Blue Like Donald Miller
September 13, 2010 § 2 Comments
It’s gotta be hard, being a writer and needing to eat. I can’t imagine the pressure one might feel if the lively hood of your life depended upon book sales. I can just imagine myself writing and then rewriting a single sentence believing that my next car payment depended on it, and if I chose the wrong line then my car will be taken away from me. Sound paranoid? Sure.. but I’m guessing it’s not as far from the truth as you might think. This is probably the only legitimate reason I can think right now that makes me feel less disappointed with Don Miller right now. I guess I wouldn’t feel more than ambivalent about the guy if it weren’t for the fact that he’s been one of the few authors that has been able to grab my attention long enough to speak to me on a meaningful level.
He’s a good writer for sure. I had a friend once give him the greatest of compliments when he said that he said, “Don Miller writes books the way I would write them if I could write good.” Though my friend losses points for grammar it’s not a bad compliment. I can grant that it’s entirely possible that my general disappointment comes from other sources right now, but I can safely say that even if I wasn’t feeling generally let down by friends and family right now I would most likely be pretty disturbed by that I saw when I looked on his blog site here.
Demographic research? Advertising kits? What the hell? This sort of thing is not new to the motivational speaker world, or religion for that matter, but it certainly feels slimy coming from Don Miller. In his books he talks about the nature of marketing how it’s more designed to sell you insecurities than products. I couldn’t agree more. He talks about how contrived it feels to sit in a church and notice how the music and lights are timed perfectly to illicit emotion and how it all feels so plastic. You would assume that someone who professes these kinds sentiments wouldn’t try to market themselves in similar ways.
That’s the crazy thing about all this. A large reason Don Miller has done pretty well for himself is largely due to the fact that his notoriety was spread via word of mouth. I myself bought 10 copies and gave them out at a community center group book meeting that I lead because I thought that people probably wouldn’t get a chance otherwise. Those people then gave copies of their friends when they were done. Christian markets didn’t want to touch him at first, neither did anyone else it seemed. Now that he’s all over the book shelves of B&N it looks as if he’s fallen victim to the marketing monster that is the business of religion. But then again I guess it’s easy to judge when you aren’t a writer and your paycheck doesn’t depend on you going along with things that you don’t believe in.