Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Why Write a Book Anyway?

A couple of blog posts back I reflected on 5 years of blogging.  In that post I mentioned how I had once made the statement on this blog that I would write a book by the end of that year.  At that time I thought that putting a very public deadline of one year to write a book would put adequate creative pressure on me to get the thing done.  Well… that year passed and the one after that as well and... still no book.  Why?  Well here are a few reasons (possibly lame excuses and rationalizations) as to why the book has not materialized.

1.     The book idea really worked well for the blog.  The original idea I had was for a book based on wrestling with spirituality, culture and creativity.  I still like the idea of a book called My Life as a Wrestler but I have found that wrestling with issues on a blog actually works pretty well, maybe even better than a book because other folks are part of the conversation.  Books are real good for interaction with others unless you do a book club though I have seen a few books that have launched with accompanying blogs which seems like a good idea to me.
2.     I didn’t want to write a book that had already been written.  For the first 10 years that I was playing music publically I had a hard time finding my own voice.  I learned how to do songs like the folks that inspired me (or at least close) but it took a whole lot of playing and writing and recording to settle into my own unique expression of music.  I think if I would have written a book a few years back it would have probably been too much like other stuff out there but not as good. 
3.     A good story needs depth of character.  One reason I haven’t written a book yet is because I feel like God is still writing much of it in my life right now.  The issues which made me want to write a book initially are still have expanded and deepened.  God’s still doing a work in me that needs to be deepened and tried by fire a bit before the words really ring as true and authentic as I would like.
4.     Why write a book when I can instantly publish blog posts for free?  The last issue is of money and technology.  The last CD I self-produced was Move back in 2005 (when this blog launched).  I initially ordered one thousand units.  I realized about 2 weeks ago that I’m down to my last 10 or so units.  Should I order more?  I’m not really sure.  The truth is that since I came out with the CD I have been able to get the music digitally distributed to iTunes, Amazon, and a host of other outlets for basically nothing.  CDs, on the other hand, cost a lot more money and they take up a lot of space (I still have cases of CDs from my band Mary’s Den).  I would have to imagine that books are kind of the same.  If I actually self-published something I might very well end up with cases of books in the garage.  But at least the CD wouldn’t be lonely.  While I read a lot of stuff online I still love reading an actual book.  Maybe I’m old-fashioned but it is still hard for me to imagine enjoying an Amazon Kindle as much as an actual book.  But then again I hardly ever buy actual CDs anymore because I can just by digital downloads whenever I want them.

So, if I wrote a book would you buy it?

If I wrote a book, what would be a worthy topic (is there anything I’ve covered in this blog that you think would make a good book)?

Or should I just stick to blogging?


Carlos said...

I would buy a copy of your book in whatever form it may take. If it was just a stand-alone about wrestling with spirituality in your life I would buy it. You have the option now to include comments from others as well as your posts if you wanted to make it a companion to your blog. I would buy that book too.

Whether you decide to write one or not I would still encourage you to keep blogging. You have a bit of a following now and are on the links of some even bigger ones. Plus I enjoy reading it :)

Laurie said...

You prob don't recall who I am, but I went to the Kenner Vineyard. I love blogging as I live now in Honduras, and life is incredibly interesting in another country. A book? I never wrote one but I think it would take tremendous energy. Right now you are planting a church and raising a family. There's time for a book.

Rob said...

A book is a book and there is no substitute to that, no matter how confining space can get. I like your idea and if you were to Write a Book, then I would buy it. There you go, you have one reader already.

Pi Man said...

Well, that makes four of us that'll buy your book now. Will that be enough? (Ha!) You have so many wonderful things that you have written in your blogs and sermons/teaching that if you can find a way to tether the common thread in all of them together then I think you'll have a wonderful gift for all who would take the time to check it out. And I'm old school in that I like to read an actual book. That said, I can see where the electronic versions have their place and conveniences, much in the same way that reference materials are digitally available. Thanks. TA