Since I started this blog on New Year’s Day 2014, I’ve been asking myself these questions: “Who am I writing for? What am I trying to achieve?” I’ve read the experts and I know that I’m supposed to have a specific topical focus and a specific audience for this blog. Here’s what I’ve decided.
My New Purpose for this Blog
I’ve decided that I’m going to be writing for one reason only: to learn how to write, and on deadline. Ideas aren’t my problem–I have plenty of ideas–my problem is consistently applying the seat of my pants to the seat of my chair. My problem is the discipline of writing.
I want to learn the discipline of writing in the same way that I’ve learned the discipline of preaching. I preach about 46 original sermons a year. Preaching a few good sermons is relatively easy; what’s very difficult is to preach week in and week out, to preach when you’ve had a week of funerals, to preach when you’re tired, to preach when you feel as if you’ve already said everything interesting about Christmas Eve, to preach when you feel as if you aren’t prepared–that’s what’s difficult, and it’s that discipline that I’ve been learning when it comes to preaching. It’s that discipline I need when it comes to writing.
My New Schedule
I will publish a new post at 5:00 AM 3 times a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. After I keep up that pace for a month, then I’ll see about publishing more frequently.
The Fox and the Hedgehog
The Philosopher Isaiah Berlin, drawing on a line from the Ancient Greek poet Achilocus, wrote a famous essay in 1953 entitled “The Hedgehog and the Fox.” The basic idea is that the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing. (Berlin’s essay applies this formula to Tolstoy (fox) and Dostoevsky (hedgehog).) Foxes have a variety of interests; hedgehogs have one stubborn idea.
My New Topical Focus: Fox and Hedgehog
I’m going to follow my interest wherever it takes me (like a fox) while always writing in the service of The One Big Thing (like a hedgehog).
What’s that One Big Thing? You’ll have to read to find out.