On Writing

Writing tends to be my weakness. I’ve never felt comfortable composing a sentence, let alone a paragraph, chapter, or book. Those that read what I have posted will quickly identify grammatical errors, spelling errors, and nonsensical sentences. When pointed out to me, I can immediately identify what I did wrong, though I rarely see these mistakes during the composition of the writing. Perhaps this was the fault of the public school system and me not getting Mr. Boniwell for senior high school English class. College English classes were a total joke and didn’t require one to be able to write or even to spell. Much of the writing done in college is in a technical style, which has some rigid forms and is much easier to master than writing on things philosophical or as commentary. Regardless, one will note that I have written a modest amount (see the Veroffentlichungen section of this webpage). I also am chiefly responsible for Occasional Specimens, a newsletter that our practice sends out every 3-4 months. Unlike my Reading List which is quite lengthy, I have no aspirations to write anything major at this time except for short blurbs on this blogsite. I will die without a magnum opus unless you call my Ph.D. thesis a magnum opus—it is more like an opus dei.
My fascination with writing is provoked by seeing others writing and getting published. Particularly, I noted that brother Dennis used to have an ACC Journal, edited by him and Jim Fodor, and eventually Joe Haring. These journals came out during the years 1983-1987 at a time when I was living in Chicago and enduring residency and doing my Ph.D. work. Dennis had attempted to reform the AC Church to thinking more about their doctrine and belief systems. These Journals have been recently scanned and posted on the internet, with only 1 issue missing. In the long run, I’m not sure if the publication did any good, but I’d have to allow the editors to speak for that. Dennis no longer belongs to the ACC and lives out of the country. Joe Haring is dead, and Jim Fodor now teaches at a Papist college, with a belief system that I’d identify as theologically liberal (i.e., non-Christian). Many of the other authors no longer belong to the ACC or have moved on in life. Maybe they were writing to themselves?
Which leads to the question as to why we write? Perhaps most writing is writing to the self. Perhaps it is a clarification of the mind, an organization of thoughts, a systemization of concepts, a way to pass time. I wonder of all that is written, how much is actually read. Anything longer than what I have written up to this point tends to be passed over, as the contemporary mind cannot tolerate an attention span greater than about 30 seconds. because it is easier for anybody to write and publish to the world, we are barraged with massive volumes of “important” script that we could not possibly have the time to read, even should we be able to read for 24 hours/day and live as long as Methuselah. This constrains me to write less, write pithy, write summaries of thought rather than volumes of detail. Anything more than what can be read in several minutes will be a matter of writing to the self.
So, I will read much, and write little.