The Process

I have an issue with publishing or, more specifically, I have an issue with the editing process. Perhaps writings on this site are better suited for the short and thoughtful, instead of the drawn-out, immaculately-edited expectations that I put on myself and that NaNoWriMo skirts because those 50,000 words are not for publishing.

Now that November has passed and Ulysses is telling me I wrote approximately 4,000 words, I wanted to write a post-mortem on the month that I intended to start a writing habit. Better still, I don’t count this as failure, but as a time for self-reflection. Let me start by saying this:

The reason why Twitter always caught my fancy was the lack of editing it required.1

When writing for a blog audience, especially when dealing with longer posts that (should) provide a coherent story or thought-process—with a beginning, middle, and end—editing is necessary. NaNoWriMo is about getting words onto paper, not about publishing unedited content. I realized this as I started a post about my job and human creative endeavors. That post was not a light piece of reading and it required much editing before putting it up on the site. What came out of that process of editing—and appears to come out of more and more of my editing processes—was never posting the piece in the first place. I have a number of posts that are stuck in the editing process.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with focusing on the process or the tools that help you get to your goal when you in fact ultimately reach your goal. Seeing the forest for the trees is a phrase we use for those who are unable to assess the big picture because they get stuck in the details; that is a common problem for process-oriented people, but that doesn’t need to mean that the details themselves are not important, just that there needs to be a balance in how we approach any problem.

Trying out different applications for any process, be it writing, task management, or otherwise, can even be fun, though not well suited for getting the actual” tasks done. Where would we be if every writer out there had to find the best pen and paper combination before putting ink to page? On the other hand, I can say with certainty that tools like iWeb, Tumblr, Blogger, and others opened the door for people like me to start putting thoughts into words and publishing them online. And the rest is history.

  1. Unfortunately, in recent history we have seen that some people should edit themselves more on the service, but that is beside the point.

Read, Think, Share, Repeat

The Challenges of 2020

TL;DR: Follow this link.

One of the craziest things about Christianity during the protests of the last few weeks is the fact that there are churches out there not discussing the issues honestly, not taking the time to have the hard conversations, not devoting their Sunday services to betterment of the world and people around them. If you’re church isn’t talking about racism right now, if they don’t mention that black lives matter, instead focusing on platitudes that equate to the all lives matter” sentiment, it is time to start looking for a new church.

My wife and I meet with my home” church virtually via Zoom since the pandemic is still a thing. Kimball Avenue United Church of Christ & La Iglesia Episcopal de Nuestra Señora de las Américas (KANSA, together) combined in a collaborative way to create a single denomination focused on the needs of their community. They follow Christ together toward the vision of love, reconciliation, peace and justice. The justice looks like the demolition and rehabilitation of an old church building and its grounds into a community garden and labyrinth open to all who seek peace through contemplation.

I give this elevator speech to mention that COVID has not been kind to faith communities in general. Budgets have been slashed, funding and grants have been cut, and congregations in need are also working to serve those in need, who are less likely to be able to financially support their church in these times. KANSA in one of the good ones. They speak truth, they have the difficult conversations, they preach in a loud voice every Sunday that black lives matter, that racism has no place in the church, that the LGBTQ community deserves respect and support, and that Jesus was a social justice warrior, who fought for the least of these no matter who they were, where they were from, what they looked like.

In fact, Jesus was most harsh to those who had the means to help and decided not to answer the call.

These systems of oppression we are protesting have been around a long time; they have screwed up a lot of lives, they have been the reason for revolution and the downfall of entire civilizations, they don’t work. We need to find a better way to live by supporting each other. And support has to come in systemic, social, financial, and political ways, both national and local.

I am not local to KANSA anymore, but I support their mission, the way that mission manifests in the world, and the simple fact that they follow Jesus no matter how ostracizing that position can be at times. Which brings me to the point:

Thanks to a $10,000 matching gift’ from an anonymous donor, the challenge has become an opportunity. Over the next two months, we plan to raise at least $10,000 to meet the challenge. Through August 31, 2020, every donation we receive toward our 2020 Challenge” no matter how small or how large will be doubled by the matching gift.

KANSA is hurting financially and needs support, they do good work and are unabashedly progressive in their approach to our world. Donate now and see your contribution matched to keep one of the good ones fighting the good fight.

Thank you for your consideration.