Obviously, you have to start with an idea, and it needs to be compelling enough to attract interest, and written well enough to be readable. Then you translate that idea into paragraphs that are actually part of you, expressing some part of yourself that had lain dormant for years, all the while creating a vulnerability you didn’t even know you had. And as that part of you flows out onto the page, you wonder, “what will people think” and then you realize that you’re not really writing for people, you are following a calling, and you don’t even know why… So you write something, maybe you even write something every day for over a year, and people say, “Oh, that’s good, you should think about publishing.” You are humbled and gratified by people’s compliments, and you are surprised, really, because you’re just a guy (and not even a very holy or righteous guy) writing down stuff about the Bible and trying to apply it. And in your fantasy world you send what you’ve written out to a couple of folks, and they say, “Wow, this is good!” And the next thing you know, you have a book! And you see your name in print and then even in bookstores, and you give free copies to your friends.
In the real world, it’s really different. You send out a sample to literary agents, pretty much all of whom reject your work as not viable (and not over craftsmanship or writing style, just because they don’t do that type of genre, or you are not a celebrity with a built-in audience, their publishers don’t print those kinds of books, or who knows because they don’t even bother to answer.) But one of them (a small miracle, actually!) gives you some advice, and tells you to buy a book about making a book proposal, and how to present yourself to the commercial world of bookselling. So you reboot and come up with a proposal, and realize as you do that your work probably needs an editor, someone to nitpick and format it and tell you all the things you have done wrong. And if you’re lucky you find one who actually likes your work and believes in it gives you direction about how to rewrite and helps it become better than it was. And then you learn that having good work is not enough, you need to have a Brand, you need to have enough followers engaged in your work so that it is commercially viable, so that a publisher has a chance to sell enough copies to justify the cost of printing. Hey, it’s a business, not a calling.
And so I find myself in this process, attempting to improve my work and applying myself to the task of building a following. Since my devotional has really been somewhat of a personal thing, and since I really do think it’s more about God’s Word than about me, I have been somewhat loathe to promote it or myself. I still am. SO–if you have bothered to read this, then I am going to ask you a HUGE favor: help me. I’d like to enroll you as a salesperson for my daily devotional blog, and ask you to like it and share it and tell friends about it. OR, you can just pray and ask the Lord to do what He wants with it. That would be cool, too. I’m going to try to be faithful to the calling, secure in the knowledge that if God wants to use my regular little devotionals to spread His word, He will do it. And if you will read/Like/Share, or just say a quick prayer, I’d appreciate it. God Bless!