This is my third attempt at writing this blog.
The first one was an angry rant about the state of the world. It had an incredible alliterative hook. The second was a haphazard attempt at a devotion on John 1:1. It had potential, but was not nearly what I was trying to say.
So I started over. I have to tell you, that I’m ever so grateful for the delete key. It gives me the opportunity to change everything with the stroke of a few keys. It allows me to change EVERYTHING, except the things I choose to keep.
I am currently obsessed with Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast, Revisionist History. In it, he takes a look at historic events from a perspective most have not considered. It’s really fantastic. Anyway, the Episode titled “Hallelujah” sums up my entire writing process. In it, he compares the artistic styles of several artists, including Pablo Picasso and Paul Cezanne. , He describes how some artists can sit down at their chosen medium, and in a relatively short period of time, create a masterpiece. Some days are like that for me. Last week, I sat down at the computer, and when I looked up I had written 750 coherent and cohesive words. I was pleased with myself.
Other artists start a project, and come back to it over and over again. Those artists feel like the project is never complete. Cezanne once asked a subject to have 100 sittings in order to paint one portrait. Today, I am Cezanne. I’m taking the anger I felt with the first blog attempt, and the hope from the second, and hopefully coming up with something i will not love, but at least I can like it a little more.
In the aforementioned podcast, Gladwell explains that Leonard Cohen probably wrote 70 to 80 verses to what may be one of the most beautiful songs ever written. It is as near perfection as I’ve ever heard modern music, and yet I know Cohen probably would cringe every time he heard it. I know because I do the same thing, every time I read my own work, or hear my own voice on the radio.
Here it is, as recorded by Bon Jovi:
I am a true revisionist. I am never satisfied and ever hopeful. I believe every ending is really a new beginning. That is beautifully poetic, but also tortuous for those of us attempting to finish what we know could someday be a good work.
A cold and broken Hallelujah.
P.S. Please listen to Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History. You will not regret it.
You can also read this article.