Seriously though… I never realized how much it took to write a book. I know how cliche that sounds, but really I don’t care. It’s truthful. I’m tired… But, since I am feeling all kinds of reflective, I wanted to look back at why I am so tired. So much has happened since my first blog post, and there are more people engaging in this story so I wanted to take a second and look back over the past year-ish… Here we go…
Getting Caught Up On This Whole Book Thing
If this is your first time to the blog, or it isn’t and you just forgot, here is a rough timeline of events leading to now:
- December 2016: I am driving home with my wife from an epic Costco run. I am mid-thought and blurt out “you know what, I’m never going to have this exact mental framework ever again. I’m not going to be in my twenties, leading a church, with this exact perspective.”She agreed. So I set out to capture as much of that mental framework as I could. I wanted to memorialize my perspective, the one where I was 28 and a church asked me to be in charge… I can’t even…
- January 2017: I wrote a rough draft of what would become the book. It’s just a journal at this point but stuff’s about to go down.
- February or March 2017: Ok, the dates are going to get kind of fuzzy, but somewhere in there I make the mistake of filling out a “get back to me” form on a publishers website. I wanted to know what it took to print a copy or two of this glorified journal. My mom (and dad) loves me and is very proud of me. She would have read it, typos and all. The next day they call and we talk for hours about turning this into a book. The words “There is no book about a Millennial stepping into the role of a lead pastor in existence” are pitched to me. I guess it worked.
- I don’t know… Maybe like May 2017… I shouldn’t have done dates…: I have, maybe, a less rough draft that I have sent to family and friends. I ask questions like “am I crazy” and “are they crazy for wanting me to publish this?” This all the while a publishing rep regularly reaches out to me asking if I am willing to commit (this committing it to a thing called assisted self-publishing which you can read more about here)
- Still somewhere in the spring of 2017: I get to awkwardly ask permission to share personal stories in a book. As in I got to say “hey remember when that thing happened? Can I tell everyone about it?” Sometimes that thing was a fight… or some conflict… all of these stories are about those within my current church interacting with me… can we say potentially #awkward…?
- June 2017: We go from two kids to three… #ManToZoneDefense
- July 2017: I commit to publishing with Westbow Press, which means I have to pay them money because that’s how the world works now. You can see all the “adventures” I had with them here.
- August 2017: I do something super uncomfortable and tell the world I “wrote” a book. I also start a GoFundMe campaign to ask people to help pay for the publishing. It’s funded in like 24 hours. I have the horrible realization that God must want me to tell His story… again… I can’t even…
- September 2017: I start this nonsense (the website) and I bring some friends along for the ride. Seriously though, If you haven’t read the stories of the other millennial pastors on this blog, please go check them our right this second. I’m not joking, quit reading this post and go here to read some pretty epic stories about other youngins doing God’s work.
- The End of 2017: The publishing process is in full swing, I have to do a lot of resubmitting because I have a potty mouth (not really, chill) and because my cover is controversial (that ones more accurate).
- 2018 (I’m already over breaking down months): At this point, I am about to do a fourth revision!? My publisher didn’t actually provide editing services (I still don’t know why) so I got a bunch of volunteers to help edit this book. Trust me… I super needed their help. I am a typo machine! #FatFingers #Impatient #IDontKnowHowToProofread
- February 14, 2018: My final revision is complete and the book is being processed by printers. Oh, and I survive my first two-year review as a lead pastor and despite all of this, my church wants to keep me around!
Then I got invited to talk about my book. A couple times. None of these events have happened just. Well, one did, but I had to bow out for a couple personal reasons. Still, I am trying to decide how I want to go forward with all of this. I’m not 100% sure how to do this “author” thing.
For me, it comes down to the fundamental question of whether or not I am really an author. In my own mind authors do things I could never do, things like book tours, signings, events, speaking engagements, etc. I have zero time for anything like that, and making time for it is not really something I am very interested in at the moment. It would mean sacrificing time with my family or my ministry.
I just don’t know about it…
Looking to Tomorrow
People are buying this book. I don’t fully understand why. I find it weird to do all this work on a book and people I may or may not know spend money to read it. Someone even asked me to sign a copy for them the other day. That was super awkward. I didn’t like it…
Regardless of my own personal hangups, I have come to some conclusions about tomorrow. Whatever it has, I have decided one thing for sure:
If I am supposed to keep “authoring” it will be made clear to me. I will also be unconventional in how I “Author.” My main motivation will not be selling books and touring the country. All I care about it starting and continuing important conversations about God, the Church, and following Jesus. Words that spur others on to the Kingdom building work of the church on earth as it is in heaven.
What more could I hope for?
until next time…