A Very Long Process


I got the idea for Misheard Lyrics: What if everything you heard was wrong? in my bedroom when I was 12. I wasn’t buying what the nuns were telling me about Jesus and many of the Bible stories seemed like tall tales to me. My original idea was to write the true story of Jesus.

Over the years, this idea changed, and in 1989, I began writing the novel. I conceived it as a dialog between a believer–a United Methodist minister–and an agnostic who was struggling to find meaning in his life. I had the agnostic, Charles, write the first chapter about Jesus. My idea was to alternate his attempts at starting a book with discussions between the two main characters on theological and existential questions.

I proceeded to write the last chapter and a few fragments of other chapters. Then my life got very busy and I returned to the book only sporadically.

Fast forward to 2015. A buddy of mine had a great idea for a book but was finding it hard to actually work on it. He said he was too busy. I said, “Do you have half an hour a day?” “I guess so,” he said. “Well, write, then. Write whatever. Don’t worry about writing the book. Just establish the habit and you’ll get unstuck and into the zone.”

Then I realized I should take my own advice. I started writing half an hour or more each day and by the end of the year had 17 chapters sketched out and 27,000 words written.

I kept rolling through 2016 and 2017, finishing primary writing on Christmas Day 2017.

During this period, I had a demanding job and was a principal in a tech startup. If you want it, you’ll find the time.

So, do you have half an hour a day?

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