Ah, the bliss in human romance! That meeting of eyes which awakens destiny. Those flutters of the heart when looking upon one’s beloved. That first fleeting brush of skin against skin … that inviolable first press of lips to lips.
Am I the only cynic with the audacity to note that romances of the fictional persuasion tend to end just before or soon after the altar with a vague “happily ever after”?
Not so in the real world. Here, sly Romance drives opposites to unite themselves in marriage, then dances laughingly into the shadows to watch the eruption of vinegar joining baking soda, one eyebrow raised as bubbles fizzle in a spewing mess.
“Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public.”
~ Winston Churchill
You no doubt visit here because you are enraptured by the romance between Writing and Publishing. Could the differences between women and men possibly be more pronounced than those between art and business?
Writing plumbs the depths of all things horribly beautiful and paints them with deft strokes, that someone might look upon the canvas and see what the artist has seen—might know what the artist knows.
Writing then casts longing eyes at Publishing. Publishing appreciates Writing’s beauty, gazing upon her often, in every lovely form she takes. Ever the pragmatist, Publishing knows his survival depends on Writing’s inner strength. Writing willingly dresses herself to please Publishing, who holds the stronger hand in the relationship. She is determined to make herself irresistible enough to garner his proposal of marriage between her art and his business.
Writing and Publishing are both aware that the promise of a storybook marriage upon which millions will smile also holds the risk of being consumed in the anguish of rejection. And though neither Publishing nor Writing sets out to cause the other pain, their marriage is destined to experience all the agony and the ecstasy common to any marriage between opposites.
Unless the LORD builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain…
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil …
~ Psalm 127:1-2 (ESV)
In romance between man and woman, the wise will ask if God smiles upon them—certainly before tying the knot and hopefully well before longing glances are permitted to grow into full-fledged courtship. Failure to do so can result in everything but “happily ever after.”
As we writers consider the marriage of opposites between writing and publishing—the union of art’s beauty and business’s pragmatism—it behooves us to know with certainty that the Lord Himself is playing Matchmaker.
Q4U: Whatever your relationship between art and business at the moment, what helps you determine when you write as only art (or ministry), and when you believe that God is leading you toward marriage of art and business?