Sunday, February 9, 2014

Why I write

I am a writer. That’s not what I think I am; that’s what I am. I don’t know if I am a good writer or not. I mean, from a literary critic’s viewpoint, I may be nothing more than a shabby if mellifluous wanna-be. I think I write well, and I usually enjoy reading what I write. Like my favorite author, C. S. Lewis, I claim to write the books (in my case, they’re not books yet) that I wanted to read, because no one else was writing them. Actually, it’s more like this: I write because I want to see the ideas inside me from the outside. I write because I want to affirm what I think I know to be true. I also write, have written, and may continue to write in the blog format, because I really write to communicate, to connect, myself to myself (inner and outer), and myself to others. I even write sometimes to communicate, to connect, myself (and my reader) to God. I believe in Him, and in spite of my bad behavior and my worst opinions, I am compelled to witness for Him. Most of my witness is in what I do, not what I speak or write. I do not want to be a human bumper sticker. Let those who watch how I drive my vehicle understand whether I am a follower of Jesus or not.

This year I decided I would not recycle my blog posts. Some of my readers have expressed astonishment at my prolific output. It’s true that I have at times written and posted several pieces in a single day, but especially in the last few years, I have integrated earlier writing with new. I did this because there are many testimonies—that’s what I call my posts—that need to be remembered, kept in active memory, in mine and in others who like what I write. I know that for most readers it is a chore usually avoided, to backtrack through a blog and read older posts. This recycling was my method of keeping focus as well. The reason I decided not to recycle anymore is that I am reconvening the parliament of my own mind, formulating what is to be my forward path. I want to glean from this and from my other blogs essential testimonies to publish in book form. With my coming retirement in about a year’s time, I want to transition to writing in book format, and redefine how and what I write in the blogosphere. I don’t know much about where I am ‘going’ in my writing, but I am confident and certain of my motives. I do not write to teach (even if it seems that I do), nor to correct (though I sometimes fall into this through human weakness and forgetfulness).

I write to encourage, to affirm, to strengthen the weak, in me and in others. I write to allay fears, to dissipate delusions, to liberate myself and others from bondage to ancestors in stone armor, calling for loyalty untrue.’ I write, like my hero, poet Walt Whitman, to ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines,’ yet like the psalmist, without leaving the divinely bestowed kingdom where ‘the measuring line marks out delightful places for me,’ because I trust, I know that ‘for me the heritage is superb indeed.’ Yes, for me, and for the others like me who will find my letters where I have dropped them. I want those letters to be love letters, patterned after the truest and greatest love letter the world has ever received, the holy and divine scriptures. I write because I am a word man. I want to give back with increase the word that was deposited with me. I want to prove, not who I am or even that I am, but that He is. I want to make, as best I can, the Invisible visible. Though I try and fail, I still must try. I trust not in my pen or my brain but in Him who has created me and all, and who has entrusted me with this urge: not to be known, but to make known. Not by us, Yahweh, not by us, by You alone is glory deserved.’ 

This is why I write.


Jim Swindle said...

Thank you for this excellent essay. I write because it's hard not to write. I write because occasionally I sense a pleasure in having written something well, and then suspect that the Father is pleased with how what he poured through me came out on that occasion. Too often I've written for my own selfish reasons, but I sense that writing is a part of who I am.

May the Lord use you and your pending books in ways suitable to his great glory.

David Dickens said...

I'm a reader. I feel compelled to write because of what I want to read that does not exist. When I feel a gap, a lack where there should be something, I write to fill it in. This means I write a lot more than I think I should and yet a lot less of what I'd rather be writing.

I'm blessed to be able to enjoy reading what you write and not "needing" to fill it what is lacking, because it is already full.

Sasha said...

> I know that for most readers it is a chore usually avoided, to backtrack through a blog and read older posts.

I also feel some things are worthy to be re-posted/published, as it's sad the "new" readers won't see them otherwise - and there are some very important thoughts there. One may feel to mention those thoughts again, and then it just makes sense to re-post what was already thought through and formulated, not try to say the same thing with different words.

> I want to glean from this and from my other blogs essential testimonies to publish in book form.

Would you then also publish an e-version of the book? It's a lot easier to do, doesn't cost anything and typically easier for people to get.

Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

Yes, Sasha, an eBook version is definitely in the works, maybe the only version.

Thanks for your comments.