Here’s How I’ve Felt the Last Few Months…
I’m sorry for being sparse in posting the last few months. If you haven’t guessed, it’s been because of the book. Winston Churchill sums up how I’ve felt the last few months (last year?):
Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public.
I think this book skipped the “toy and amusement phase,” and that I’ve been in that tyrant phase for perhaps the whole time!
I had an interesting post written up on what has taken so long, but maybe I’ll save that for later. Several times I thought “oh, it’s done,” because of the length, but it still wasn’t what I wanted it to be. One piece of good news is that early on I suppose you could say I was struggling with writer’s block (though Seth Godin says it doesn’t exist!), and so I took the standard advice: just write anything, and you can always revise it and cut it back later. So that’s what I did, and I ended up writing a lot. The process of getting things cut back, however, was super challenging as a result (which is not what the conventional wisdom said would happen!), and I have actually taken out something like the equivalent of 4 books from this. For example, I have one short book almost ready to go on a Christian view of working in your strengths (and how to view our weaknesses). My priority, to be sure, has been this book, though hopefully this is one benefit that has come out of this process.
I plan, Lord willing, on writing many books in the future, and the whole process of writing this book (and all the writing that I ended up doing) will benefit that aim and make future books go much faster.
In the meantime, I’m sorry for the delay and, as Churchill would say, I’m just about to kill the beast. Can’t wait. It’s been fun, but totally brutal as well. The challenges will be worth it if it helps any of you be more effective in the important work you do every day, whether you are a stay-at-home mom or corporate executive. I believe the things we do matter immensely — both big and small, in all areas of life — and that God delights in them if we do them for his glory. I want to help you do them better, and with less stress and more joy, both where you are and in the service of fighting large global problems and reaching the nations.
Last, a word on missions. There is a relationship between our productivity in all realms of life and the advance of the gospel. We don’t need to and shouldn’t seek to justify all that we do simply on the basis of its evangelistic usefulness. Work matters in itself, and our ultimate motive in all things should be love for others and the glory of God. Yet, while the things we do matter in themselves, it is true that they are also a supporting testimony to the gospel and a means by which it naturally spreads. I don’t think small, and so I hope this book can also have the effect of helping equip the church in the task of putting a large dent in the Great Commission. I think a robust doctrine of work is key to reaching the nations, which means that part of the key to finishing the Great Commission is actually affirming that all work matters, not just evangelism and direct missions, and that we should seek to do all we do with excellence, creativity, and competence. And that learning how to work is key to doing everything we do more effectively.
I hope the book will help you immensely (and encourage you!), and keep me in your prayers!
In the meantime, I’m going to try to get back to regular blogging even as I finish up, and I’ll be blogging the Global Leadership Summit tomorrow and Friday.