Interesting thoughts last time, group. I’m always encouraged at the amount of thought going on about this "being in and not of" business.
It’s been a long day and I’ve had some exciting bits and some unsettling bits, as usual, but I need to get out one thought before packing it in. Let go of everything you know about writing to fit the market and giving people what they want and what are you left with? Your undiluted, unadorned self sitting there like a wet fish on the page. Sure you’ve got contrivances and techniques, conceits and devices to impress the paparazzi, but in the end, what is it really? It’s you and your thoughts wrapped up in the most attractive package you can offer. Did you change certain things to make it more palatable, more interesting, more inspiring, whatever? Did you leave out some things that might be too painful, too scary if someone figured it out? Did you scare yourself into thinking you’d have to answer for what you wrote so you’d better hold back? It’s this last one that gives me pause and makes me wonder if it isn’t the guilty Christian conscience that keeps many of us from greater art.
Can you write for art’s sake with a clean conscience? Let me bring that down to street level: can you give it all for the sake of the work, and I mean, everything you think you couldn’t possibly give for fear or anxiety or whatever else that’s nagging underneath?
What I’m wondering is if there are sins of omission in the creative process that are just as damning, if not more, for their damage on the reflected grace you bear as a "Christian artist." Can we write to serve the work, or must we write to serve only God? You can say you do both and you might even prove it, but what if writing this story requires breaking with what you know of God, hiding your face in the belly of a whale for a while so to speak, and living in the dark in order to experience the light on the other side?
Does that make sense? Maybe it’s time to go home… Have a great night, everyone!