Inside MAI Blog: Thoughts on global publishing

Are We One-Hit Wonders?

Can you think of a favorite one-hit wonder? It’s a popular song by a recording artist who has just this one “hit.” The artist never again scales the charts.

Remember “Spirit in the Sky” by Norman Greenbaum, for instance? Or, the catchy “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)” by Edison Lighthouse? One can even find rankings of the top one-hit wonders.

I’ve always thought it sad when an artist has just one hit, only one song that resonates with listeners. Why just one and not more? What happened?

Maybe some of us Christian writers and publishers risk becoming one-hit wonders. We find a formula that works for a certain type of writing, article or book, and we keep producing essentially the same piece with minor variations for years and years.

Maybe we stop being intentionally creative. We cease experimenting with styles and subject areas. (In contrast, I’m reminded of late journalist Don Brown, a long-time friend of MAI who wrote his first novel while in his 70s.) We leave off seeking the Lord for inspiration and write about stale spiritual experiences that happened years ago. We stop learning and stop striving for excellence.

Maybe this is why the Psalmist commands, “Sing to the Lord a new song.” Instead of an old tune, as good as it may have been, the Psalmist asks us for something new, something fresh, something real from our daily walk with Christ.

Readers can tell the difference between “new” and “used” writing, just like they can tell the difference between items from an exclusive shop or a garage sale. Let’s give God and our readers our best.

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