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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I Write, Therefore I Am

I had wanted to be a writer. I still do, I suppose. And I guess by writing this blog, I am a writer. Stupid is as stupid does, right? But I mean, I wanted to be a real writer, with contracts, and an agent, and my books in shelves all across the US and beyond: the next J.K. Rowling. Ever read about how the Church used to hold book-burnings? Well, God held a good old-fashioned book burning in my head, and all my proud ambitions were invited to watch. All those books I had planned, piled high and set ablaze by the All-Seeing Eye, who was jealous for a return gaze I’d spent years trying to avoid. Only a few days ago the last thing I was holding onto went up in smoke: my “professional” website, meant to lure in unsuspecting agents or editors. Deleted. It was a project built on the aggrandizement of Self. An idol. And God loves smashing those.

Plus the effort put into trying to sell yourself is so hard! Then there’s coming up with enough money for this or that project. The hours that I would have had to spend pursuing a career in writing when all I wanted to do was write. And the internet, with its forum for a thousand million voices, has made it harder, along with technology like e-readers, to find a niche in traditional publishing, to make it big and be the next New York Times Bestseller. I think Tim Tebow was not yet 23 years old when he had somebody write his “autobiography”. I threw up a little when I saw it on the shelves. But getting to write your autobiography when you’re not yet a quarter century old, or becoming the next J.K. Rowling is definitely the growing exception. If you want to just write and forget about fame, you can do it right now, thanks to the Net.

The other day I caught myself thinking about how it was such a pity that “real” writers don’t have much of a market anymore thanks to the trash that have found their voices in kindle books, self-publishing venues, and blogs. In the midst of my bitter musings, it hit me: Wait! This isn’t a bad thing. It’s a good thing! More voices, more opportunity to shine, a greater challenge with more competition to run the race. Then I thought, it’s exactly what Jesus Christ did for mankind through the cross: He threw open the gates of Heaven, so all could come in. What had been for an elite few was now for the masses. No more priesthood. People of all means had equal access to the throne of God, not just those who had "worked hard" to get there. Now everyone’s voice was heard in the omnipresent ears of God. No wonder that pissed some people off.

You can see the parallels to my arrogant, small-minded, stuck-up musings about the riff raff out there actually getting to write stories, who actually thought they were good enough to be heard. I stood in the temple and prayed, “Lord, thank you that I don’t write as badly as that guy who wrote Tim Tebow’s autobiography, or as superficially as Stephanie Meyer, or as low-brow as those countless who actually waste their time blogging on about things nobody cares about.” Now I’m one of those countless. Like the cross, it is a great humbler to all who think they’re “too good” to lose such a foothold in an industry previously held only in the hands of an elite few. Technology threw open the gates of the literary world, so that all may come in.

You won’t get paid. But you can come in.

1 comment:

  1. Amen! Bringing words of encouragement to the masses...sound familiar?