So I did! It seemed like a good idea at the time, a way to achieve my goal of being noticed. Trust me when I say I am not normally looking to be noticed but this was different. I had a book to sell. I had an agent to find. I had a publisher to impress. Somewhere out there was success and all I had to do was take the appropriate steps and my “baby” would be in the hands of Christians, in the libraries of pastors and on the required reading lists of church boards everywhere.
When I told my wife I was writing a book, she laughed.
Before you think she is heartless, mean or something horrible, she had every reason to laugh! She pointed out that I don’t often read books other than the Bible and devotionals. As the saying goes, “writers are readers” and I was attempting to become an author. I had had some success writing live theatre scripts and sermons but writing a book? The guy who had never written a book and did not read many books has now completed writing a book and writes a weekly blog. I think she is still laughing, I know I am.
It hasn’t gone like I had hoped.
It has been three years and a few months of blogging, Tweeting, Facebooking, Instagraming, LinkedIning and Pinteresting. I have both posted and commented regularly leading to more posting and commenting more regularly. I have friends all over the place who, this side of Heaven, I will most likely never meet. I have seen the world and more importantly my faith from different points of view, many of which I would never have considered. I have been agitated, encouraged, challenged and even angered by what I have read and I am sure I have been able to provide the same service to others through my posts. I am not complaining, as a matter of fact I am better for the experience. Still, it has not gone the way I had hoped.
What I set out to do has failed.
As my blogs and other social media platforms grew I hoped that it would birth a publishing opportunity. I tried to continue to grow my following because I was told this would make my book more appealing to a potential publisher. I tried until I realized that I didn’t want to be a social media household name or at least I didn’t want to spend every waking hour of every day trying to add to my followers. Then this happened. I had sent off a copy of my manuscript and a proposal to an agent seeking representation. His response went something like this. ‘If you had the best book in the world, it wouldn’t matter. Books like yours (Christian living/church life/church leadership) only sell because of the author’s name.’
It turns out my name wasn’t big enough to sell books like the big name pastors, surprise, surprise! Maybe with years of screen time I could grow an online audience that would translate into J David Peever becoming a name that would sell books but I am not willing to spend that type of time online and even if I did there is no guarantee it would translate into a publishing deal. What I set out to do has failed.
Where do I go from here?
I set out to get my book published when I started working on my online presence and I have had plenty of offers. As soon as you use author in any online description of yourself you are asking for “follows” from every self-publishing company that ever existed. I don’t have that type of money, as a matter of fact I really don’t have any money and, as you have may have guessed, I don’t have the desire/ability to work the social media sites so that I can sell my book if I were to self-publish. I have published abridged sections from my book on my blog and I have used the book itself to help in the transition of a church in trouble. I still believe that my book “Blueprint” has a place in the Christian book world and that although it needs a professional editor, it is well written.
So I am left with a weekly blog, an unpublished book and COVID 19 restricted ministry but no idea what to do next. I spend much more time in prayer these days seeking God’s guidance for my next move. Of course with the current pandemic it is not as much that I am such a great Christian always praying for direction but rather I have much more time on my hands to think about how this has all worked out, worry a little and then, because there is more time left, pray. Where do I go from here?
It has been a great journey.
I have enjoyed pushing myself beyond my past writing experience of live theatre scripts, music, sermons and reports. I look back and laugh. I wrote a book. I wrote at least one blog post a week for over three years. It isn’t a funny haha laugh but rather a giggle, well not so much a giggle, that would suggest a silly response, it is more of disbelief mixed with satisfaction type of laugh. I did that! Well in fairness God did that I just had the chance to be along for the ride. The question that won’t go away is, “What’s next?” The answer is, “I don’t know.” I am not giving up but I am giving in. My dreams of publishing my book are now fantasies and therefore my drive behind blogging has become less defined. So far it has been a great journey, I’m just not sure what is next.
Seeking God’s Plan – Done God’s Way – In God’s Timing – With God’s Chosen Resources
For post from my book Blueprint click on the following link Blueprint (my book) or click on Blueprint (my book) under categories on the right side of this page