How to Radically Empower Your Writing … By Surrendering It

5 Mostly-Practical Ways to Surrender Your Writing to God

About two years ago, while kneeling in a pew at St. Vincent Basilica, I was about ready to throw in the towel with this writing business. That was part of the reason I was on retreat there in the first place. I knew I wanted to be a great writer and somehow glorify God through it. I had … Read more…

2 Simple Things Chekhov Taught Me About Balancing Life and Art

Chekhov Family Photo 1874

I once read that if you want to be a writer, you must take an ax to the rest of your life. Writing, like other arts, demands time. You need time to create. Time to ruminate. Time to rethink and revise. You even need time to share and promote your work. Then, when you start to build … Read more…

The Artist’s Vocation: Finding Beauty in the Hard Places

Finding Beauty in Hard Places

Recently, my Russian tutor had me read this snippet from Russian Modernist poet Nikolay Zabolotsky: … что есть красота и почему её обожествляют люди? Сосуд она, в котором пустота, или огонь, мерцающий в сосуде? Or, loosely translated: … what is beauty and why do we worship it? Is it a vessel for emptiness, or a fire in a vessel, … Read more…

The Artist’s Vocation: “That Our Joy May Be Complete”

I’ve been feeling guilty about the supposed non-usefulness of the artistic and intellectual gifts I’ve been given. Teaching makes sense to me — it’s clearly a service and a sacrifice. But writing, reading, and contemplation are hard for me to justify, possibly because I love them so much. Does society really need another writer, another … Read more…