The Writer Caught in the Act of Cliche: A Parable

At dawn, Jesus appeared at the writing conference, and He sat down at the table at the front of the room and began to give a workshop on writing good Catholic fiction.  Some other conference presenters–published ones–brought in a woman caught in the act of writing cliches and said to Him, “Teacher, this writer has been caught in the very act of writing preachy prose, poorly motivated Mary Sues, and stories burdened with coincidence.  The publishing industry commands us to mock such writing mercilessly, in order to preserve us Good Catholic Writers from the taint association with bad fiction.  Now what do you say?”

Jesus pulled up the laptop that was connected to the conference room’s projector.  He then brought forth His blogging account and opened up a new post.  In it, he began to type:

Wordy sentences

Writing for a laugh, not for story

Obscure references to serve the writer’s ego

Spending more time on marketing than with the family

Bloated diction

Ridiculous overuse of subjunctive verbs

And so on.  When the other presenters continued questioning Him, He said, “Let any one of you who is without writing sin be the first to mock her in your blog.”

He then began linking each writing sin on His list… to each of the presenters’ blogs.

At this, the accusers went away one by one, beginning with those who had been published for the longest, until the conference room was empty except for Jesus and the sinful writer.

Jesus turned to her and asked, “Writer, where are they?  Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared.  “Go now, and continue to improve your writing.”


“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and everyone who humbles himself will be exalted.”


    1. CWG is a community of flawed humans, so we all have and will encounter occasions of imperfection. Thankfully, imperfect as we may be, we are at least pointing towards the same Jesus, so there is much more grace to be found, and that’s a good thing.

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