For years, people have advised me to either develop a professional web page or begin a career-related blog. The idea felt narcissistic, but I suppose I need to embrace my inner-arrogance, and so, on this Independence Day, I forsake my trepidation and launch a self-titled blog. No one fancies themselves a writer who is not confident–and perhaps brazen–enough to think/expect strangers will desire to read the stories s/he writes. So far, I’ve been fortunate to discover an audience in the Mormon literary community and to gain the opportunity to work as an editor for some ground-breaking organizations.
Many people continue to think of Mormon literature as a canon of stories written to promote the faith. Mormon writers have grown far beyond that. Our best writers aspire to explore our culture, how our culture interacts with faith and with the broader mainstream American culture. Our object is as Chekov once stated: “The writer’s task is not to solve the problem but to state the problem correctly.”
I expect that Mormon literature will soon stand beside other American canonical subsets like Jewish literature or African-American literature. My personal ambition is to be a part of this rise. Already, Mormon writers have crested the best-sellers lists with works that, though not directly Mormon, have the flavor of Mormon culture. Unfortunately, stories about and from our culture have yet to leave a distinguishable footprint.
Future posts will discuss my own work, my work-in-progress, as well as highlight work of others in the MoLit Community. I will discuss problems inherent in writing about a religious culture for a secular audience and share tips intended to help establish other writers. I’m certain to bemoan rejections and celebrate victories. I may complain about slush piles, both being lost in them and reading them. Regardless, my focus will be, on all counts, the promotion of Mormon literary art.