You want to know why I call my blog “Fencing With Ink?” It’s a callback to Cyrano de Bergerac. In 2012, God spoke to me, saying I was much like that character. Cyrano was a fencer, but also a poet, scholar, musician, and biting humorist. A man of many talents, but they were all Cyrano.
That’s what I want to be.
Sadly, it’s not who the world wants me to be.
Being multifaceted is hard for a creator because we’re taught to focus on one particular audience, and for good reason. People who like country don’t necessarily like rap, so you can’t just switch back and forth and please everybody.
Now try writing for both Christian and non-Christians. Because I’m wearing my crazy pants.
However, I can’t focus on one audience per se because I feel that’s the way God made me. Eclectic. Dichotomous.
I’m the guy who takes everything at the buffet, then eats in circles, taking a bite of this and a bite of that, so that I can enjoy everything individually.
So what can I do? How can I focus my art? My brand, as they call it?
I write to people who are tired of Christianity.
To the non-Christian who’s sick of judgment, I want to offer grace, as God gave me.
To the Christian going through the motions, I want to offer wildness, as God gave me.
To either one who can’t stand to see another same-old, ultra-safe, bland Christian fiction, I want to offer something bolder, craftier, and funnier.
I am an eclectic man who refuses to remove one foot from either camp. If I take myself out of the Christian sector, I can’t write the Christian content I want to, and I’d be abandoning my God to boot. But if I take my foot out of the nonChristian sector, I miss a crucial audience who’s desperate to see Christianity do something wonderful for a change.
In short, I want to show the Jesus that’s been buried under stiff liturgy and chronic misuse. The hilarious Jesus. The bold sonofagun Jesus. The crafty and coy Jesus. The wordsmith Jesus.
I might not mention his name, but I hope you’ll notice he’s there.
Such at the thoughts pumping through my gray matter this week.
What of you? Do you struggle with finding an audience, a voice, or a brand? Who are you and what do you want to say with your art, business, or life?
2 thoughts on “A Creator’s Journey #21–A Foot in Both Camps”
As a Christian, probably not a good one, it does bother me that so many self-identifying Christians mouth the words but live their lives like non-Christians. (Nietzsche observed this and noted it in his writings.) If their faith has any value, then they should live it out and not just give lip service to it.
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I’m in the same boat.
Too controversial in my literary choices for the Christian market; too philosophical for the secular market. I guess my market is Christians who want their minds deepened, through fiction, without their sensibilities being too offended. I’d rather disturb with truths and thoughts than bad words or graphic depictions of violence.
Still, if we’re all in the same boat, we got good company, right? 😉
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