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Should You Write About the Devil?

  • November 21, 2016
  • Blog
  • 6 Comments

I love Lucifer.

The TV show, that is. But I have friends who refuse to watch because they don’t want to attract the real deal to them. They believe in the Devil.

Another writer I know writes horror. Recently, she came across someone who told her not to get involved in things like that. That it could be dangerous.

What to do, what to do.

First off, I’m not going to stop writing something because it might make someone else uncomfortable. And if they really believe that people can draw evil, or the devil, or some other malevolent entity toward them by saying their name (shades of Voldemort!), well, that’s their deal.

Not mine.

Do people believe that mystery writers draw murderers to them? And if I suddenly write about unicorns, will one turn up in my backyard? I admit that would be cool, but if the virginity thing is a problem it wouldn’t stay near me. Pity.

What do we do about well-meaning people who tell us to stop writing for reasons that strike us as ridiculous?

It could mean they’re sincerely worried. I’ll listen politely, although it won’t change my mind. But it could also be a bit of ego (“I know better than you, dear”) with control issues.

So here are my rules.

  1. We thank those people for their concern.
  2. We write whatever the hell we want.

Writing comes from our soul. Even the dark and twisty stuff are our toys to play with on paper or computer screen (and maybe, if we’re lucky, on the TV or movie screen later), but it’s our stuff. It’s fun, it’s serious, it’s cathartic, it’s whatever we want it to be. Writing about demons who are serial killers doesn’t mean I have one in my closet. My cat likes to snooze in there and he has no intentions of sharing.

Write.

6 Comments
  • Anne Wagenbrenner • November 21, 2016 at 11:16 am

    I love your advice on dealing with what others have to say! And how we need to be true to ourselves. Very useful, and encouraging.

    • J. M. Levinton • November 21, 2016 at 9:17 pm

      Thank you! It’s bad enough just working to get our stuff published but to stop before we even get out of the gate? No. Just no.

  • R.G. Emanuelle • November 21, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    I agree with Anne. That’s a good way to handle it. Just say thanks, and keep on going. The whole idea is utterly ridiculous. If we “called” everything we wrote about, a lot of us would be in big, big trouble. I write about vampires–I’ve yet had anyone try to bite my neck.

    Hmmm…

    Well, anyway, I don’t fear it and neither should other writers. And if that unicorn trots up to your front door, let me know. I want to take a ride.

    • J. M. Levinton • November 21, 2016 at 9:21 pm

      LOL Thanks! And I promise, if a unicorn shows up, I’ll let you know.

  • E J Frost • November 21, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    Brilliant! I love rule No. 2. Absolutely we write whatever the hell we want to. I remember a high school teacher (who should have known better) saying to me when I submitted a science-fiction piece to the school magazine, “why would you want to write science fiction? It’s not real literature.” I’ve been happily writing “not-real” literature ever since. Follow your joy and ignore the well-meaning but utterly misguided. 😉

    • J. M. Levinton • November 21, 2016 at 9:24 pm

      Thank you! Yes, isn’t it terrible that there are people out there who think it’s a good thing to crush dreams? Fortunately, we writers have fellow writers to stand with us and keep us strong. And kick butt.

      😀

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