Hey you! Yes, that’s right… you, the person reading these words right now. I need your help. Don’t go away — please read this post and take a moment to respond…
Six months ago I heard a snippet of a talk Anne Lamott gave in which she encouraged writers to write the book they wish they could read. So I wrestled with this topic for a couple of days in my blog, culminating by saying this:
The book I wish I could read: a simple, practical, and sequential step-by-step manual on how to embark on the path of Christian mysticism in our day. With as much depth, erudition, and command of the tradition as Evelyn Underhill’s Mysticism.
I went on to say that such a book would be both “user-friendly and substantive” and would include “plenty of background material on the history and core teachings” of Christian mysticism.
Well, friends, I have made a commitment to write this book. And I am currently negotiating with a publisher to bring it out, probably in late 2009. Which means I have a little over a year to write the book on mysticism that I wish I could have read. Eek! (keep breathing, Carl; you can do this).
The first step on such a major project: I need your help. Since you’re reading this blog I am going to assume that you have at least a passing interest in Christian mysticism; this means you are the kind of person that this book will be written for. Now, all that matters is that you have this interest. It doesn’t matter whether you have been studying mysticism for the past 30 years, or if you just discovered the concept yesterday (in fact, I need to hear from both kinds of people!)
Basically, here’s what I want/need for you to do: please take a moment and answer one or more of the following four questions, either as a comment to this blog or via email to mccolman @ anamchara.com (you’ll have to remove the spaces to make the email work).
- What do you think Christian mysticism is? Why do you care about Christian mysticism?
- What topics or issues would you like to see a book on Christian mysticism address?
- How could a book on Christian mysticism be really, really, helpful to you (so helpful that you’d want to give copies to all your friends and relatives)?
- Have you ever read a spiritual book that you believe totally changed your life (in a good way)? If so, what book (or books) was it, and can you speak briefly about why you think this book was so life-changing for you?