One label I heard often about my writing is transparency, yet the truth is that being transparent and sharing all is not always my first choice. Here are my rules for what I share on the written page:
1) I share MY experiences and do not put down other peoples' actions. I don't want to slander anyone, just share my story.
2) I ask permission. I had my husband and my kids read my mothering memoir Blue Like Play Dough before the draft was sent into the publisher. I also specifically asked permission to share some "challenging" moments in my kids' lives before I even wrote them.
3) Most of the stuff God asks me to share is stuff I'd rather keep hidden. I don't like spilling my flaws, but when I feel His Spirit nudging I know I need to follow. I've written about my abortion, teen pregnancy, and marriage struggles as a young woman. I wrote about a boyfriend popping up in my life less than five years ago. And then I spoke about it on Focus on the Family. (Yikes!) These are things that my flesh wanted to hide, yet God knew that my experiences could offer hope and healing to others.
4) Also, during the writing of my mothering memoir my editor Liz Heaney was a great judge of "depth/truth" in my writing. For example, things I wanted to skim over she made me take another look at. My assistant does this to me too. I can hear them even now, "Dig deeper." So sometimes the best way to share with transparency is to have another set of eyes reading your words and questioning motives/desires. Digging deeper makes the writing real, not showy and fake.
I hope that helps!