Time, Space, and Empty Notebooks: My Book-Writing Recipe (for now)

So, I’ve made this goal to write and publish a book before I’m thirty. But how is that going to happen, you may or may not be wondering. (I’m thinking of those friends and family members who have heard me talking about publishing this so-called “book” for years, still with no results to show for all the pretty talk.)

  • First, I’m swallowing my embarrassment at all the talk and failed prior attempts.
  • Second, I’m really going to be serious about this. For the first time ever, it is going to become my “fulltime job.”
  • Third, I’m going to write. Well, that overlaps number two. Of course I’m going to write. How else can a book get written?

But although I’ve always self-identified as a writer, there is something scary about actually saying it is my job. Before, when I was a teacher, or a graduate student, I could blame my other commitments for my lack of production. Now? It’s just my keyboard and me, full days at my disposal in which to make literary things happen.

Now the rubber the meets the road; now is where I prove myself. Do I have what it takes?

Time will tell; however, can I just share one thing that makes me hopeful?

Last October (three months ago), after I had submitted my master’s thesis for review, and when I was on a break from my other book project (more on that later), I produced like crazy.

Prior to October, I had found this great sale on composition books at Target, had snapped up about twenty, and had promised myself I would fill them when I got a chance. So, for the month of October, and a bit of November, I did.

Having nothing more pressing to do each day, I headed off to one of several coffee shops (either to feel like a real writer, or just because it gets lonely at the house) and wrote. And wrote. And wrote. By the end of the month, I’d filled two books’ pages, front and back, and had produced the germ of this nebulous book I’m now blogging about.

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Soon, life interrupted again, as I had to finish my thesis, defend it, and graduate, among other things. So not much writing happened for the rest of the year. But now, a new year stretches before me, days of possibility call me.

Already I can see the challenges: I’m not good at saying no to people, and it could be easy to let my own projects take a backseat when other people or responsibilities come a-callin’. I’ll have train myself to keep to a schedule; I’ll have to learn uncomfortable things like using social media; and most importantly, I’ll need to stop feeling guilty if I have to say no sometimes in order to work.

But after I overcome those issues, I have faith that all will be well. If the past is any indication, I can do it. Given space and time to write, I do—I always have (even if not for an audience)—and I love it. At the end of the day, I have these things going for me: space, time, and love for my work. What more do I need? Only to dedicate all of the above to God (Prov. 16:3). Thanks, God. May you be uplifted in my space, my time, and my writing this year. 

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