Thursday, August 22, 2013

Article vs Sermon vs Song

An article I've written (on Song of Songs and Erotic Romances) is getting published in the Briefing later this year. I've not had an essay type thing published in the Briefing before and I'm kind of chuffed.

But it took ages to write. Ages. A really long, long time.

And who reads 3000 word essays anyway? In the era of facebook and twitter ADD, is anyone going to read it from beginning to end. (Actually, yes they will. It is about sex.)

Songs take ages to write too, but then you get one published and it gets sung thousands of times (hopefully).*

Sermons take quite a bit of effort to write, and then you preach them once (or maybe five or six times if you're lucky) then they are done.

Length - 300 words
Effort - lots
Times used - thousands

Length - 3000 words
Effort - lots
Times used - 1-5

Length - 3000 words
Effort - lots and lots
Times used - Published once (probably), read ???

Songwriting is looking pretty efficient by this comparison.

*But for every song I have published, I've written another 10 that haven't made it.


  1. Sex? You might even get to be the cover story ;-)

  2. Yes.

    I often say that writing a sermon is like writing/directing and acting in what will hopefully be a gripping, creative, personal one handed play every week.

    One that you pour yourself into, is over in 30 minutes, and forgotten about by both actor and audience by Monday morning when the writer/director/actor moves on to the composition next play and the audience just moves on.

  3. Actually, it depends on the size of the magazine's readership. An article can reach thousands.

    How much effort also depends on the person. Writing a song or a sermon would be "lots and lots" for me, but perhaps the article just "lots".

  4. I write a lot, so the article is by far my preferred mode. I think the song is the best use of time, because it could last for centuries. What a thought!

  5. ... people do store and come back to articles, though.

  6. I could spend today writing a talk or a new song. Which to choose?