Last week, I sent the first draft of my first book to my publisher. And it’s a good thing I did, because no one is publishing books anymore. You can barely find one on Amazon these days. Authors are dying out, like an endangered species. Thank God I’m writing this book—a single light shining in the twilight of a dying craft.
Though the publishing industry is contracting, the truth is, due to technology and the awesome courage to self-publish, there are more books out there than ever, and anyone can become an author. So, the real question these days isn’t, are you writing a book? The real question is, why are you writing a book?
This is why I’m writing a book:
I’m writing it, not because I’m a light shining within the twilight of a dying craft, but because you have a light shining within you. And, if you’re like the rest of us, most of the time, you probably don’t even know it. Because it has been covered by pain and mess and confusion and brokenness. This is being human. But it’s not all there is to being human. I’m writing this book because I have good news, and the good news is this:
Though our light gets buried deep, it never gets dim.
I’m writing this book because the runaway train that is the human project looks like it’s about ready to leap the tracks. We are moving faster than ever and racing headlong toward a mysterious destination about which few of us can agree, and we just keep throwing more and more coal into the boiler. I’m writing this book because the secret to staying on the tracks isn’t to work more furiously for more progress but to sink more deeply into the slow, steady rhythm of our souls.
Slowing down is what opens us up, to the wild possibilities within us.
I’m writing this book because when you type “Where did” into a Google search, the number one search in the world is “Where did I go wrong?” I’m writing this book because in every moment—with every thought, feeling, behavior, and breath—we are trying to answer three questions with our lives. When you get right down to it, we are doing almost nothing else with our days. Yet, we lack clarity about what those questions are, the order in which they are answered best, and what it looks like to find the answers for good. I’m writing this book, not because I have all the answers, but because I know this:
The search for our most coveted answers is a lot simpler than we make it.
I’m writing this book because words like redemption and resurrection and awakening stir something deep within us; something like hope emerging from a long, long slumber; something that knows without having to be told that mess is where we find meaning, pain is where we find purpose, and brokenness is where we find beauty. I’m writing this book because I believe the hope that has been hibernating within humanity is stirring—rolling over in in its dank, dark cave.
Hope is getting ready to go roaming once again.
It’s a book about the journey we’re all on, from secretly believing we aren’t good enough to knowing, without a doubt, that we matter. It’s a book about how, along the way, our relationships can thrive, our sense of purpose can blossom, and our peacefulness can flourish. It’s a book about feeling at home in our being, in our loving, and in our living.
And it’s a book about how grace can show us the way home.
But, most importantly, if there’s one thing I’ve learned as a therapist, it’s this: ideas change nothing, but experience has the power to transform everything. So, I don’t think any of us need a new book; I think we all need a new experience.
The experience of writing it has been grace and hope and joy.
I hope reading it will be, too.
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P.S. I can tell you two more things about the book. It’s scheduled to be released in February 2017, and, as this summer approaches, I’ll be able to share a lot more with you. In the meantime, we’ll be talking about topics related to the book in our next Courtyard Conversation on November 29 at 2pm CST. To find out more about joining, click here.
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