Airplane trips have always fascinated me. While some tire of the present hassles of security, baggage, and packed planes, something happens in airplanes.
I always choose a seat where I can see the landscape out of the window. You can see things differently when you get to a higher altitude.
You have to climb above the racket of routine to get a different view of life. That’s what I needed to do about writing…, especially for this blog.
I write…a lot. I write five video programs in an average week, an editorial for our church bulletin, a Bible class (or two), a blog post, and perhaps a sermon (or two). In addition, I keep a daily journal.
That means I write about 10,000 words a week. To gain some perspective, the average novel in America has 50,000. (I don’t profess it worthy of publishing, but the words still hit the page each week.) In a month, I will write a book.
I stopped to ask a question I should ask more often. “Why do I write?”
A writer can have many motives. Today, the thirst for fame runs high. The concept of the “viral” blog post twists much writing into inane nothingness.
Others write for money. If you read about writing a blog, you hardly get past the first sentence until the term “monetize” arises. That’s a funny way to say, “use your blog to make money without working too hard.”
Some do it for enjoyment. I understand contentment but not pleasure. Hemingway said that writing was nothing more than sitting at a typewriter and bleeding all over the paper. Most of the time, good writing strains the writer, as if he is untying a tightened knot.
The question remained for me. The “why” of writing is crucial because it creates the content, selects the words from the mental thesaurus, and shovels motivational coal into the engine.
For me, I decided my purpose in writing is:
I want my writing to pour itching powder on the soul, so you have to scratch the idea itch.
I want you to think, confront, debate, and decide as you read my words.
The philosopher asks, “if a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear, does it make a sound?” In the same way, if you read something and it doesn’t cause you to think, does it have a reason for existence?
For me, one of the marks of a great author is not royalties, book signings, or prizes. A reader takes the words and lets them roll around in their brain like marbles in a can.
So, thank you for indulging me in this post. I hope you will read what I write with the spirit in which it was written.
Go, read, think, and change.