Abandon Text!

W. H. Auden once said: "Poems are not finished; they are abandoned." I have been abandoning writing projects for many years, since only the pressure of deadline and high expectations ever got me to finish, or even start, anything of merit. This blog is an attempt to create a more consistent, self-directed writing habit. Hopefully a direction and voice will emerge.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Elevator Pitch

Every year, the John Templeton Foundation awards prizes for "progress in religion" . . . the biggest prizes in the world, for anything. Its awards are the "Nobel Prize" for anyone with something new to say about religion and spirituality. In 2003 the foundation held a writing contest, offering $100,000 for the best essay on "the power of purpose." The contest was open to professional writers as well as amateurs, and even published work was permitted. Nearly 8,000 entries were received from all fifty states and 47 countries. A blue ribbon panel of judges, including Rick Warren of The Purpose-Driven Life fame, picked the winner. And the winner was . . . not who you would expect. August Turak, a man living in North Carolina, was the winner. His essay, "Brother John," was about a humble Trappist monk, and how ordinary people ... someone like yourself, maybe ... get the courage to do extraordinary things. Mr. Turak has just finish writing a book about the experiences that led him to win the biggest writing prize in the world. He'll be our guest this week on (fill in your prestigious talk show here.)

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