So remember this from last week?
Quick site update: I am shifting my focus to writing a book first, and blogging second (more on this at a later date). I love blogging, but I know I’ll never complete a book if it’s my first focus. That being said, you can still expect 2 posts per week. They’ll come to you on Monday and Wednesday each week.
Yeah, I changed my mind.
I will no longer be pursuing writing a full length book. At least not right now. But I will be focusing 100% of my writing on this blog. Luckily I wasn’t far enough into writing the book for it to be a disaster. I plan on using the material (at this point) to release as an eBook here on APS.
So why the sudden change?
In two words, good advice. I recently met with a mentor of mine, who happens to be an author of over a dozen books, and asked him some questions about writing a book. I was caught off guard because he stopped me up when I asked how he writes, how he decides what to write about, etc. He said let’s back up.
Then he explained how most authors write sample chapters and a query to send off to a publisher before writing a book. OK, didn’t know that. Next he went into how much you have to love the material or the subject of the book. He said it has to be something that you not only think but that you exercise in your life (which I thought was brilliant).
Basically, he said he would never write a book just to write it. It takes far too much time that could be spent elsewhere. Not that I shouldn’t write a book, it’s just that he wouldn’t do it in that way.
Then we discussed how I would even sell a book or idea. I’m a guy who works at a beverage manufacturing facility. Who’s going to buy a book about Christian thinking from me? I wouldn’t. At least not right now. He said if he were me he would spend time developing my reader-base through the blog, because that’s how you can earn the platform (the word almost makes me cringe) to say something these days.
The funny thing is, I think I knew all of this. But I needed someone to guide me though my thinking with a sobering realism and thoughtfulness. We all need people in our lives who will do the same. That’s what good mentors do.
Wandering the creative landscape
As I was driving back from the meeting, I was talking to my wife about everything. As I was babbling, I came to the realization that I had no boundaries for my creative outlet. I had all these ideas, all these hopes and dreams, and I was trying to pull them off in far too many arenas. In the last year, I’ve created 3 blogs besides this one, all trying to accomplish different things. I’ve thought about writing a book. I’ve thought about stopping this blog and starting another one.
Not all who wander are lost, but I sure was.
I was reading a newsletter for artists by Keith Jennings called Root Notes (which you should definitely subscribe to if you’re an artist) the other day and he said something that nailed it for me.
“We are most creative when we are bound by limits.
Restriction creates tension. And tension creates art.”
There’s so much to this that I don’t have time to go into here. But let me say this: I think this is very, very true. I felt like a dummy when I realized all this. Here I had spent hundreds of hours writing and designing and tweaking this blog, making it the perfect place for me, and I wasn’t even really utilizing it. All my ideas were elsewhere.
But here’s the deal: I am A Parched Soul. I have made this so much a part of who I am that a friend gave us a toy laptop at our baby shower that said “for a little parched soul.” That’s who I am to myself, friends and family.
And that’s good.
So what does all that mean?
Well, I don’t know yet. But I do know it means I’m bringing a new focus and creativity to this site like I’ve never done before. I feel rejuvenated and freed of all the unnecessary burdens I was creating for myself.
I’m sticking to the Monday and Wednesday posting schedule, although I’m adding a new feature I think you’ll really enjoy on Fridays (look out for the first one this week).