Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Thankfulness and the Writing Process

I don’t typically post blogs on my own life, although it seems to be the point of blogs in general, but I felt the need to let you all know how God has blessed me lately. In every single aspect of my life God has been doing wonderful things. In my music, my critical writing (here), my creative writing (also here), my scholarly writing (I was accepted to present a paper at the ALA conference in San Francisco), my career (I was just hired to teach one-two English 097 or 099 classes at the local community college this summer), my spiritual walk, my relationship with friends, and my marriage. So I guess I’m just posting this to say, thank you God.

Concerning the poem/short story I posted last week, “An Executive Responds to an Accusation,” I wanted to also thank everyone that read it and gave me some feedback. I’m not sure what I want to do with it yet, although I did turn it in to someone who is publishing a book of collected poems and stories. Who knows if it will be accepted though. I actually wrote the entire poem in a class while I was substituting. I got the idea from a post I wrote a few months back on the Sublime and the innate desire for the infinite that exists in everyone. At the time I was trying to express how this desire can even be found in advertisements, how they in many ways are simply an attempt to play on that desire for eternity and perfection. But I couldn’t find the words to express what I was convinced of. And then, I can’t exactly recall what sparked my imagination, I felt this whole dialogue rush to my head. The voice was an advertising executive who was confronted by an irate consumer. The consumer was mad that women were being objectified in ads, a concern that I often have. When I was finished writing the poem, I realized that I was able to express what I was incapable of communicating before.

I have been struggling for the last two years over whether I should stop trying to do creative writing and just focus on my academics. A novella that I’ve been working on for over a year has been a constant source of disappointment for me as it fails to materialize in the way that I envision, and two of the short stories I’ve written have been poorly received, even by those who tend to be overly gentile with me. An artist should be someone who is able to communicate truths (Truths) powerfully, evocatively, intimately, and yet allusively. I have never been able to successfully accomplish this in my writing, until now. While I wouldn’t dream of thinking that this poem is great or worth publishing, I do feel like I’ve been able to communicate something that really couldn’t be communicated through academic prose. And for that I praise God, and am very encouraged.

1 comment:

Chestertonian Rambler said...


I once tried to get a similar prose-poem published, but realized an interesting delimma: I couldn't find a place to publish it.

There are places for fiction, but generally they tend to not be interested in something that speaks primarily to a Christian audience. There are some truly intelligent Christian magazines, but they're only interested in opinion pieces or straightforward personal reflections on "issues affecting the lives of people at age X" rather than anything really contemplative. And such magazines are almost never interested in fiction.

Rich Mullins had a beautiful series of essays, but they were only published after he was virtually a Christian pop-star. But is there any place actually fostering Christians who want to honestly attempt works of literary art?