Yesterday, as I was trying my best to be productive with my procrastination, I realized I didn’t have any of my Next-Wave (UPDATE 11/16/12: Links removed due to Malware… what happened Next-Wave?) articles saved anywhere.
Yes, over thirteen years ago, when the Internet was young, I wrote for this website. I contributed 24 essays on issues related to faith and culture (read more about that here). I was even editor-in-chief for a short time. I offered decent editorial direction. I had ideas that were somewhat original at the time–made sure each essay was also available as a downloadable pdf, tried to keep submissions under 1000 words, attempted that “blog thing” with the editor/publisher section, and added a message board. I found some great contributors. My web design skills were terrible at the time, and I didn’t have WordPress to lean on. But hey, the site looks nicer now.
So, I went through Next-Wave’s archives and copy-pasted everything I wrote into a Word document. It amounted to 35,104 words. Not too shabby for a young writer. In 2008, I contributed one last essay about my own “loss of faith.” From that essay:
“Recently, I took time to read what I had written previously, expecting to be completely horrified by it. And you know? Not too shabby. A few of my essays had some ideas that still hold up–a little bit of wit, sloppy reasoning here and there, and a whole lot of enthusiasm. I remember the more I wrote, the more anxious I got to make Next-Wave subversive. I wanted to shake things up in a positive way. At a certain point, that anxiety probably got the best of me.”
It’s clear NOW that I was using those essays to work out my own issues. Occasionally, I was straight-up trying to start shit.
“If I think this way, will you still accept me? If I believe this, will you still call me one of your own? If I act different, will you still trust me? How far will the community stretch to include those who don’t fit the mold–without any pretense to conform them?”
These are not good qualities for someone wanting to be a pastor. You’ll drive yourself nuts. And it’s a good thing I didn’t go that route. However, I wonder if it’d be interesting to go back through those essays and have a polite discussion with the younger version of me. Would anyone else be interested in reading it? Would anyone publish it?