“Writing isn’t hard – just get out a piece of paper an open a vein.”
I don’t remember who said that, but it’s a popular cliche among those who consider themselves to be literarily minded. The meaning of it, if you didn’t grasp at the outset, is that writing is a painful, personal experience that requires tremendous sacrifice from the writer.
I used to think that was bunk. I don’t anymore.
When this blog debuted in 2007, I made it a goal to write something significant on a daily basis, and for well over a year, I was successful. I went through droughts now and again, but I always came back and had long stretches of lengthy posts, which, of course, were undeniably brilliant. I mean, come on. I’m Stallion Cornell.
You may have noted a dearth of postings of late.
I have excuses. Some of them are even actual reasons. But the heart of all of it is the unpleasant reality that writing, just as a process, has become far more psychologically difficult for me than it has ever been. This probably means I’ve become lazier and/or crazier, or both, but it frightens me that this may become the new normal.
So here’s what I’m going to do to prevent that.
Over the weeks and months, I’ve had dozens of ideas for blog posts, but I haven’t taken the time to flesh them out. So today, I’m just going to write down some of them, and, if you’re so inclined, please leave a comment and tell me which of these theses you’d like to see explored in a full-length essay.
Here they are:
1. The only way Hillary Clinton can avoid being elected president is if she becomes a Klansman and starts using the N-word in casual conversation. (And even that might not do it.)
2. If it took nearly half a decade to excommunicate John Dehlin, a man who makes his living by tearing down the truth claims of his former church online, then the idea that the Mormons are purging themselves of doubters and heretics is ludicrous on its face.
3. When I personally struggle with doubts, they’re never doubts about whether or not there is a God, as I find atheism largely ridiculous. My doubts always focus more on the character of God – i.e., what if God is actually kind of a jerk?
4. Most people who invoke scientific authority in political discussions do so because what they believe is diametrically opposed to actual science.
5. The LDS Church’s missionary program needs to be re-thought from the ground up. I think that means no more knocking on doors, no more white shirts and name-badges, more specialization and online engagement, and a far greater emphasis on community service. Mostly, it means a great deal of localized experimentation, much of which will fail before it stumbles on an approach that will succeed.
6. Despite centuries of attempts, no one has yet produced an adequate explanation for the existence of The Book of Mormon other than the one offered by Joseph Smith.
7. I have not encountered a new or interesting religious or political argument online for years, if not decades.
8. The CW’s “The Flash” is the best live-action superhero story ever told, and “Agents of SHIELD” no longer sucks.
9. I know everything that’s going to happen in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and I’m still wildly excited to see it.
10. I have no favorite potential Republican presidential for the same reason I have no favorite Libertarian or Green Party candidate, as the none of the nominees from any of these parties has the slightest chance of ever becoming president.
Oh, and America has about ten years left. Fifteen, tops. But that might not be a bad thing.
There. Vein officially opened. Let me know what you think.