Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The wonderful world of book-writing

Sometimes I have to pause and remember the title of this ongoing blog - "A Life Examined". And then I remember that the idea is to be introspective... yet at the same time relevant to the world around me. Once in a while, if all works appropriately, something that I'm examining in my own life will maybe resonate for those of you who take a look into this space.

Consequently, with the above in mind, I just ditched the really interesting post about obesity I finished writing just five minutes ago. Why? because I realized it was more of an "opinion column" and not a real blog post. I'll be find-tuning the piece and sending it to some lucky newspaper editor later today.

Instead, I'll share what's on my mind on a more personal level. If you're a facebook friend (and I invite any of you to "friend-request" me - along with a personal introduction), then you may have spotted my status update yesterday evening. Here it is: "Derek is excited because he just got a contract for a new book!"

Whoo Hoo! Yay!! Drum-roll, please!!!

Book writing, for those of you who don't know, is a long drawn-out process. There are a lot of reasons for this.
  • First, it takes a long time to write a book. Duh!
  • Then (and this really drives a lot of the process) publishers work out their projected "lists" well in advance, often 2-5 years.
  • Also, and this is hard for many wannabe writers to accept, a completed manuscript will need around three or four months of extensive editing - and that's after I think it's just about perfect!
  • Next, and somewhat overlapping, page-design and format and cover work and typeset and fact-checking and permissions and marketing proposals and a host of other details are in process.
  • Finally, it's time for production, proof copies, delivery, stocking etc etc.
So my new book, all other things being equal, will be rough-drafted by March 2010, fine-tuned by June, submitted by the middle of July, tossed back and forth over the next few months, in production by the middle of 2011, and available in the Fall list - designed for Lent 2012.

My basic approach is going to be to prepare a guide for those who want to engage the Easter story on a more personal level. It's about allowing the "sacred rhythms" of deliberate observances to play a more meaningful role in our ongoing pilgrimage, about working out what it means to be spiritual people in a secular culture, and about utilizing the beauty and mystery of the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday to bring us closer to God.

The working title (always subject to change) is "Fresh Eyes On Easter: a devotional journey through Lent."

Here's a quote from my cover letter:

  • What I have in mind here is simple, but potentially very powerful. This book is a guide-book, a companion text for the journey through Lent. I firmly believe that – in much the same way that "In My Heart I Carry A Star" prepares readers for Christmas – those who read “Fresh Eyes on Easter” will arrive at Holy Week refreshed rather than tired; inspired rather than discouraged; reflective rather than overwhelmed. Readers will complete the season of Lent walking with Jesus, prepared to go wherever Christ leads, Followers of The Way rather than consumers looking for another Easter Sale.
So that's where my mind is this morning. Like Rebekah said when I was all excited and "Yay!" (I still am and I will be for a long time) - "Good luck getting any of your regular work done today!"

Peace - DEREK


Janice Phelps Williams said...

Congratulations Derek!

Jesse said...

That is great news, Derek. I look forward to reading...

Pastor Tim said...

Wonderful news. Congrats and enjoy!!1