Thank you all so much for your overwhelming support and excitement for my big announcement yesterday - it was such a fun day for me. The book deal was a secret I've been holding onto for a while now (months!) and it felt awesome to let it out in the open.
So, like I said, I'm writing two books with Zondervan over the next two years. TWO. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I'm writing one at all, let alone getting paid to write two. It's surreal in a completely terrifying sort of way. Also, can someone come do my laundry, watch my kids and clean my house? I really need to get writing, since my manuscript for Book One is due on July 1st. I will pay you in baked goods, whiskey and my undying love & affection. Please and thank you.
There I go, talking about whiskey again. I digress.
Let's me tell you a little about Book One.
For the new readers here, it would be helpful for you to know that I'm the creator behind A Deeper Story, a collective of over 50 writers across three different sites, where we use storytelling and personal narrative to address the big issues in Christianity, Culture, Church, Family and Relationships. Deeper Story was a little pea-sized idea that came alive three years ago and it's grown a mind of its own ever since. We never really pushed hard, advertised, or went crazy with social media to try to gain readers, it's all been very organic and grassroots.
Throughout the growing popularity of Deeper Story, I've wanted to explain why I believe it's grown the way it has, why people so easily connect with the writing, and why I think it's important. But, the content of that full explanation is MUCH bigger than even a series of blog posts would allow. So, I decided to put it all into a book... Book One, to be exact.
Book One is titled, Speak: How Your Story Can Change the World.
Now, if we're honest, "Story" is a huge buzzword in Christian culture these days. Everyone is talking about it and everyone wants to know how to "live a good story." But, the premise of Speak rests on a fundamental truth: You're already living a GREAT story, and the world around you needs to hear it.
Not everyone is meant to start an orphanage in Ethiopia, evangelize to the poor in India, start a microfinance non-profit in Los Angeles or write a book in Salt Lake City (see what I did there?) Here's what you were meant to do: Be faithful.
If that looks like finishing your lab work in your Chemistry class, then be faithful and finish. If that looks putting your kid in time-out for hitting the dog for the tenth time today, then be faithful and do it eleven times if you need to. If being faithful looks like filling out one more spreadsheet in your boring paralegal job, then be faithful and fill out that spreadsheet.
It doesn't matter what you're doing - if you're being faithful, God is changing you, transforming you and molding you to be more like Christ today than you were yesterday, and THAT is the greatest story ever. The stories of changed hearts, transformation, pain and joy can build bridges across ideologies, advocate for the least of these, fulfill the Great Commission and proclaim that God's Kingdom is breaking in on Earth, today.
Speak is going to explain how.
Book Two is nothing but a haze right now and I'm not sure how it's going to take shape. I have a Being A Thirty-Something Spiritual Memoir of some kind rumbling around in my head, but I need to finish typing out the words for Book One before I even begin to think about Book Two. So, you'll get more info on that book when I decide what in tarnation I'm going to write about.
So, there you have it. Book One and Sorta Book Two.
Excited? I am.
I'll be keeping you updated on the writing process, because it'll be taking over my life in about .05 seconds and I likely won't have the capacity to write about anything else except "Oh hey, I'm writing a book, somebody pour me a whiskey lemonade."
And there I go again with the whiskey.