Below is a short excerpt from my RelevantProse Newsletter, December edition. If you are interested in receiving a monthly newsletter about the art and craft of writing, sign up here.
HOW TO SET TRENDS:
Trends are set by people who don’t think about trends.
Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller is a trend, but before that book, (and similarly Girl Meets God), the edgy 20-something faith memoir was not cool.
My biggest pet peeve, though is bandwagoning. Once someone does something innovative (which is really just an extension of the passion God has placed within them), then eighty-seven someones copy it ad infinitum.
When DonaldMiller grappled in prayer about how to reach his campus, he and his friends decided to open a confession booth where THEY confessed the sins of the church. The idea was radical and an immediate hit, orchestrated by the Holy Spirit for their locale. Now, though, I am hearing about these exact confession booths springing up all over the place. I’m curious whether, in my strolls down the CBA halls this year, if I will see confession booth kits.
I see trend as a bit elusive. People who set trends usually don’t mean to. They simply listen to the Holy Spirit, write something totally amazing and let it go on the breezes of the fickle Christian marketplace. What happens after that is up to the Lord.
Write from your passion. Be attentive to the whispers of the Holy Spirit. Be willing to walk through difficult places personally, holding the hand of Jesus, so that you have something to offer others. Beyond that, hone your craft. And let the pieces fall where they may.