Asking for wisdom about writing

Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

1. I write for a market. I write for a group of readers.
“Who needs to hear this?” IGRC, UMC; laity and clergy.
What
needs drive them? Church growth, conflict, systemic resistance.
How can I help? Share useful information
, connect to helpful ideas. (Innovators’s role: bring knowledge into the system from outside.)

2. In reporting, I am not the story. In creative nonfiction, I am often the main character as the narrator. Which is better for me? Which is better for my market?
Preachers are in the story. We are part of the message because we share from our viewpoint and illustrate truth from our experience. Phillips Brooks said preaching is truth through personality, and the kind of writing I do is truth flavored by my own personal experience of working with truth. So memoir writing fits with what I am called to do.

3. I serve God in my writing. I carry forward a message. What do the scriptures tell me about this prophetic work?
The message I carry forward is that discipleship is God’s method. As the voice said at the baptism of Jesus, “Listen to him!” Information provides input to a system of writing. That system processes the information into a blog post which serves as an introduction to an idea. The blog post is edited to explore the idea in depth. Perhaps it is included in a book project. So basically the medium in which I work is the short form known as a blog post AND sermons and bible studies which are interactive experiences, sometimes with handouts.

5. I am a Methodist. What are the best methods for doing my work?
First, obey Jesus methodically.

Second, connect commands from Jesus into recipes; write the program, subroutines and modules.

Third, run the program. Adjust, revise, improve, and add value to the program as we go.

6. What is the best medium for doing my work? Begin with the end in mind:
Blog: free content, small bits, Dialogue.
Book: publication, book sales.
The blog form is wide, free and reaches many people, like The Sermon on the Mount. The book project form is like a narrow gate, because few find it and few read it from beginning to end.

7. What is the best way to further systemic change? Diffusion principles and processes?
I need to think about how diffusion principles could guide my writing. This is just one of many books which should be blogged as a commentary.

8. My three practical questions:
(1) Am I pursuing the REAL NEED?
(2) Am I informed of MY OPTIONS?
(3) Have I thought this through to a BETTER RESULT?

The real need is to preach and to share information. The options I have to do that are my church pulpit, Bible studies, seminars in the district and Conference, online courses, blog posts and book like projects. As an audio learner and teacher it’s probably wise for me to create content by speaking and then Writing by Revision in order to add value. In other words, the first draft is a sermon. The better result is to write so as to put things in the form of the end result, which is a blog post, which then can grow into something more if people show an interest in it. There’s no real value in the endlessly revising and developing an idea in which no one is interested, including God. As Occam’s razor would suggest, this is vanity and ego and a striving after wind.

9. My three private questions:
(1) Am I really TELLING MYSELF THE TRUTH?
(2) Does this decision REALLY FEEL RIGHT to me?
(3) Do my actions show I BELIEVE I DESERVE BETTER?

I believe that I am telling myself the truth and this decision feels right to me. I believe that I need to shovel the pile of Unfinished work into the bins of a Blog. After it is made available to the world and in an easily accessible form, I need not waste time promoting it or explaining it but instead leave that to God. I think there are some verses about how the disciples are to preach and share the message which might be useful to me to study. My better decision, therefore, is to create blog posts as receptacles for ideas from research. If I am drawn to it, then develop a blog post to become a better blog post, a sermon, Bible study or seminar, or combine the ideas for a book project. The blog in effect is my semi-official research notebook.

There is a historical precedent for this type of writing. It is called a commonplace book.

Kinmundy; 3/7/19.

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