I'm trying something new. A got a tip from an e-friend about this website called the Examiner that hires writers for columns and pays them based on how many hits an article gets. (A penny a hit, so I'm not expecting to quit my day job!) They have several general rules to keep a consistent theme and look, to keep them from being a blogging site. And since the only serious writing I've ever done has been this blog I wasn't sure if I'd be a good fit. But I thought I'd give it try just to see. I filled out a long application and writing test, etc. After describing the subject matter they gave me the label of Seattle Faith and Agnosticism Examiner. So now I'm feeling my way through the process of expanding my writing style… sort of. I'm supposed to be less autobiographical, avoid using the word 'I', and strive to make points of fact rather than giving opinions. This is highly problematic for me since the point of my writing is to explore maybes, rather than declaring facts. The editors do recognize that the area I'm writing on is less about facts and more about exploration so they are giving me some leeway, and I'll continue to be honest about the fact that all the stuff I write is just stuff I think. But the articles need to be much shorter than my typical stream-of-consciousness philosophical meanderings. Because when I start a typical blog, I haven't sat down and thought about a theme, a conclusion, supporting claims, structure, etc. What happens is I think of one or two lines of an idea. I write it down, and that sparks other related ideas, and then it just snowballs as I think 'out loud' while typing. So trying to actually make articles with a point should be a good stretch for me.
I'm trying to figure out how to approach this thing… as far as what to write. I've decided I don't want to stop blogging here, because this is my journal and it has a lot of value to me, and I'm not supposed to journal on Examiner. I'm thinking I'll be reworking a lot of material from this blog and making it fit the Examiner criteria better. My goal is to simply start conversations about spiritual matters in a non-dogmatic context. We'll see how well it works out.
I'm also supposed to promote my articles on the various promoting websites like Digg and Reddit, etc. Which I don't know how I feel about. I've never really wanted to promote my stuff because I feel like it's a sort of declaration of how right I am and how important I am, etc. But then, the main reason I'm doing this Examiner thing is to get more people to talk to me about these issues, so…
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