Monthly Archives: August 2013

DAILY RITUALS

In his endlessly fascinating book, Mason Currey gives us a peak into the inner motivations of writers, artists, and other creative types.

One of my favorite shows is “In Depth” on Book TV.  And my favorite part of that show is where we are given access to the writing spaces of the featured author.  Having watched that show for many years confirms that no two writers have the same pattern.  Every writer (or creative type) is unique.  Currey also makes this plain in his wonderfully wrought book.

Here a few, other things I took away from reading Currey’s book:

*The power of good habits and the struggle to develop them!

*Creative folks must create.  There is a drive, even compulsion to do so.

*It is wise to have a steady means of income as it is difficult, especially at first, to make a living in the creative arena.

*Find your own voice because no one else has it!

 

HOW PROUST CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE

One of my favorite books is How Proust Can Change Your LIfe.  It is less than two hundred pages, but jam packed with wonderful insights.  The author is an engaging and winsome writer.  And he is an atheist.  His view of the world is much different than mine, but he has a terrific way of explaining important matters.

Here is a two minute clip of the author explaining what great literature can do:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-C8cD_uYKK8

THE POPE, SEX, AND AN ATHEIST

I know.  The title sounds like the start of a joke.

Here is what atheist, Richard Dawkins, tweeted when Benedict made it public he would retire:

“I feel sorry for the Pope and all old Catholic priests. Imagine having a wasted life to look back on and no sex.”

(Richard Dawkins, Tweet, Feb. 11, 2013)

Sex must take on a sort of transcendence if you are a atheist/materialist like Dawkins.  That is the truly pathetic thing!

IS THE PEN MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD?

It is a well-known and regularly retrieved saying, but do we really believe “the pen is mightier than the sword?”

It seems the sword is being employed a lot these days.  It also seems right to conclude that the sword being used so often is proof that it works.  Why else use it?

Christians extol the power of the Word.  God’s Word is “…living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword…”  (Heb. 4:12)

When I observe governments grabbing the sword as the first or only option, I know their ideas must not be very compelling.

Poet, playwright, writer/Czech Republic president (in that order!) said, “I really do inhabit a system in which words are capable of shaking the entire structure of government, where words can prove mightier than ten military divisions.”

DIVORCE IS A BAD MULTIPLIER

It is easy for couples going through a divorce to be so focused on their own hurts that they fail to realize the massive ripple effect on others: children, families on both sides, and friends.

I wonder if those contemplating divorce could actually see the entire crowd of people who will be forever affected whether this might help slow down the breaking up of couples.  Only God knows.  The reality however remains.  

Divorce does not just involve two people, but many other folks as well.

GHOST-WRITING: A COMMON (EVEN WITH CHRISTIANS), YET UNETHICAL PRACTICE

My introduction to ghost-writing came via a gifted friend from my days at Stanford.  She received her B.A. in classics from Stanford with distinction.  She is a gifted writer.  After college she went to work with a Christian ministry.  My wife and I were visiting with her one day when she read a letter from a well-known Christian leader.  I was a bit surprised by how well the letter was written and commenced to voice my astonishment.  My friend said, “Oh no, she did not write it.  I did.”  I was speechless…a rather uncommon occurrence for me!
After this, I started to hear more about ghost-writing.  There were all kinds of rationales given to the practice, but all struck me as ridiculous.  Who cares if everyone is doing it?  That is certainly not a compelling argument.  Who cares if both the ghost-writer and the more famous Christian are fine with it?  No argument of any worth there either.
My first opportunity to ghost-write came about ten years ago.  I turned down the offer even though the money was good.  In the depths of the recent recession when we almost lost our home, I said “yes” to ghost-writing two smaller pieces.  It was a weak moment to be sure, but inexcusable.  I will never do it again.
I have no problem with a famous Christian utilizing the skills of a more gifted writer as long as proper attribution is given.  Which means in many cases putting them on the cover as a co-author.  And how many follow that practice?  Very few, I’m afraid.
I talked with a journalist several years back who was working on a major book about ghost-writing among Christians.  He decided to scrap it because he felt it would be too much of a stumbling block for Christians to find out how many of their favorite writers are really not the guy or gal writing the book!