The unfolding of your words gives light;
it imparts understanding to minds of ordinary people.
With open mouth I pant,
because I long for your commandments. – Psalm 119
Typically, first thing in the morning, I have a sense of where my writing should be going. My work usually emerges from a combination of where and how (or if) I have been listening to God – a contemplative morning walk, my thoughts on a scripture verse I’ve been considering, the devotional and prayer Rebekah and I share over breakfast, conversations I’ve had in my small group.
Today my “muse” is the writing experience itself. I’ve been extremely busy this week, spending a lot of time at my desk working on a variety of assignments. Over the past few days I have penned a newspaper column, written two articles for the AllProDad website I work for, and interviewed a variety of people for two fairly complex projects I’m reporting on for a faith-based foundation in Florida.
And, since I recently reorganized my study, my eye has consistently been drawn to the shelf containing copies of the eight books I have published over the past eleven years.
I kind of blame John Peterson for my train of thought today (John is one of the resources I interviewed Thursday morning – you can read my short bio on him here: The intersection of ministry and financial planning).
John told me he has been using one of my books – In My Heart I Carry A Star – for his Advent devotions. He said a lot of the content is not only challenging him to think but has already made it into his vault of quotable quotes.
Book versus Blog:
Of course that made me feel good. But more importantly it makes me think about how a published book is different from the daily content I provide here in these posts. A book is something solid that you can see and hold in your hand; a book sits on a shelf and feeds people in a qualitatively different way. You can dive back into books, sampling them, underlining important paragraphs. Books become like companions on our journey.
Books are more important than blogs, they own more gravitas. And – a surprising truth – books are more accessible.
Bottom line, I believe I am talking myself into putting at least equal emphasis on my next book as I do on this blog (still important), and my paid (really important) week-to-week writing.
At this point, I have a novel that’s about twenty-percent written and an inspirational book (a 365-day devotional for men) that’s simply an idea in the process of formation. What do you say I aim for the goal of both books written by the middle of 2019?
But here’s the thing, and like I told a woman who has been after me to write a follow up to my first novel (Suddenly the Light Was Gone).
- “Thanks for the encouragement,” I said. “Maybe you could buy some copies for your friends as Christmas gifts?”
- “Oh I don’t like to buy books,” she said. “I borrowed this copy of yours from someone else…”
So if you want me to write more books the biggest encouragement would be to actually buy the ones I have already published! (click here for my Amazon list)
Advent light, grace, peace, and promise – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.