This is an announcement. And it is one excuse I have for not writing blog posts for the past year or so.
Tuesday evening I wrote an email, attached several documents, and clicked SEND. That email represents a big milestone in my life. Here’s why.
Several years ago while I was pastoring, a church member encouraged me to develop one of my sermon series into a book. The idea was very appealing. My administrative assistant transcribed the audio of some of the sermons so I could edit them for publication. I heard that’s how John MacArthur did it, so surely it couldn’t be too hard.
That process didn’t work for me. When I read over my sermons, I realized the way I speak would not read well in a book. I marked up pages and pages of text, drawing circles and arrows and rewording sentences. I finally decided the best way for me to turn sermons into books was to use the research and ideas, but start from scratch and word it for reading rather than listening. And of course that takes a lot of time and effort. I started and stopped a few times, then finally gave up trying.
Since then, I have turned some sermons into articles that have been published here and elsewhere. But the idea of a book has stayed on my mind. I just didn’t have the motivation or blocks of time to make it happen.
A little over two years ago as I considered what was next for me after pastoring, I wished and prayed for a role that would allow me time for writing. God in His wisdom and goodness placed me in a teaching job. And teachers get summers off.
During the summer of 2017 I started writing the manuscript for a book. Preaching trips, vacation, and home projects filled those summer months as well, so I couldn’t devote the whole time to writing, but I got off to a good start. I worked on it here and there through the next school year. Then last summer I devoted significant time to pushing it toward completion.
Writing does not flow easily for me. There are occasions when my fingers can hardly keep up with my thoughts. But most of the time it is laborious and I agonize over each sentence. I’m a plodder by nature, so I just keep at it.
A week ago, I texted my wife, “I’m about to jump out of my chair!” I could physically feel the excitement as completion was in sight. Reading over the manuscript later, I realized I had left out an important section. So I had to go back and fill that in.
Tuesday night I completed and collected all the necessary elements:
Cover letter: Check!
Manuscript overview: Check!
Table of contents: Check!
Biographical information: Check!
Earlier in the process, I had sent a proposal to a publisher and was invited to submit the entire manuscript when complete. I entered my contact’s email address, wrote a note, attached the documents, and clicked SEND!
Now a new process begins – waiting while the publisher evaluates the manuscript and, if approved, going through the steps of preparing it for publication. It’s a new adventure and I’m loving it. And I will be thrilled if the fruit of my labor helps others.
One of these days I’ll tell you what I wrote about :).