“Being a writer does not necessarily mean being published. It’s very nice to be published. It’s what you want. When you have a vision, you want to share it. But being a writer means writing. It means building up a body of work. It means writing every day. You can hardly say that van Gogh was not a painter because he sold one painting during his lifetime, and that to his brother. But do you say that van Gogh wasn’t a painter because he wasn’t “published?” He was a painter because he painted, because he held true to his vision as he saw it. And I think that’s the best example I can give you.”–Madeleine L’Engle
“I think she’s being careful, ducking accusations of parochialism, and leaving everything up to the reader’s interpretation. But I also think the variety of her idols suggests a restless imagination, one that was more confined than inspired by doctrinaire Christianity. Her impulse toward sermonizing wrestles with her impulse toward a vision that is—like her extraterrestrials and shimmering presences—unclassifiable.”
This is one reason that I like L’Engle’s work in general. She acknowledges a greater purpose in the general and, even as she tends toward the Christian, suggests that whatever the universe is, it’s beyond our current power of comprehension. But that doesn’t mean we should strive to reach out toward it.