Repost: Creative Boundaries by Dan Balow

I recently came across this thoughtfully written article about boundaries in our writing by Dan Balow, agent at THE STEVE LAUBE AGENCY.

Click here to read the article.

Everyone has an opinion on the topic. Is this appropriate to write about? Can I or should I write about…? Why shouldn’t I push boundaries? Older generations/more conservative thinkers need open their eyes to the current realities, right? Etc., etc.


I think it’s important to write what is in our hearts, and about the things, ideas and concepts that are meaningful to us. At the same time, we have to keep in mind that we are Christ’s ambassadors in this earth. In other words, we are responsable for the messages we put out there, and I think we need to be mindful about what we write about and how we right about it. 

What do you think? Please leave me a message below.



5 thoughts on “Repost: Creative Boundaries by Dan Balow

  1. I agree, it is easy to slip into politics and turn those people off that have opposing but equally valid views. In my first novel I used the real bomb threats and an actual secret manufacturing plant (renamed) for a missile defense system in my town. Reports came even from the most liberal of sources (oh no! I just outed myself as a possible conservative!) that the manufacturer left town. The fact that the building was purchased out right from a govt sponsored big business by a small town mom and pop outfit, gone international, and has expanded to 20,000 feet (above ground), with limited tours, once a week. and no windows… piqued my interest and plays into my novel. One employee told me hush hush that there was a large vault no one was allowed near. For a mom and pop store, why a large (floor to almost ceiling) vault? These are folks (owners) who travel worldwide and trade worldwide. Fast. How? What they sell — it makes no sense. Makes one think. Drugs. Intel. Weapons. Who knows, and yes, everyone else says, ‘who knows?’ So my novel started small town nothing. Ended up in a surprise.

    And that led also to what my main character was up to. She had no faith in even a light bulb. She also had no memory, it had been beaten out of her. It was a long road for her to faith, and then to the revelation of what she had been tasked to do. Then.. the backsliding. Her life was filled with the PTSD I have seen in women who’d been severely abused, barely remembering their own name. When they move from defeat to victory, it’s a small move that becomes global (the faith in God). Faith moves us from ‘us’ to the world. It’s a novel based on a lot of spiritual issues — without being overtly spiritual, rather a few instances of revelation… and return.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree that it is important that the message we present is Christ-centered, even if we’re seeking a larger audience than just the Christian bookstore crowd. But, I also think we need to give some serious consideration about whether some of the messages we support are really Christ-centered or are they derived from our culture or political views? Sometimes, I think we gloss over the message God wants the world to hear in order to fulfill the expectations of our culture.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Excellent points, Lela. As time goes on and as I get older and wiser, I have come to rethink a lot of things. I grew up in the church and often took what I was taught at face value. I think it’s good to question things and to ask God for His truth. I think balance and using wisdom are important in order to be responsible with the usage of our gifts.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Amen! I love the SLA agency, each agent has such wisdom. I tend toward a wee bit more edgy: snarky main characters who are not yet believers (but may retain that snark even though they are fighting it), characters who fall into trying to gain vengeance–even we as Christians forget at times that vengeance is the Lord’s. A character drinks a glass of alcohol and the loss of inhibition brings the love interest to the rescue. Life is real, harsh, and sometimes (often?) fall into a tunnel of backsliding. Does it resonate with Christians who have been ostracized? Others who have become the judge? And most important, does it speak to a non-believer? Does it give them insight that we are never perfect, we do not become perfect the moment we are justified. Sanctification is hard work, especially when the good/bad decision(s) are no longer the option. I love flawed characters. Finding grace, forgiveness at the foot of the Cross. The standards must be there, but that envelope pushed to prove we are human, to bring us back into fellowship, into a right relationship with God.


    1. “Sanctification is hard work, especially when the good/bad decision(s) are no longer the option.” That is so true. “The standards must be there, but that envelope pushed to prove we are human, to bring us back into fellowship, into a right relationship with God.” You have a great way of putting things. You should write an article for this blog 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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