IVP - Strangely Dim - None of Your Beeswax

February 14, 2005

None of Your Beeswax

by David A. Zimmerman

My latest post will never be posted. For the first time an entry for Strangely Dim has been rejected.

How is that possible? you might ask. Isn't a blog supposed to be the unfiltered expressions of an individual's experience of life? Aren't blogs the last stronghold of free speech in an otherwise hopelessly spun, politically correct and scrupulously market-tested world? Isn't a blog particularly designed to rage against the machine of homogenization that threatens to turn a diverse culture into so much vanilla pudding?

As I've been reminded a few times, Strangely Dim isn't technically a blog. I'm not huddled in my sound-proofed basement like Christian Slater in Pump Up the Volume, sending out messages of revolution to similarly huddled masses yearning to breathe free. I have a sugar-daddy, so to speak: InterVarsity Press oversees Strangely Dim and thus has some input into what I post on its website.

Just to reassure my more revolutionary readers, the entry you won't be reading isn't being censored because it's too controversial or because it challenges an IVP orthodoxy or anything like that. It's been rejected because it wasn't very good.

I liked it, of course, but then, I'm biased--which is one of the best reasons for submitting yourself to an editorial process in the first place. I'm really too close to my own writing to see it as anything less than brilliant.

Of course, allowing readers to comment back on what I've written serves a similar function; if the Strangely Dim emperor has no clothes, all it takes is one snicker from one reader, and I learn my lesson. No offense, dear reader, but I'd rather have that conversation in private, before I prance around showing the world my business.

This wound up being a particularly humbling weekend. After my Strangely Dim entry was shot down I went home and prepared my monologue for our church's presentation of the Living Last Supper. I play Matthew, and I crafted what I thought was a particularly artful and insightful peek inside the mind of one of Jesus' disciples on the night he was betrayed. Our director, very delicately and very privately, deconstructed my whole monologue, pointing out the dubious theology and the anachronistic language that littered my masterpiece. I went home humbler but better prepared.

There are worse things to be than humble and well-prepared, I suppose. So don't ask me to post or e-mail the lost entry to Strangely Dim; we're all better off forgetting I ever mentioned it.

***

My apologies to Rick from Cayce, whose last name is not Cayce, for misrepresenting him in my description of his blog. I got the name wrong, but the rest of it is true: he writes wonderfully and is worth visiting online.

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at February 14, 2005 8:46 AM Bookmark and Share

Comments

too kind - and i'm posting whatever i dang well please. nyaah nyaah to the management - er, um. i mean, i'll behave, since my wife is reading over my shoulder and doesn't approve of nyaah nyaah that doesn't involve huge college basketball wins over kentucky.

Comment by: rick at February 16, 2005 6:54 PM

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Behind the Strangeness

Lisa Rieck is a reader and writer who likes to discuss good ideas over hot drinks and gets inspired by the sky. She takes in all kinds of good ideas as a proofreader for InterVarsity Press.

Rebecca Larson is a writer/designer/creative type who has infiltrated IVP's web department, where she writes and edits online content. She enjoys a good pun and loves the smell of freshly printed books.

David A. Zimmerman is an editor for Likewise Books and a columnist for Burnside Writers Collective. He's written three books, most recently The Parable of the Unexpected Guest. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/unexpguest. Find his personal blog at loud-time.com.

Suanne Camfield is a publicist for InterVarsity Press and a freelance writer. She floats ungracefully between work, parenting and writing, and (much to her dismay) finds it impossible to read on a treadmill. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and blogs at The Rough Cut.

Likewise Books from InterVarsity Press explore a thoughtful, active faith lived out in real time in the midst of an emerging culture.

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