Saturday, January 13, 2007

Blogs: A High Hurdle for a Slow-Running Poet

I'm a poet. I've had other work published, and even paid for – but poetry is my deepest love as a writer. Maybe that's why the term "blog" offends me so deeply. It seems to me an ugly word, lacking any lyrical beauty. I have resisted strenuously – almost bitterly – the constant invitations to visit "blogs." But today I broke down. I am a writer. "Blogs" are a medium reaching potentially millions of people. So I just swallowed my pride and jumped in.
Years of writing and interacting with other writers has taught me much. Perhaps most significantly, it has shown me how much I still have to learn. Years of working in a Bible Book Store, surrounded by a selection of some of the best writing available, and admittedly much of lesser quality also – has given self-expectations that may well be beyond reach. I have no interest in adding to the mediocre, yet am far from producing the quality I most admire in a relatively small selection of books. How then, do I find satisfaction in the work I feel called to do, when I never meet my own expectations?

A number of things are key. (1) Doing my very best today. Bringing all my skill and passion to the task, while using the simplest language I can, with the least jargon. (2) Seeking to improve just a little bit on where I was yesterday. (3) Using the technology and the mediums that readers are using, even if I personally prefer other technology and mediums. (4) Accepting and even seeking critiques of my work, the kind of critiques that hurt, because they expose the weaknesses in my "masterpiece." (5) Expecting to be a bit embarrassed next year by the work published this year. (If I haven't advanced enough in my writing skills to see things I would like to do different in work already published, I have probably been neglecting some aspect of God's calling and his gifting.) (6) Recognizing that resistance to change is "normal" but never letting that be an excuse to become stagnant. Sometimes deliberately venturing into the areas I feel resistant to.

1 comment:

Belinda said...

Dear Brian,
Welcome to the world of blogging and bravo to you for overcoming your prejudice against it!

I just found out that my son-in-law who lives downstairs and seems to have had an impenetrable wall up against interacting intentionally in anything to do with faith, reads my blog daily. I was deeply touched, humbled and spurred on to write with all my heart for the rest of my life, if only for him.

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