This may be the way to develop a split personality. For the majority of my waking hours of the week I’m a biblical studies editor. I do the usual, boring editorial work associated with that job. Academics contact me supposing I’m just some Joe who majored in English and who has to pay the consequences. Once in a very great while the person contacting me knows that I once was a professor as well, but that’s rare. So I have one part of my life. When I’m not at work I continue to research (in my own way) and write books, as well as this blog. Being in “the biz,” I have a fair idea about how to get published in the academic realm. Ever since Weathering the Psalms came out I realized I could use that knowledge to steer my books toward appropriate publishers, but all of this is very separate from my day job.
A third compartment of this personality is as the closet fiction writer. I’ve had thirty short stories published (under a pseudonym, for work purposes) and anyone curious about that pseudonym’s life can’t really tap into this one because I have to keep them separate. I’m also involved in a faith community. Most of the people there are surprised that I watch horror and write about it, and even write it. Only two have expressed any interest in reading what I write. So it is that each of these discrete elements—and they’re not all!—prevent me from being an integrated personality. I know other religion scholars who watch and write about horror. Because they’re academics they can integrate it into their profiles in a way a mere editor can’t. To be fair, they’re misunderstood too.
The possibility of living an integrated life is limited in the workaday world of capitalism. Companies want you to spend as much time as humanly possible making money for them. You shouldn’t try to shine any light on yourself, and if you do, well, keep the company name out of it! Who wants to be associated with some horror pariah? And yet, statistics reveal about half the population of the United States enjoys horror movies. A significant number of those people attend religious services or belong to religious bodies. So what’s a graphomaniac to do? I write because that’s what I do, and have always done. I started in fiction and moved to academic and now I blog. Somewhere in there there’s a person and someday I may discover who he is.