getting the ball rolling on a new book (well, trying…)

So keep these commandments carefully in mind. Tie them to your hand to remind you to obey them, and tie them to your forehead between your eyes! Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are sitting at home, when you are out walking, at bedtime, and before breakfast! – Deuteronomy 11:18-19

stock image from the web

This past week has been interesting. In part the five days presented a unique opportunity, but in reality it involved a whole lot of, well, reality.

The opportunity part has been the potential to work with undistracted focus (with Rebekah out of town on study leave). Typically this is a discipline we enjoy doing together – like our 2018 writing retreat in the mountains – but leaving my parents isn’t practical at this time so she signed up for an intensive seminar at The Clergy Center at Davidson College and I stayed back in Wake Forest.

My goal was to do a deep dive into one of the book-length writing projects I’ve been kicking around for the past year or two. I figured if I got something out of the gate with a few consecutive twelve-hour writing days I’d have enough momentum to carry the project forward once Rebekah returned home. I have mixed results to report in that – yes – I know what I intend to write, but – no – the book is not exactly out of the gate.

The good news is that I am motivated and excited about the idea; I honestly believe I have the beginnings of an inspirational classic that breaks new ground and absolutely needs to be widely read. The next step is to turn it into a legitimate query that A) lands on the desk of a receptive publisher, and B) elicits the same level of enthusiasm that I have.

dsc_00021I feel as good about this as the idea for my first book, the email that got the Upper Room Books editorial staff so excited when I first outlined the concept for GET REAL (a spiritual journey for men). All I need now is a publisher willing to take a look.

But I don’t write in a vacuum:

“Reality” this week may have gotten in the way of my work, but I also understand that reality is at the core of my writing ethos. I don’t create books in a vacuum, they come in response to the actual life I am living and – hopefully – my words speak inspiration and hope to people in the reality that is their day-to-day too.

So this week I did some writing, and I spent time with my parents next door, and I prepared for and taught my class at church, and I cooked, and cleaned, and played a round of golf, and did yard-work, and I visited folk at the hospital, and I did some more writing.

stock image from the web

And I almost have this idea for a new book framed and ready to send to one of the very few publishers who do not require the filter of an agent. And, yes, if you know someone in the business then I would be very happy to connect with them… (Upper Room Ministries, BTW, have published five of my books and my work has sold somewhere in the neighborhood of 40,000 copies).

So that’s about it for this post. I am very excited to see Rebekah again this evening, and to debrief with her.

Watch this space for news of my latest project. There is so much that is important to share – DEREK



  1. God has been nudging me to write something also in the last few years, but I thought it was silly cause I am not an author – my blogs are proof of that -. However, I decided to start with a short story style and see what happens. I don’t have a limit except to finish it this year and to keep it within the frames of the genre and such I am interested in. Look forward to your updates on this.

    Liked by 1 person

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