The Philosophy of Me
When Becky asked about writing a guest post she said I could write about anything I wanted as long as it was somehow related to speculative fiction and then she mentioned the P-word: Philosophy. She said I could write about my philosophy of life, writing, whatever.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit I’m no philosopher, my well doesn’t run that deep, but I do like to think, and thinking is part of philosophizing, right? So I shall think and write and let’s just pretend it’s some kind of philosophy. Okay? Please, humor me.
My philosophy on life
In March of 2008 I was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer (on St. Patrick’s day no less—so much for the luck of the Irish). That diagnosis brings with it a lot of baggage, both emotionally and physically. Cancer is a monster of the scariest kind. Seriously, it makes the boogeyman look like Danny Devito in a speedo. For more than a year I battled that monster through surgeries, chemo, an ostomy, two bowel obstructions, and a roller coaster of emotional ups and downs. I feared; I doubted; I cried; I prayed; I prayed some more; and then I got a whole new respect for life and its fragility. It’s preciousness. It’s brevity. I learned that there’s a lot in life that seems like it matters, but the list of things that really do matter is much, much shorter. I learned to not make mountains out of molehills. I learned that love really can cover a multitude of sins. I learned that a little discomfort isn’t the worst thing in the world. I learned what fear really is and that, yes, it can be beaten into the ground. I learned that God is always—always—faithful; that He provides when we don’t even know what the need is; that He loves me way more than I could ever love Him back; and that He can be felt and heard in the deepest, darkest valley.
I learned that, besides God, the love of my family is the most important thing in the world to me. I learned that life is short and every day counts—make the most of it.
My philosophy on writing
I started writing in 1998 as a way of dealing with the emotional juggernaut I was experiencing following the almost-deadly motorcycle accident of my brother-in-law. From the beginning my dream was to be published. I wanted to reach people with my writing. I had so much to say, that which I had kept silent about for so long due to a stuttering problem I’ve wrestled with all my life. Writing was my voice. In 2007 I signed my first contract with Realms Fiction (Strang Book Group). My dream had come true. Since that first contract I’ve signed three more, totaling seven additional books (five of which have not been published yet). I’m a regular guy, self-taught writer, who happened to get a break. And you know what? I don’t take it for granted for one minute. I know the numbers, the odds, and how many writers are out there waiting for their break. And many of them are probably more deserving than me. I’ve been blessed and I count those blessings every day. I write every book as if it is my last. I pour myself into my writing and everything that comes along after the writing. This is my megaphone, my platform to share my heart with the world, and I’m not going to waste it.
My philosophy on Christian horror
There are those out there who think Christian horror is an oxymoron. To them I respectfully say . . . you couldn’t be more wrong. If anyone is qualified to write horror, shouldn’t it be a Christian? Who else knows better the true source of fear, the dwelling place of darkness, and the power of light—of The Light—to overcome that darkness? Who else has personally experienced the horror of sin and the triumph of love? As far as I’m concerned, Christians have a responsibility to expose the dark side for what it is, to shine the light on its source and weakness, and to tell the world of the Conqueror, Jesus. This may sound crazy, and maybe it is (believe it or not, I’ve been called crazy before), but I see horror, so long as it’s done right, as a celebration of what Christ accomplished on the cross. He defeated sin, overcame the evil one. We have no need to fear. Now, as for “done right,” I mean horror that illustrates the redemptive power of Christ; that plainly shows the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness; that points the reader toward the hope we have in Christ, whether stated explicitly or implicitly. That’s Christian horror. No oxymoron at all.
So there you have it, a peek at the inside of my skull. A lot goes on there, some for public consumption, some not. I’m human too. I’m weird, I’m a bit eccentric, I may even be a little nuts, but I know why I do what I do. I’m driven and overflowing with ambition. I have goals. I want to make a difference and my philosophies form the framework for how I’ll do that.
Now I challenge you. Think on these things, then think on your own things. What’s the philosophy of you?
Mike Dellosso is the author of three novels with five more on the way. He lives in Hanover, PA, with his wife and three kids (and one more of those on the way, too). When he’s not working his day job or spending time with his family, he can be found writing (at 5 AM, if you’re looking). Mike also teaches writing to homeschoolers and various courses at Lancaster Bible College. By most he’s known as a regular guy who caught a break and doesn’t want to waste it. Visit him at www.mikedellosso.com.