I’m slowly moving back to my traditional goal posts (courtesy of my intense superhero braces). With that in mind, let me highlight recent developments.
Last week I published the first chapter of Stakes. If you have not downloaded it, please do. It is my gift to you. I am giving it away because I love my supporters (ahem, YOU!) and I believe the themes are important to discuss. If you are curious about religion and faith in any way (especially if it bugs you), or are frustrated by labels, I think you’ll like this serial.
In other news, I am actively working on my sense of worthiness. I have some baggage around my early work, because well, it was early. I am in the process of accepting the fact that early work is early and should be read as such. Anyone who can’t get over that probably never read past Eragon…and wouldn’t fit in my supporters anyway.
I discovered this need to work on worthiness over the weekend while talking up my books. I’m not going to apologize for what I did in the past. It is done. I can continue to revise, but eventually I need to just accept the fact that nothing is perfect. Ever. Especially writing. Ta-Nehisi Coates has described writing as an exercise in failure – and this is why so few people continue in it. Every part of it can be described as a way to rip someone apart.
I’m not sure I agree with him, but I understand the logic. Certainly I have been through the cycles of failure in writing.
This leads me to the next item – where I see my next phase. In the past I went through a cycle of doubt, disappointment, and excitement about my overall direction. The doubt is virtually gone with my refined purpose (The Write Story Manifesto). The concern over my breadth of writing is also gone. My purpose is clear, so I don’t worry about the other stuff. Yes I could try and tailor every project to an isolated group, but I don’t want those people. I want fans attracted to my purpose.
That’s how I see myself as an Atwood-Lewis love child – purpose-driven, broad, and prolific.
Along with this new phase, this refining, I am ready to have the conversation that I am called to have. I’m ready to address the issue of faith – both for true believers and the nonreligious.
I plan to talk more about this, because it needs to be said. It needs to be clarified – understood. I know there are many people who meet me and think I am an atheist or agnostic. They think I smoke cigarettes and sleep in late. They think I am the stereotypical artist, whatever that means.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
I am really, very, very Christian. I go to church every Sunday. I pray daily. I lead songs in the worship band at church. I have been a Sunday school teacher and church committee member. I even preached recently.
My purpose is driven by my faith.
But let me be clear – whatever stereotypes you have in your head about Christians, they don’t apply to me either. You can throw them out right now. You’ve probably never met a Christian like me – not if you go to church every Sunday and not if you avoid religion like the plague. There are more out there like me, we’re just scattered. It takes effort to find us, because we’re squeezed on both the left and the right.
I say these things because I am finally ready to bring these things together into a coherent discussion in my work. I am done being pushed into boxes without any effort of understanding. As a counter, I offer you a story of complex faith. This is the faith of thinkers, empaths, and visionaries, where questions are encouraged and answers are not always available. This is a story where love is the standard and context is critical for understanding.
It is ongoing, and as you read, you’ll see its delicate threads weaving in and out.
So thank you. Thank you for suspending judgment – for being open to listening to this story. Thank you for loving the differences that make up the tapestry of humanity, and supporting purposes like mine in word and action.
I plan to submit a few pieces and solicit some speaking engagements along these lines. Because I’m ready, it would seems others are ready for this too. Here’s to connecting with those searching.
We’re never far apart.
- Between Chaos and Order: The Need For A Middle Way - June 18, 2018
- Spiritual Mamas: Intuition, Spirituality, and Motherhood - June 4, 2018
- Neither Selfish or Selfless – Only Loving! - April 30, 2018