Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Guarding the Integrity of the Writer

by Cindy Sproles @CindyDevoted

We live in a judgmental world. These days, integrity is, well. . . defining.

When my boys were in high school it was fun to watch the expression on their faces when I knew what went on at school before they got home. The truth is, people do not live to share the joys of your children, rather they rush to tell you all the unpleasant things. Sad as it is, the news is always hidden under a ruse like, “So and so was caught doing this at school. Don’t your boys hang out with him because today…”
Today’s world pushes us under the microscope and if our actions do not reflect our words, then our integrity comes under fire. I’d like to say this only applies to your children but it doesn’t. Integrity applies to us all, not only as individuals, parents, or as writers. When we begin this writing career, the time will come when we must choose how to define ourselves. Those definitions set the pace for the integrity level that follows.

Whether you choose to write in the general market or the Christian market, the level of integrity you set for yourself is vital. It’s equally important you don’t walk blindly into any industry assuming you can speak one thing and do another. Your hand will be called and when it is, it’s ugly.

The words you place on the page will, and do, affect others. There are times they may place you on a pedestal, even times they will call you out. Either way, we cannot change the fact that when writers pen words, others will take them to heart, so if a reader sees your physical actions opposite of your written actions and beliefs, there can be major repercussion.

I am not here to set your personal standards for you but I am here to guide you in the integrity of your writing career. With one slip, you can quickly lose the respect of your readers because, again, people never seek out the good in us – they seek out what can tear us down.

There are things that will help you maintain your integrity in the writing world.

Guard Your Integrity
  • Verify your information: Always verify the information you write. Practice the 3 count rule. Seek out three reputable sources and then sprinkle that with even more. You can never be too careful when it comes to writing accurately. 
  • Be fair: When you write always be fair, even if it is something you highly oppose. Remember your fairness, even in controversy, speaks volumes.
  • Check the rules: Always, ALWAYS, check the rules of the conferences and venues you attend. Many Christian conferences and venues are 100% non-smoking and alcohol free. Do yourself a favor and check those rules before you attend and do not endanger the conference or those leading it by bringing alcoholic beverages, drugs, or smoking into the venue or conference that may state otherwise..
  • Always tell the truth: Be truthful even when it’s the unpopular thing. It may be hard at the time but you will never regret that decision.
  • Do what you say: If you tell someone you will do something—then do it. It’s easy to forget, especially at a conference, and if you are afraid you will forget, have the conferee email you after the conference. Especially for faculty, when conferees are tossing questions and asking for your time and information, it is very easy to misplace something or forget. Simply give your business card and ask them to email you after the conference, then follow through.
  • Police what you say: It’s easy to grow frustrated in your writing or at a conference. Police your words by quieting the desire to complain or share rumors. If there is an issue, quietly talk to the conference director, but don’t make issues a “big deal” to your writing peers. Direct comments to the appropriate people in charge and don’t stir up chaos.
  • Do not put yourself in any compromising situation: With the world focused on the “Me Too” movement take precautions to never place yourself in a situation that could turn south. I’d like to say that the Christian world is not affected by this issue but it is. It’s important to remember, Christians fall to temptation and sin too. Don’t raise others to a higher pedestal than the One who created us. Use common sense and don’t let your desire for success rest on a threat. If you are being pressed to be or do something immoral, then RUN. It’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Don’t place yourself in a compromising situation with anyone. If you must meet with someone of the opposite sex, be sure you are in public places and not alone. Integrity flows both directions—you should not be asked to put yourself in a situation that is potentially unsafe and you should not accept.
  • Do your homework: When you are ready to promote your work to readers, use caution with whomever may offer their services. Do your homework. Check the readership or views of those claiming to have huge platforms. It would be nice to say you can take someone at their word, but these days, there are many who take advantage of writers. Do your homework. Ask for references, Google reviews. This is good stewardship and wise. From editors, publishers, and promoters – be vigilant to verify information.

Setting the pace for your integrity is never a mistake, rather it will provide a beacon in the darkness. When that still small voice speaks to you, listen. Always be a writer of integrity. 


Cindy K. Sproles is an author, speaker, and conference teacher. She is the cofounder of ChristianDevotions.us and the executive editor of ChristianDevotions.us and InspireaFire.com. Cindy is the managing editor for Straight Street Books and SonRise Devotionals, both imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She is an award-winning and best-selling author and the director of the Asheville Christian Writers Conference. Visit Cindy at www.cindysproles.com. @cindydevoted


  1. Well received. Thank you Ms. cindy. #PrayingWithFire

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks. There are times we are tested in the world. It's good to remember.

  3. Excellent reminders. We are children of God and we should always be ready to show His love in all our words and actions.