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CBN.com Writing for me is a real "booga bear." Love/hate, on/off, hot/cold. As a result I am "anointed" in procrastination. Consequently many complete, and incomplete written pieces lie fallow, and uncultivated.
The mental gymnastics that I experience as I put off this often painful exercise result in a fear of becoming the "play it safe, useless servant not investing his talent but burying it."
But then that "still small voice" quietly prods me to write and, "scatter your seed... give your gifts."
However, when it comes to publishing these writings I think of the information overload we all experience. My feeling is, I don't need to add to the cacophony. Of course pride and a sense of self importance can tell you, "Yeah, well you really have something important to say!" My response is usually, "Let somebody else do it."
Another problem is, I don't want to get involved in the "publishing game" and all the attended pitfalls. Some publishers and/or agents I have talked to (and a few have shown interest) ultimately want me to tone things down, and take the edge off these writings with comments like "it's not what the market wants. It won't sell!" Frankly, what the "market" (read that people) wants and what it needs are often at odds. However, I am not adverse to editors and others that can assist in crafting and honing my work.
I did experience both the pros and cons of the publishing game a number of years ago when I co-authored my autobiography with John & Elizabeth Sherrill, Scott Free. It was a real joy to work with John & "Tib" but the rest of the game was one I would have preferred to sit out. (Scott Free can be read and/or downloaded on our Website.)
The other comment: "It won't sell!" gets into the realm of
Prophets for Profit, or Profits for Prophets.
Not that I don't understand the need to pay the bills, but whatever happened to, "Freely you have received, freely give?!" I won't pursue that here but that syncretism, like a Trojan horse, has subtly and insidiously penetrated the walls of the "City." (Another "fallow" piece)
Further, one is expected to promote. This results in the demand to "hit the circuit" for the accompanying marketing tours, autograph parties, promotional appearances, and interviews, etc. For me, it's too much like show "biz" and I left that years ago. (See Show Biz for the Savior.)
Then too, my view of things is probably a bit off center. (There are those who say that that is a reflection of my life.)
To boot, I have never been good at promoting the "company line." (Not an oblique reference to the company I work for!) Or even my own work for that matter. The adages, "Swimming against the stream, going against the grain, marching to the sound of a different drummer," have become familiar voices to me over the years in regard to my radio, TV, and public speaking roles. It's really not rebellion or trying to be different; it just often reeks (to me) of compromise, or being politically correct. ("Politically Incorrect Commandments" also lies "fallow" in my computer.)
Which brings me to...
"As hard as I have tried to speak in my own voice , I realize how
much of what I have said is neither original or unique. My expressions
echo and imitate the statements of others."
- Robert Fulghum, contemporary author
Technology has changed how we communicate. Radio and television, once passive activities, have become interactive with the advent of the Internet. Add the telephone and you don't have to talk to yourself anymore.
With the "Web" came automated publishing systems and with it the introduction of "new language."
Language is fluid, not static, and it changes with time. Words used in the vernacular are eventually added to the lexicon of everyday usage. "Internet" is one of those words and in the lingo of "cyberspace" (another one) enter BLOGS!
I had never heard the word until recently when one of my co-workers, in the course of a conversation about all this, and who is well versed in the jargon of the Internet, threw it out there BLOGS!
Do you wanna' blog? Get blogged? Be blogged? Participate in blogging? Be a blogger?
Before you answer that, here is the definition of BLOG according to the
NetLingo Internet Dictionary:
(My highlighted emphasis)
"A frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts and Web links.
A blog is often a mixture of what is happening in a person's life and what is happening on the Web, a kind of hybrid diary/guide site, although there are as many unique types of blogs as there are people.
People maintained blogs long before the term was coined, but the trend gained momentum with the introduction of automated published systems, most notably Blogger at blogger.com.
Thousands of people use services such as Blogger to simplify and accelerate the publishing process. (Note that in light of what I said earlier in regard to publishing.)
Blogs are alternatively called web logs or weblogs. However, "blog" seems less likely to cause confusion, as "web log" can also mean a server's log files."
Some of you have actually participated in blogging without being aware of it!
In recent months I have published a number of pieces ("Vanishing Friends," "Winds of War" and "Vertigo Man Rides Again") that I forwarded exclusively to my e-mail list. The response from many people was stimulating, confirming, and encouraging. In some instances it was corrective. On other occasions, another's insight filled in the blank pieces completing a somewhat incomplete puzzle in my own thinking.
"Each one of us has special abilities," and "each part supplies the whole."
What I didn't do was publish your responses. However, if we are going to be true "bloggers," publish we must!
"The mouth has a warmer manner than the pen, but the pen's speech
lives longest, and is heard further and wider."
- Charles Haddon Spurgeon, (1834-1892) English pastor, preacher and writer
Of course that statement pre-dates modern technology. It is interesting that we have now returned to "Word Perfect," or more accurately, the Perfect Word, via the Internet.
So, all of this to say, I am going to "publish" through the Internet for a while and see where it goes.
"Break up the fallow (untilled, uncultivated) ground!"
- The Prophets, Jeremiah and Hosea
That picture is taken from agricultural imagery. It means preparing, and tilling uncultivated ground for planting seed. And you can be an integral part of this by tilling the ground and scattering your seed. In "season" we will see what kind of crop we will reap and harvest.
Shortly, I am going to " re-post" the "Vanishing Friends" piece from a number of months ago, with many of the accompanying responses I received at that time.
These comments will be edited for conciseness and, extremely personal comments will be removed. Also, no names will be attached since I haven't asked any of you permission to publish. In the future I will ask if we may publish your name when I believe it merits it and others may want to respond to you directly.
At no time will we publish names without permission.
So "blog" on guys and let's see where this takes us. With this reminder:
"There is that in our characters which never can be seen except in our writings; in fact, if you told your best friend half of what you put upon paper, he would yawn in your face or he would think you a fool." - Edward Bulwer 19th Century
Scott Ross welcomes your feedback.
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