where the writers are

Most of us writers occasionally wonder if anyone is actually listening to us.  It would be great if there were some sort of highly abbreviated "test novel" we could transmit occasionally, so as to not waste our time creating 450 pages of text nobody is interested in reading.  Needless to say, however, a certain percentage of us harbor a high enough opinion of our talent and/or significance to periodically crank out massive tomes (publishable or not)  with the assumption that there is a vast audience willing to lap up everything that sloshes out of our respective inkwells.  My personal arrogance level falls somewhere between the extremes of needing continual positive feedback and that of not giving a rat's patoot what people might think of my writing.

A certain level of arrogance is necessary to be a successful writer.  King Solomon informs us in the book of Ecclesiastes, that "Of the writing of books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh."  And yet, in the face of no less authority than God Himself, we insist on contributing to this flesh-wearying enterprise, under the delusion that we might impart something that's "new under the Sun"....yet another endeavor that King Solomon/God Himself assure(s) us is utterly futile. 

Interestingly enough, I've never met anyone, Christian or atheist, who even remotely questions Solomon's wisdom on this particular matter.  Everyone instinctively knows about the endless writing of books, and senses the same futility thereof.  And yet, despite the Good King's exhortation, we never find any actual prohibition against such a pursuit.  It is a curious theological loophole...one that even the most devout Bible believer feels morally obligated to crawl through.

My theological interpretation of this strange paradox is that it's God's prerogative to command us to do something even if, in the process of obedience, we're going to screw it up to some degree.

I think it goes back to original sin.  God knew Adam was going to screw things up, but told him to go forth and be fruitful and multiply anyway. I used to interpret this to mean that Adam got it right just enough to give God some hope that he hadn't misplaced his confidence in his creation by too wide a margin.  However, a little further investigation into this matter shoots some holes in this.  The fact is that we never get it right, we always fall short of the goal and we will never create anything new under the Sun.  It would be nice to actually be able to surprise God once in a while, but I don't find any place in Scripture (or even secular references) where that actually happens.

I once heard a preacher declare that "Nothing you do can shock God, but you can certainly bore Him to tears."

And that's what really scares me.




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Are you not pleased that I am

Are you not pleased that I am not god, Eric?

Using your creativity/Adam analogy, there was another creation - Eve. So, if one work turns out to be not quite perfect or even good, one can always create a better one.

About arrogance and not caring about how or whether one's work is read, that is the whole point. If you write with an audience in mind (as opposed to writing for an audience to partake of the finished product), then you lose the purpose.

And, no, there is no way you can pass off a "test" sample. This is not Ben & Jerry's new flavours that the icecream outlet offers you a spoonful to try. But you already know that. You are sitting with the tub of chocoloate almond, aren't you?


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Hi Farzana....good to hear

Hi Farzana....good to hear from you; you always bring a different angle into view.

One point that's often missed is that Eve was created while Adam was still in his unfallen state....so, it's a bit of a non-sequeter to conclude that Eve was necessarily an improvement (although most of us males agree that she was!)....an Adam v 2.0, as it were.  On the contrary, by the strictest reading of Scripture, one might honestly question whether Eve was an afterthought.  Did Adam have any "procreative utensils" before he created Eve...and, if so, pray tell, WHY?......or did God have to make some modifications on Adam  too.  The eternal question, "Did Adam have a belly button" may never be answered in our lifetimes.

Which has everything to do with the writing process, as any analytical person can see. :)