About Shawn P. Bailey

I am a recovering humanities nerd, a former English major who exclusively pursued unmarketable knowledge until the day I applied to law school. That decision–law school–felt like giving up on becoming a writer, but it was the culmination of an honest assessment of what I lacked. A wealthy patron, for example. Now a young trial attorney with student loans and a mortgage, I read and write endless reams of arid legal prose and the occasional ribbon of literary fiction or poetry.

I feel strongly and conflicted about blogging: I am wary of its tendency to the superficial, repetitive, narcissistic, ephemeral, and inconsequential. And time invested elsewhere (family, church, work) yields better returns. But for me, media consumption is both inevitable and a zero sum game–I read or watch or listen to things everyday, and my time spent doing so is limited. My point: I don’t want blogging to displace more thoughtfully and carefully composed media; on the contrary, I want it to facilitate the reading and savoring of good books. This is why I most value the bloggernacle. It has given me a bloated reading list while uncovering to me a small universe of very smart Mormons, people who inspire me to learn more in general and particularly about my own religion, a subject much richer than I once thought.

Anyway, I have followed and admired A Motley Vision for most of its life and am delighted to join its ranks. I hope to post on Mormon literature old and new. I am also keenly interested in non-literary Mormon culture, art, and music and will probably abuse this forum to venture opinions even where I am entirely unqualified.

8 thoughts on “About Shawn P. Bailey”

  1. I’m pleased to see that law school didn’t kill your interest in literature. Conflicted lawyers we can take.

    It’s those lawyers who earned bachelor’s of arts degrees in English in order to get into law school that we despise and make fun of around here. ;-P

    [I’m not pointing any fingers here. Really, I’m not. More of a reference to some of my fellow English majors at Cal. But if you are experiencing any feelings of guilt or shame, dear reader, may I suggest you start by reading, say, _Angel of the Danube_, or _Salvador_ or _Falling Toward Heaven_, etc.?] 

    Posted by William Morris

  2. I agree that there’s a great temptation to let Internet time cut into the time that might otherwise be spent reading real books. With such a convenient means of meeting and conversing with so many intelligent people all over the world at any time of day or night, it’s sometimes hard to remember to do it in moderation.

    Still, blogging and bulletin boards can be a useful daily exercise for a writer. One gets immediate positive feedback for writing things that are clear, concise, and insightful, so this hobby encourages discipline in carefully crafting each sentence. It can be like an artist sketching studies while not working on actual paintings.

    Congratulations on winning the contest, and I look forward to reading your contributions. 

    Posted by C. L. Hanson

  3. Hey Shawn!

    Congrats on joining the crew of A Motley Vision ! It was nice to meet you at the AML reading at the Orem Public Library. I liked your story–especially the references to the endangered dirt (formerly referenced in the movie Broken Arrow.).

    Your voice lasted a lot longer than mine did during my reading and I look forward to hearing your virtual voice in the months to come on A Motley Vision.

    Darvell Hunt

    Posted by Darvell Hunt

  4. Very interresting. I quite agree. I do my blogging after the kiddies are in bed or at school so I don’t feel like I am wasting time. I have found it to be theraputic and I am very honest on my blogs. I sure hope no one figures that one out! 

    Posted by melissa c

  5. Thanks everyone for the warm welcome!

    Patricia: a preview would require actually knowing what’s to come!

    William: glad to hear conflicted lawyers are accepted; I do find the existence of a few absolutely prolific authors/conflicted attorneys (cf. Wallace Stevens) reassuring.

    CL and Melissa: My reservations about blogging notwithstanding, I do think it is an exciting medium with considerable upside. Particularly blogs focused on specific topics with deep and broad potential like AMV! I hope you both continue reading and commenting!

    Darvell: it was nice to meet you too! Likewise, I look forward to hearing your virtual voice in our conversations here. 

    Posted by S. P. Bailey

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