A Very Interesting Preview

writing fastWhen I started this blog, I envisioned publishing at least three posts a week. That has not happened since March, I think[1]. They, the allusive and all-seeing/all-knowing “they,” say that publishing to your blog on a regular basis is a key to building an audience. Well, sure, I get that. (Although, I’d add that writing negative reviews of really popular “Christian” movies doesn’t hurt either.) However, if that’s the sure-fire way to build an audience, I’m not sure if, for me, it’s worth it.

I’ve learned quite a few things about art and artistic endeavors over the years – often the hard way. One of those things is that you can be talented, a hard worker, and do everything that the experts suggest, but fame and fortune is solely determined by capricious fate, if I believed in fate, that is[2]. My point being, anyone who makes art, regardless of the discipline, with the primary goal of making money and garnering followers is, more likely than not, bound to end up very disappointed. Do not, by any means, take that to mean that I believe that artists should ignore all advice and wisdom from the experts. Nor do I believe that artists should intentionally alienate themselves from the possibility of making money.

I do believe, very strongly, in fact, that artists should work hard, focus on improving within their craft, seek to broaden their perspective of God’s beautiful world, and make things that speak to themselves. I also believe that artists should be good stewards at things like branding and marketing. But, do not get bogged down into the trap of trying to mold what you do/make into the image of success that’s held up before you. Compromising what you do/make, and this is assuming talent and growth within that talent[3], will not lead to success, no matter how accurately you follow advice.

The experts are correct, though; if I want to open avenues of employment as a writer, I need to publish consistently, among other things. That being said, I will not compromise my growth as a writer in order to grab the first shiny ring in front of me. The manner in which I write and many of the topics that I want to write about combined with other life circumstances – my schoolwork (I’m still in school, ya’ll), the writing for which I actually get paid[4], and various other responsibilities – all come to bear on preventing me from publishing as much as I should on this blog. With God’s help, I will strive to publish more often, but I will not hastily dash off blog posts solely for the sake of posting – beginning after this hastily written post, of course.

All that to say, I have a plan/schedule for articles over the next few weeks, and I thought some of you might be interested in a preview:

Next Monday, Lord willing, I will be publishing an article titled ‘‘’Love’ May Not Mean What You Think It Means.” That’s all I’m going to say about it except this – if someone were to look at this list and tell me that I was only allowed to write one of these articles, this would be the article I would choose.

Also, for next week, I’m planning on publishing my “Favorite Albums of 2015: 3rd Quarter.”

God and the Gay Christian by Matthew Vines is a book that I’ve wanted to review for several months, but have been unable to “figure” out how to go about it. The book has much that needs to be unpacked; there are several reviews around the web that deal very well with many of those things, and I will probably be linking to several of those reviews in my post. My review, however, is going to focus on only one aspect of Vines’ book. An aspect that I believe is fundamental to his overall argument.

Brecht and Popular Christian Entertainment. This may very well be a post that only appeals to theatre nerds. In fact, I’m willing to bet that a good majority of my friends don’t know who Brecht is[5]. Well, he was a German theatre theorist who lived and worked during the middle of the 20th century. With my article, I hope to demonstrate the ways in which popular Christian entertainment adheres and deviates from Brecht’s theories. More importantly, I hope to demonstrate how that has culminated into a toxic mix of storytelling theories that make much of popular Christian entertainment harmful.

Following up my Brecht article, I’m planning on hashing out in more detail why I’m so passionate about art and subsequently concerned about Western Evangelicalism’s embrace of bad art. It matters. But you’ll have to wait to find out why.

Hopefully, by God’s grace, I will write other things, too. Regardless, my goal is to have all the above articles finished and published within the next four weeks. That’s five articles in four weeks, which falls far short of my desired (and recommended by others) three posts minimum a week. If I had a research assistant, I could write quicker. In fact, please feel free to email your resume, and I will consider you for the position of unpaid research assistant. Keep in mind, your job duties will also include making my four year old son’s lunch and helping him wipe his butt after he goes poop.

[1] Feel free to go back and read all of my old posts, keeping track of when I published them. You can correct me if I’m wrong.

[2] I do believe in a sovereign God who works through ordinary means. The ordinary means to success in the arts lead to a path that is barred for almost every single person who attempts it. The platitude “chase your dreams and success will follow” is nonsensical and has contributed to many adults having to live with their parents.

[3] “Building it” doesn’t mean that “they’ll necessarily come,” that’s true. More importantly, some people shouldn’t be wasting time and resources to “build it.”

[4] I am incredibly thankful for the opportunities that I have in the world of music journalism, opportunities that I will continue to pursue. However, I would much rather get paid to write about the types of things that I mostly write about for this blog.

[5] I was about to type, “Nor should they,” but in the brief second it took me to put my fingers back on the keyboard after hitting “Insert Footnote,” I became no longer sure of that.


One thought on “A Very Interesting Preview

  1. Looking forward to the posts. Especially the Brecht conversation / Christians and bad art.

    I often feel guilty for no good reason that I’m not “posting enough” on my blog. I find that my work – which is what I’m supposed to be filling my time with, after all – takes a lot of mental and creative energy. That has increased this semester while I’m teaching a course. I’m not sure why I feel guilty about it.

    I guess it’s because “everyone” says you gotta write to have an audience, and I do want at least a small audience of people who care to read my words and interact with them. But it’s too easy to get highjacked into writing on other people’s terms rather than writing to explore / express / discover / understand – which is how I’d prefer to use writing in my life.

    Ironically, I’m teaching a writing course. 😉

    PS. One of my favorite author-bloggers is John Scalzi. He got his start writing advert copy for AOL back in the 90s and that launched his writing career. His blog “Whatever” (whatever.scalzi.com) is his daily workout of writing one thing each morning, as much as possible, to exercise his writing muscles and keep his thoughts fresh. Several of his best posts were collected into the print anthology Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded. You will most likely disagree with Scalzi on most things, but I predict you will enjoy his blogging style. Y’all share some common traits. 😉

    My favorite Scalzi post is “10 Things Teenage Writers Should Know About Writing.” it blew up on the Internet of course, mostly because angry teens commented in all the ways he told them, “Don’t bother commenting this way.” LOL


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