I so enjoyed my chat with Chris Dikes about writing - as most writers know, it’s a rare pleasure to talk with a sympathetic someone about our work. We talked a bit about how I became a writer, discouragement, finding your voice, blogging, the difference between blogging and book writing, why I decided to write Jesus Feminist, my process as a writer, and the best (and worst) parts of writing among other things. Also: laughing (secret’s out: I laugh at myself all the time).
A bit about blogging:
One of the other things I really love about blogging is that it’s accessible. There’s no gatekeeper to it. When, in the history of the church, has someone like me ever had anything remotely resembling a voice that people can listen to? Never. It’s been a huge amplifier for voices that have been disdained or not listened to or just not noticed. Not just for women in the church but for a lot of people’s experiences in the church. And it has given us a platform and a voice that we never would’ve had. I feel very loyal to blogging and to the medium of blogging. Even the fact that it’s accessible and it’s free and anybody can get at it. It feels a bit subversive.
A bit about my biggest impediment to writing:
I think (it’s an impediment) when I’m trying to write for someone other than my own self. There have been times where I would think I need to have all the disclaimers and I need to make sure that I’m putting everything in place for every single critic who will read it and tear it apart and barbecue me. That’s just the quickest way to stifle what it is you want to say. You can’t be writing for people who fundamentally disagree with you because no matter what you say they will criticize it and then you end up not saying anything.
A bit about writer’s block:
Writer’s block – that place where I’m feeling stuck and where I feel I have nothing to say – it’s usually because I have nothing that I’m living and nothing I’m experiencing and nothing I’m taking in. You can’t really write out of an empty well. That’s usually a big signal to me that it’s time to stop beating my head against the stone wall. So, for me, having a really rich well to pull from is a pretty big deal. For instance, I can’t write about church and community when I’m not making time for church and community in my life.
A bit about being a writer:
I feel like (writing) helps me notice my life. I remember reading Luci Shaw talking about poets having this slender antenna that kind of combs the air, picking things up, and learning things. I feel like being a writer has conditioned me to go through life with that antenna always out, watching for things, seeing things, noticing things. Not because I’m looking to appropriate it for material, but because it fills me, because I notice now, and it’s part of how I see the world now. I love going through my life like that.