I’ve been working on a book of reflections based on my readings of the Gospel of Mark. The gospel is from the Bible and I am aware of being accurate to the text and not saying something myself in my writings that was not intended by the writer of the gospel. But I am writing reflections and this genre is not explaining or expounding a text academically as one would when deeply examining what the author was saying. Reflections are simply hopefully effectively relaying my thoughts about what I read…meaning it is not a thesis on the text or a critique but a reflection on the text itself. I reflect from a devotional basis so it is not a reflective critique which has a soft edge.
I don’t know if one can do reflections from any kind of text, but I think copyright issues are the barrier to a writer taking any printed text and writing a book of reflections on it, although I don’t know. I know that there is a whole genre of devotional writing that uses the Bible but does not copy it. I know I am not doing anything wrong in using the Bible as a basis for a book of reflections, unless everyone who was writing devotions from the Bible has got it wrong. It is only wrong if copying the Bible exactly as it is for a profit, without permission; and copying it even without wanting to make a profit or commercial gain.
Copying 1000 Bible verses as they are written is okay with some Bible publishers, without seeking permission. It just depends on each Bible publication policy which is at the front of each Bible. Always check copyright notices at the front of each book you may want to copy in some way. There it will explain what one can legally do or not do with that particular book. And get a grasp of copyright law. Books are legally well protected from people trying to illegally copy them, but the copyright notice at the front of the book will inform of any leniencies, if any, and what you can do if you want to use a portion of the book in some capacity.
So far, my reflections have taken up one small exercise book, which I completed this week. For the rest of the week in terms of reflective writing, I just felt to blob, as if I have done enough for a little while in that genre or until I get my reflective writing mojo back.
Does 100 sales sound like, worth publishing an e-book? In my experience, no. That leaves the traditional publishers to publish it for me leaving the answer with the gatekeeper behind the editor’s desk.
I may get an editor like the gatekeeper from Ghostbusters, with an other worldly persona and is only pretending to be polite. I am not alone. The rounds in and out of the editor’s room, looking to sell a book, is a story that every writer tells…
The conclusion to the story to that the answers to this get published quagmire lie in the editor’s hands, who may be looking for answers himself, more personal and philosophical answers, as long as they are satisfying, in the deepest recesses of a living room in Manhattan. Who may even find the answer in my book as he pours over it on the couch.
The thing now is: What will he do with my book?
(Even though he has found the meaning to life.)
There are things in life more important than writing, although the fact I am writing this shows that writing still serves a purpose to express the more important things in life than writing. Like marketing, distribution, and sales. But the fact that I have this week considered putting my reflections in an e-book to sell and then rejected doing so says something that’s true about “there’s more to life than writing”. It is in the experience of the writer that prompts further action to try and sell a work which won’t work because of the writer’s past experience. It’s also following the logic of one’s future actions — the seeing of the cons, while skeptical of the pros — that causes the flat out refusal of going forward with a project. Maybe that is filtered by experience. In any case, the answer seems plainly obvious at the end. Although one is never committed to it. Because one does not want to believe it’s true.
I’ve been thinking. Of what use is a writer? When you reach a certain age, you look for a job or embark on a career and writing seems everywhere. When I look at this writing world, there are needs for newsletter writers, technical writers, and so on. A few will make money from creative writing and maybe even a living, be that screenwriting, novel writing and short short story writing, as well as poetry. Of what use is a writer? It seems what is missing now is the motive, the purpose, the over riding theme of why one wants to write. When I knew my reason for being it seemed to choose the genre. When the genre was “chosen” (or more likely drawn into), of what use is a writer when are just a few publishing possibilities in that genre? What if one got in?
Am thinking is my favorite hashtag. Because when I am thinking I am thinking about how I can move forward, improve, or make something such as my writing better. A think tank can be my before writing process. Actual writing follows thinking or at other times a healthy dose of inspiration. This week I have been thinking. Thinking about what’s next to write. The devotion? Or the project? Or the devotional project? How will I write it? Would it work? We’ll see.