Words on Wednesday

Words on Wednesday September 25, 2019

There is a really good and interview over at CT of Kate Bowler by KSP about the thing that the Pelican Project, and a lot of people on the internet really, have been so interested in the last few years—the integration of women into the church. A lot of women get to be famous “people who speak” “in the church,” says Bowler, because they are married or otherwise related to famous men who have “platform”—such a horrid word, I think, I prefer Box O Soap. It’s a pretty fascinating interview and I would like to read the book, even though I totally do not have time.

As I read it I felt pretty happy for three reasons.

One, I’m really happy to be in a church that has healthy, hierarchical oversight so that I’m not wandering the wastelands of my own mind, untethered to the practical and theological considerations of the church. I’m really grateful for some theological education, though it left a lot to be desired, and that I am able to work within church structures for the bulk of my day to day life. The internet, however much I may be on it, does remain a marginal part of my scattered existence. My relationships with real people and the ministry opportunities I’ve enjoyed are not wholly created by my own whim, by any kind of “entrepreneurship.” I’m really glad about this because I feel that otherwise I would be an unhelpful person in the wilds of the internet where I do sometimes reside.

Two, I’m grateful for the providence of God—for I can in no otherwise explain my blogging path of the past decade. I started blogging at the birth of my third child and he is now 13 so…that’s sort of depressing. Anyway, I’ve blogged through the mommy-blog era, through the garbage up every portion of your blog with ads era, through the put your face all over your WordPress banner era, through the oh never mind blogs are over and I will pour myself into twitter era, and even the I guess I will ditch blogging for youtube fame era. Here I am, still blogging after all this time for one simple reason: I like to write. I just really like words (though you can’t probably tell by this super terrible paragraph.)

Three, as I’ve worked on writing, I feel like I have learned—haltingly—both perseverance and maybe even a tiny bit of humility, which I know I have now completely spoiled by saying it out loud. While I’ve been writing, other better people have become famous and have risen up in the writing world, climbing up on those lusted after platforms and believe me, I have absolutely been jealous. I have cursed the darkness. I have angrily read the books of others and wished they would be badly written and stupid. I have wondered if I should chuck it all and start down the requisite path of self-promotion. But whenever I have really considered that choice, holding up before the light and looking at it every which way, I have found myself putting it down without too much sorrow and going back to the empty page to start another blog post. Indeed, I could have written at least seven books by now, but for the blogging. It’s an addiction I just can’t seem to give up.

Anyway, in the spirit of the age, I feel like offering advice to aspiring writers everywhere. My advice is to write, and keep writing. If you really like writing for the writing, you will keep writing. But if you find yourself writing as a means to some other end, well, you won’t have a good time. You should go find something else that you love. If you are writing because you want a platform, it’s probably going to be a pretty rickety structure and will take a lot of energy to keep it propped up. You won’t enjoy yourself, in other words, and that would be such a shame. Do the thing you love doing. And fame should not be the thing you most love.

Epilogue

This post is in part me thinking out my responses to my children about what they want to do with their lives. How many ways can I say Being A Youtuber is lame and eternally unsatisfying? I am literally counting them.

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