Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Solving a Mystery (Or: Why I Don't Write a Book)


Okay... Some of you have asked, over the past two years, why I don't just write a devotional book and have it published. Something the whole world can grasp in its hands.

I'll try to explain.

Seven years ago while I strolled along our tree-lined and huge-old-house-lined streets one morning, I thought, "It's becoming hard to find a morning devotional book which is fun, interesting and always a joy to read." This was before I went online, you know, before I could ask people (like you) to recommend something. I searched Christian book stores and yawned through shelves of the same types of books I'd seen for 25 years, only their covers varied. The same ol' same ol' thing was boring me.

Then just when I gave-up (how often something great happens when I give-up trying to make it happen!)... I found Sarah Ban Breathnach's book, Simple Abundance, by way of Oprah's show. I even drove wildly (well...) to the nearest shop that afternoon and bought a new copy (I never do that) and devoured that book over the next three days. Finally I'd discovered something very much like what my mind had imagined--a book of surprises for any day of the year.

And ok.... some of you are shaking your heads (I see you!)... but, well, it was what it was. I mean, I appreciated that book (still do), although okay, okay--I did tear out ...hmmm... five or six pages which sounded quite New Age to me. My book, my money, my privilege to tear-out pages. (Deal with it...please?)

ANYWAY... A couple years later I began dreaming of creating my own devotional book. I was actually taking another walk on those same lovely old streets, attempting to think up a title. That's when 'As I See It' came to me.

By that time, I'd been online for a year and blogs hadn't been invented yet (well, I don't think they had), so I began writing in a gratitude journal over at Oprah's website. It seemed a great way to share with the public this devotional book I thought I should be writing.

Huh. It was a struggle to write in that thing. A pain. Torture. I'd practically sweat drops of blood all over this computer keyboard trying to write meaningful, fun, interesting stuff (it didn't help that I was trying to be Sarah ban Breathnach The Second). And after a few weeks, I gave-up.

Fast-forward three years (or so) and along came blogging. I read a couple blogs, thought I might try it, but nearly quit before I even began. I remember emailing a friend and asking, "Why should I write about my life? Who would want to read about that?" The whole thought of writing in a blog just felt wrong for me. For a couple weeks.

But then I just took the plunge. And two-and-a-half years later here I am.

There is no struggle when I write in this blog. No pain or torture or blood-sprinkled keyboard. In fact, if I even begin to feel any frustration, immediately this comes to my mind: I must be writing this post on my own, from my head--without the help of God or Grace. And as soon as that's realized, I get up out of this chair and walk away and mop the kitchen floor, or something.

So to sum this up, that is why I'm currently not writing a devotional book... not even, just for fun, gathering together the posts from this blog which I believe are bookworthy (the two or three...heh). Grace just isn't nudging me to do write a book--not yet. But she and God are certainly here when I sit down at this basement office desk to write in this blog. At least, it feels that way.

And if they ever start nudging me to write a book, devotional or otherwise, I'll scribble away in that writing flow which will they'll sprinkle all over me to make the whole process a delight. Undoubtedly.

And you will be the first to know about it. I promise. Your encouragement will have played a part in a future book--I promise that, also.


***

To everything there is a season... A time to read books... write books... and a time to just watch Life and take notes.

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