrow world view.
      When you write, unless you are Ayn Rand or Orwell you should not be thinking “What can I teach them” you should be thinking “what can I learn.”
      On that note, “What would Jesus Do?”

  3. In response to the final two comments:

    Every person testifies to the truth in their life. They just may not realize it. If you think the president’s awesome and you say so, then that’s you testifying to your truth. If you have an opinion on something and you share it, then that’s you testifying to the truth.

    So when I honestly share what God has done in my life, then that is me, testifying to the truth. I do that with everyone, not just with the writers’ group.

    I do not force what I believe upon anyone. I just share stories/poems/moments from my life with those around me.

    It really isn’t as terrible and confining as what it has been assumed to be.

    I look forward to meeting you, Kathy. I hope you’ll find that I’m not a prudish religious zealot. I am, however, someone who openly professes a relationship with Jesus.

  4. I am thrilled (and excited for you!) that God gave you this opportunity to share the Love of God, and His personal involvment in your life, with your writing group. I will be praying for you.

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