First Paid Assignment – Religion and Politics

Kurt's Religion and Politics

I just wanted to take the time to pen an article on my first paid assignment.

I’ve made it clear that, to this point in time, none of my writing makes me money. To be fair, I acknowledge that I write for the joy of doing so. You may not see how cranking out a thousand words on a given subject can be fun, but you may rest assured that most often, for me, it actually is just that.

There are times when I have trouble coming up with exactly what I need to say, that’s something I imagine all writers deal with now and then. Since I tend to write what I write in a linear fashion, my being “stuck” can make it so I can be under a time of stress whilst I try to work out exactly what it is I ought to put out there.

That said, more often than not, believe it or don’t, the words flow from my fingers such that I’m able to create a thousand word article in somewhere between twenty minutes and an hour.

There’s more work to do once I’ve written the content—by and large, since I do my own editing, I work to read each piece I write at least three times, and I’m bound to make changes and fix typographical errors as I go.

There’s also coming up with ideas, that’s a serious challenge at times, since there are “dry” periods when I must really stretch to find things worth talking about.

And that’s very important to me. I don’t want to write just to write. I hope it’s true for most writers, particularly if they write in the realm of facts and data, that they seek to put on the page, things that actually matter, and to the degree possible, that’re compelling to boot.

Fortunately, my first assignment for which compensation may be forthcoming has very specific parameters—the ideas are pretty well set for me.

In some senses, that makes life easier, and in some harder. It’s definitely not necessarily as easy to write about what others have already said in “long form” for me, as it is to opine.

That said, I believe I’m up to the challenge.

In case you’re wondering (and frankly, even if you’re not), the subject of these articles (which will be interspersed among my other work, more on that later) is a book by Noam Chomsky (forgive me for not knowing his appropriate title), called “Understanding Power, The Indispensable Chomsky.

To clarify, the reason my work surrounding this book will be mixed in with other blog entries, is that I will be carefully reading and trying to understand each word Mr Chomsky utters (along with those with whom he’s conversing) on a chapter-by-chapter basis, before I even take the time to summarize what I see.

I have yet to decide whether I’ll be writing my commentaries (possibly more than one per chapter) between each chapter summary, or later on down the road.

As with any opinion and analysis of fact—well done, or not so great—I deal with, one of the benefits of reviewing Mr Chomsky’s ideas and mental processes, is that I’ll have even more to write as a result.

I’ll be posting my resultant work on the various outlets to which my writings are normally published, so that those interested, may review both what I believe Mr Chomsky to be saying, and how I respond to what was put out there.

If you go to my blog directly to read what I write, I’ve created a couple of additional categories on the site—one for summarizations, one for commentary—under a third category designed to act as an umbrella for the two types of articles. This overarching category is called “Chomsky Review.”

For those who have been keeping up on my blog (all two of you), I think you’ll find both the review and the commentary interesting.

Mr Chomsky seems to be very much interested in specifically the politics and power and media structures in the United States (this, I more or less knew prior to reading the first “chapter” of his book) and how they relate in a semi-historical context. It can be argued that he’s interested in those same constructs where they occur elsewhere—now and at other times—in the world as well.

If you find either my summaries, or my commentary drier than that which I normally present—and I’m hopeful that will not be the case—by all means, ignore the articles. The truth is, you’re likely to pass over no more than two articles a week (unless I get a lot more time to read than is currently looking to be the case).

If you’re interested in the results of my little foray into this book, you can certainly, periodically check in on my blog, or better yet, subscribe to it. I have every hope, what you’ll see won’t be too far off my normal beaten track, but to you, it may be even slightly more interesting.

I’ve made my way through the first chapter of the tome already, and am “processing” what was asked, and said. As such, my hope is to soon have my first summary piece written and posted.

I don’t say it enough, but I’m always interested in commentary on my work. If you find something I say compelling, or have arguments against it, my knowing, and better yet our discussing it can help to improve not just my writing, but my person as well.

When we disagree, so long as we do so civilly and with courtesy for one another, constructive, useful things can happen.

So, thanks to the person willing to give me the chance to undertake this process (and to the degree he’s able, to fund some small part of my scribblings).

In summary, be ready for a small amount of my writing to begin to examine and seek to understand Noam Chomsky’s, “Understanding Power, The Indispensable Chomsky.” I urge you to take a look, and if you decide it’s not something you care to read about, continue to read other work I put out there, and ignore this particular group of articles.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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