Why I Write

The Letter

Why I Write (mp3)

In the wise words of WordPress founder, Matt Mullenweg, Code is poetry. While in full agreement, for me Poetry is code.™

Growing up, I was reputed for endless jabber. It’s not that I enjoyed the sound of my own voice, as some have speculated, but there were so many good things that needed to be said.

In my 30′s, with a plentiful combination of experience and ignorance, I’ve honed my many words. I haven’t run out of things to say. I’m just more picky about who deserves to listen. Writing helped train my discretion.

Nonetheless, creative ideas distract me to this day. And I’m just sure that 50% of them will work… And 50% is a good batting average.

After a childhood in the country, two years of home school, 13 years of acting through high school, four years of college in Chicago, thirteen years of learning to think differently from an old school Amway Diamond, another ten years of getting to know Christians in radically different denominations, living in Asia for five years, playing piano for over 20 years, re-inventing the Circle of Fifths, writing two plays, a novel, and a self-help book, blueprinting a third political party, writing my own “95 Theses” of our day, addressing how Jesus relates to metaphysics, podcasting for two years, dabbling in comics and digital art, designing clothes, managing more than 5 different blogs, drafting a 100 page doctrinal statement, writing 300 articles, editing academic publications, and being syndicated on two different news sites… I decided I wanted to branch out.

I wanted to create my own CMS. As a writer I know my needs—something programmers don’t know, as incredibly brilliant as programmers are. Though I was code savvy in high school, PHP defeated me. I only have one life to live and I’m still praying for an entrepreneurial programmer to cross my path.

I have a particular taste in clothing—particularly that I want good clothes, not just some fancy brand with the same old routine of someone else telling us all how to dress. The problem: Manufacturers don’t know how to return phone calls.

I could invent new clothes with a “thread injector” (or sewing machine as mom always called it). I could learn Ajax and Javascript if I had the time. I could put in the hundreds of hours necessary to make my own graphic novels. The problem is that I don’t have enough time to learn it all. I have solid goals in my life and these things are secondary.

One of my goals is to eliminate the two-party system in American politics. Another goal is to compose symphonies in my retirement years—which is why I reinvented the Circle of Fifths. And I may dabble more in art, programming, and clothing in the future, after I get through all that.

But what will I do until then?

I am a writer. Poetry is my code. Of all the languages to master, English is something I have more practice with than most people in five lifetimes. Ask anyone who knew me—I talked that much. And my childhood reputation of being too talkative paid off.

Rather than coding websites or outlining clothes and action scenes, I shall code and outline ideas. The world needs good ideas, especially today. My best skill is and has always been the art of putting English words together.

Three years ago, I realized that I am a writer. But the idea didn’t settle in until I considered my current project, The End: A Bible Translation of the Book of Revelation. As much as I’d like to cooperate with artists and programmers and clothing designers, the Lord wants me to cooperate with Him.

Wise people have good ideas that need to be published. I can help them express those ideas in such a way that readers will enjoy. Some of those people are professors. My favorite client is God. You see, I’m translating for Him.

That’s what Bible translation is: I’m the editor, God is the Author. I don’t say this with a big head, but a humbled heart. Revelation is a hard book to understand. It has some of the most profound text in the Scripture and some of the most encouraging, yet, from our misunderstanding, it has become a source of unnecessary controversy. I’ve read it over a hundred times and I studied Greek in college. If anyone can help code Jesus’ Revelation into English, I can.

So, even with all the other projects I’d love to pursue, I’ll enjoy other people’s art from a distance. Maybe I’ll write about it. Maybe one day I’ll have the privilege of being one of their clients. But “write” now, my main client is God and I need to write for Him. By following His concept-design, we’re going to make the world a better place, one letter at a time.

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