I’ve been approached by a features writer for some UK women’s magazines. (Works like this: you know those ‘true life stories’ you read in magazines in the doctor’s waiting room? – well, often someone from an external news agency sources and writes them, and then they take part of the fee and part of it goes to the person whose story it is). Anyway, they’re interested in covering my eating disorder/recovery stuff and then I guess, pitching it out.
My gut instinct is ‘no’ – but I might be wrong – so I thought I’d get your wisdom.
As I see it, here’s the arguments for:
1. (possible) opportunity to share gospel with lots of non-Christians
2. national media (publicity for book, blog etc). It’s difficult to break into secular market when you’re writing from an explicitly Christian perspective, (I’ve tried and it hasn’t worked).
3. fee would be nice (tho I don’t think it’s very much!)
And here’s my concerns:
1. I could be wrong (and no reflection on writer) but I’ve rarely seen this sort of thing handled sensitively in ‘real-life story’ magazines. In fact, though they draw attention to the issues (and places that help), they can be triggering and unhelpful too (dwelling on how the person lost weight/how thin they were/accompanied by unhelpful photos). After all, they’re trying to sell a story and want to grab the reader’s attention.
2. fair enough to tell my story but not when other people (friends and family) get drawn in and not when it’s written by someone else (at least if I write it I know what’s going in)
3. biggest one: it’s a Christian testimony and I don’t think they’ll show this. Of course no-one wants to be bashed by fundamentalists, but take away Jesus and there’s nothing left to say. I’m also worried that Christ would be sidelined or that in such a short space it would turn into ‘God zapped me and I was fine’: when it is a long process and there’s backwards steps as well as forwards.
4. (Vain but true) my story is precious to me and I don’t want it to be misrepresented.
Anyway, I know this makes no difference in the grand scheme of things, but it does raise the question of how Christians engage with secular media so I’ll wing it out there under that heading. What do you reckon?