“A highly intelligent and talented fellow.” — essayist Joseph Epstein
When I was young, I wanted to be called a novelist—even though I only wrote short fiction—because it sounded weighty and important. Then, for about a decade, I called myself a poet. Got myself a big fancy Master’s degree and everything so I could really say it for certain. Later, after I switched to theater, I took on “playwright” for a while, and that felt pretty good. Still does, in fact… some of the time.
But now that I’ve strung together sentences for just about every genre and medium imaginable, from film to television to journalism to digital media, I think it’s probably best if I just call myself a writer. I tell stories—some of them fiction, some of them non-fiction, and some of them right between the two—wherever they need to be told.
Marshal McLuhan famously wrote that “the medium is the message.” I’d say, for my own part, that—in an era in which new media are continuously arriving on the scene and old media are desperately reinventing themselves—the stories I tell are intended to thrive in whichever ecosystems they live in: stage, screen, tablet computer, paper, ear bud speakers, and so on. The medium, in other words, is the message’s environment… and the environment, as we all know, is changing.
As for why I write… the following mission statement—which applies to everything I write, in every genre—is still under development. With any luck, furthermore, I expect it to change for as long as I continue to write, because I never expect to stop learning, either about myself or about my (very modest) place in American culture.
I write about the Big Ideas we’re all struggling with in 21st-century America, particularly the alienation between people who hold scientific and faith-inspired worldviews. Sometimes my work is funny, sometimes it’s serious, but whatever I write, I want people to be invigorated, with renewed minds ready to think new thoughts, by any story I tell, fiction or non-fiction, in any medium or genre. I want them to wake up, ask hard questions, and hopefully—if I may be so bold—live more authentic, connected, progressive lives. I want that for myself, too.
I welcome any comments, especially if you’re familiar with my work.