Saturday, August 08, 2015

You Can Always Write!

What do I do for fun? Well, I write things!! So, here I am on vacation and feeling the urge to write. So in my defense I share a word from one of the more intriguing figures in the history of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Rev. Burris Jenkins, long time pastor of what is today Community Christian Church in Kansas City, Missouri.  Here is his word of advice to clergy (you must remember that in the 1930s most mainline clergy were male and that the idea of inclusive language had yet to emerge):
Every man should possess an avocation, a side line, something to amuse himself with and help release the strain of living and working. Ministers who can no longer play even croquet can always write. It is great fun; and as Robert Louis Stevenson said, it is worth while even if one never publishes a line of it, just for the joy of the working.  [Where My Caravan has Rested, (Chicago: Willett, Clark, and Company, 1939), p. 90].
The great thing about contemporary technology is that you don't even need a publisher -- you can publish yourself on a blog.  However, you have to be careful about this. Jenkins, who I should add was one of the great liberals of the first half of the 20th century, offered some words about who should judge the quality of one's work. He recommends submitting to a publisher, as one cannot trust the judgment of either friends or enemies. 
Even the unbiased staff of a publishing house, who do not know you at all, make mistakes, both for and against you; so how can your friends, who like you very much, or your enemies, who dislike you heartily, test the value of your writing?  
So write. Send to a publisher. Don't worry if you get rejected.  I know the feeling.  Keep pushing on and someday, well, who knows!!

No comments: