Why I Write

1 tony

My name is Tony Roberts.  I was a pastor for almost 20 years.  A big part of my job was to take the sacred Word and inspire people to do good things like feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit the prisoner.  To do this, I did a lot of writing (over 500 sermons,  300 e-devotions, 200 newsletter articles, countless pastoral letters).   Now, I am leaving behind pastoral ministry and looking to put my writing gifts to good use inspiring people to do other good things.

Since starting this blog, I’ve been asked, “Why are you leaving pastoral ministry?”  I have a number of reasons, but the one that applies most here is that I’m discovering that I am better equipped to give glory to God and serve God’s creation through writing in other arenas.  I’m not leaving behind my faith or the church, I’m just going to serve in a new way.

The other question people have asked is “Are you mostly going to write about faith and God?”  My answer is “Yes and no.”  Yes, because I believe all good writing carries with it values and beliefs about the world, as well as what and who is in it.  Since we are created in the image of God and creation reflects God’s good order, when you write faithfully about any subject, you are reflecting on God.

This does not mean I’ll be restricting my writings to organized religion, pastoral ministry, or even what the Bible alone has to say.  As of this writing, I have posted political commentaries, social satires, spiritual reflections, poetry, essays, flash fiction, mini-memoir, interviews with writers, book and music reviews.

Those of you who’ve visited before (in December) may note that I have now not only changed the look of the blog, but also the title.  Since I am focusing now on the art (and craft) of writing and building tools to write better (instead of just looking for work), I thought the new title A Way With Words represented the primary aim better than the old title Will Write For Food (and maybe dental).

Finally, a brief word about some of the more “profane” writing you’ll find here.  I was once asked by another blogger to describe my sense of humor and the first words that came to mind were “Ironic Iconoclasm”.  I believe that most people (from professing atheists to conservative Christians) actually worship many false gods (sacred cows) and, when I detect this, I count it my duty to make fun of them (often using strong language).  I see my mission similar to George Orwell, who wrote –

When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, “I am going to produce a work of art.” I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.

So, happy reading.  And, I hope to hear from you soon (and often).

33 thoughts on “Why I Write

  1. Welcome to the blogosphere, Tony! Good luck with the journey to refashion your career in the wordsmithery business. I laughed at your blog’s name. Nicely chosen! (Oh, that elusive dental.) Yrs, fellow job hunter and former English major.

  2. I really like the writing. It is interesting and fun. Can I ask you a personal question? Why are you leaving the ministry? I am curious and with all things I always like to know the Why? Behind the subject at hand. Don’t get me wrong you are very good at writing and I am not saying that you shouldn’t continue that, but I just like to know the why? Someone is choosing something.

    Second, as an artist can I give you a little advice? Only from a design point of view! You have a good blog here, but there are several things that I have found don’t work in the past. One of those things is you are either using 2010 or 11 theme, right? Don’t get me wrong it is an okay theme, but when I look at themes and this is something I spend hours looking at. I spent all day Christmas Eve trying to pick a theme, I finally picked one. I went to bed and then next day got up wrote a post looked at the final product and went, “YUCK”. I then went back to square one looking at more themes. I like several things, and I believe you have one of them, but have not used the real estate to your advantage. Your banner! I know you are a writer and I am an artist. You don’t have to go all out although if you would like to, I would be willing to spend a few minutes helping you do so as say a Christmas Present or just out of Love of good design. The second thing I always look at is how easy is it for others to communicate with me through my blog. This is important, it is the comment section. It needs to clear and boldly there for all to see. I was helping a friend with a logo for his comedy site the other day. He is in the business of marketing through the internet. The more interaction you get the more views you will get.

    Now here is another idea, Start a second blog. Oh yes I did just say that! You are a good writer, and you have years of experience writing. You look at yourself as a Indiana Writer, but that is not true you are a writer, and writers don’t have to live where their writing is read. You have a whole world or at least a whole U.S. to write for. My upstairs neighbor is a freelance writer, and her boyfriend is unemployed, and they live on just her freelance writing. My suggestion and if you want to talk more about this I would be willing to help you out with this so you can get that new job, is to create a portfolio blog of your writing. Decide what it is you want to accomplish through your writing. Do you want to write on the subject of your faith, Who is your audience? Where is your audience? What do the like and dislike? How do you reach this audience through your writing? It really isn’t much different from my being an artist and selling my artwork. You can click on my name MyButterflySpirit and on my page you will find contact info which is my email that I use just for my readings. I am also an intuitive, but this is just something I feel led to help you with… The whole getting a job. I don’t know, but I guess we just had a weird divine appointment tonight. I stumbled here and felt lead to help you out.

    The other things I want to know is do you have a Facebook and a Facebook page? The personal Facebook is simply needed to set up the so called Fan page or business page as we refer to it. You will also want to create a twitter presence to drive more people to your site. There are ways to personalize that too. The other blog would be your site. This site would be great if it had a more personalized forest path much narrower, and maybe a bit more primordial. The other blog I believe would be great if it felt like you were walking into an old fashioned library or the likes. Keep the colors in the neutrals and maybe a pic of an old fashioned library. There you will want to assemble as many of your writings as possible. The writings you will use on that site will be more like articles, and make sure they are not too long but good. You will want to find images for them too. I am learning that the images only have to be loosely tied in but good images. Google is full of them and always give credit to where you found the image and the photographer. Feel free to add humor too with a cartoon or two. My friend the marketing wizard, my partner in crime you might say. He is a good buddy of mine uses the humor sites to drive business to his business. You are setting up your personal blog site to drive employers to your site. Pray on exactly how that works, but as God always tells me the what is my part the “how” is his part. You might need to do some study, but you can do this and make this change happen. I collect forest pictures all the time that are typically paths that wind into what strikes me as a primordial forest.

    Well now that I have written you a novel here… The next step is yours to take. If you want my help just email me. I am not asking anything in return. I totally believe in Karma. That said I should warn you, when you get to my blog to ask for help and you start reading I am a new thought Spiritualist. Don’t worry I am not going to try to convert you in anyway. I respect your belief system and that is all fine. I too happen to be looking for work and I know what it is to look for work. I guess I am just paying it forward, and I am sure you will do the same someday if you have not already done so. Spirit is telling me to help you with this and in return Spirit will take care of my needs! Peace and Love Sj

    • I’m glad you found your way here. I’m honored that you have chosen to follow my blog. I’ll let you in on a yet-to-be-revealed secret. I’m changing the name of my blog to “A Way With Words”. So, don’t be confused when you get your next post.

      Thanks again for dropping by. I plan to follow your progress as well.

  3. I love what you said here: “when you write faithfully about any subject, you are reflecting on God.” This is exactly what I needed to hear for my own writing. Thank you!

    • I’m glad it spoke to you. It’s a fine line between “god is everything” (pantheism) and “God is reflected in all creation.” When we pay close attention and reflect well on the things of creation (like sleep lines, as you did), we can give glory to God. On the flip side, if we are careless or inattentive, we can commit heresy or blasphemy. Writing is a great risk. But a risk worth taking.

      • Wow, that’s exactly it. When I am really present and appreciating what’s in front of me without judgment I get inspired to write. I will keep doing more of that!

      • Just click on the link to my blog and read about it. It’s basically a chain letter spread via blogs, but it does get your blog seen by people who might not see it otherwise. It already got you one new subscriber, my husband. You thank the blogger who nominated you, link to them, tell 7 things about yourself and nominate 7 more blogs. The promotional aspect becomes clear, yes?

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  5. You aren’t really leaving your pastoral ministry behind Tony, you are just taking a different direction. According to Paul in Ephesians 4:11 some were to be “pastors and teachers”, so, you’re still pastoring (shepherding) people and teaching. Just keep using the gift of writing God has given you and you’ll still be teaching and inspiring people 😉

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  8. Hello, Tony! We’ve chatted many times since I’ve started blogging, which has been great so far. You originally nominated me for the Liebster award. Now, I did not forget about that; in fact, I much appreciated the nomination, but was not sure of a way to reciprocate my thanks.

    Today, I was nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award, which I would like to now pass on to you. Thank you for all of the support so far, and here’s to more writing to come!


  9. An interesting site you have here Tony. Lots to read and quite diverse. Thanks for dropping by my blog and for your kind comments about my writing.

  10. Great stuff, Tony! Very inspired by your writing and God is alive! I write along the same vein too. Look forward to reading more!

  11. Once again I found another great writer through the backdoor of another blogger that I follow! I love the way you write! I have always thought that Pastors make such great writers. I have often thought of great sermons myself. Too bad that I am just a writer. I could never get up and comfortably speak like you guys do. So I have no idea where my daughter got the passion to be an actress!
    But as a Pastor…I think it is a mix…. They gotta come up with profound message at least once a week so writing is a must but considering yourself a writer…. depending on what you write…. having been a Pastor is just another way of getting out a profound message we just can’t NOT! Yes?
    I can’t wait to wander through your archives and read as you write!

    • Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. You are welcome to browse around through my archives here, or follow me at my new web address: awaywithwordsblog.com – where you will find complete archives and new material daily.

      Thanks again, Tony

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