Blogger lagger, I (and a little about book publishing)

You know how my blogs are always really funny, or really profound, or really both? Isnt’ that great? Don’t you just love that?

Yeah–that won’t be happening today. In fact, this right here is the only blog I’ll be posting today. Why, you ask? (You did, too. You know you did. Don’t deny it. I felt it.) Because today I have got to spend some time working on an outline due for a book that’s due later this year.

Explain more, you say? Okay. A publisher buys a book, right? Except they don’t buy the whole book, because it’s not written yet. What they buy is the proposal for a book that you sent them; they buy, basically, the idea of a book.

For that idea–and for the (mondo-hairy!) contract you sign all about how that idea will eventually become a book that will come out at such-and-such a time, and so on–you, the author, get (yay!) paid by the publisher. Usually, “upon signing,” you get one-third of the total amount the publisher is going to pay you for that book; that is, you get one-third of your “advance.”

A little bit later, you have to turn in an outline for that book. (Actually, that outline is usually part of the initial proposal–but we’re doing this particular book in a different way.) Once the publisher okays that outline, you get (yay!) paid again, usually the second third of your Major Simoleans.

Finally–months later–you turn in your completed manuscript for that book. Once the publisher has okayed that mss., you get paid the rest of your money. And you’re done! (Except you are sooooooooo not done. But that’s a whole other … universe.)

Point being: I’m working on the outline, for a book that’s already been sold, that’s due this Monday.


Wish me luck. Please.

Oh–and talent.

And a vigorous work ethic.

And all kinds of brilliant insights that I articulate with creatively stunning clarity, humor, and compassion.

So, come on now. Get busy wishing me those things!

Hey. No one said being my friend was going to be easy.

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  • nisperos


    Writes better under time pressure & didn't wait till, like Saturday, which would have really been closer to the last minute; at least gave himself 2 extra days…

    But wait, has been "working" on the idea all along; just like an attorney for whom time in the shower or watching fireworks constitutes billable hours.

    The creative muse is indeed a fickle wind. So, John, no need to split hairs here or count angels on the head of a pin, but if you are doing that "thanksgiving prayer thingy" with wifey each morn, and you thank God for your talents, then, well, that's a form of praying, but deadline's up to you, buddy.

    But man, if God knows how many hairs are or are not on your head, and it's not trivial to him, or perhaps is, but he enjoys dallying in such things, because he can or it gets His mind into "free flow" mode, then what does it mean to be in His image?

    I know a handyman who used to let me work with him (follow instructions); yes, a very smart guy, and not just because he was my friend. He could talk about all kinds of things and work well at the same time, and was even willing to listen to my input, even if it wasn't directly useful, because well, it might be white noise, but might also remind him of something or help him rule out something…

    You have to work with someone like this for a while to know when to say stupid things, and when to shut up… because "thinking" is actually part of working and if you don't stop and think (or is it image?), then it might be more costly in the long run.

    Still, it's high time to "steamroller on" and get the job done! You already are pretty lucky if you can even write a decent outline. I know people, (and I'm one of them, but not the only one,) who have to write a short first draft in order to write the outline. Then, when someone tells you what's weak about your outline, you have to think where you could fit things into the draft in order to figure out how to change the outline…

    So, onward… Still, I find nothing wrong with a little thanksgiving prayer for the gifts rather than directly praying for the results.

    Yup, I tend to agree that there are lots of things need praying for; lots of hardships and burdens and, better asking for results for the situations of others rather than for personal results. But, ever notice how prayers often come easier and are more deeply felt for those we feel a connection with? (Yeah and the connection could be positive, negative, or more typically, a mixture).

    I think asking God to "help us avoid following temptations" and having friends pray for our weaknesses are decent practices. Naturally, if prayers stopped there, that would be just wrong!

    Good luck!

  • Ross


    Well you must have at least an idea of what your writing about or they wouldn’t have offered you the deal. Nonetheless, I’ll pray for you.

  • No, no: Honestly, it’s not worth praying for. I mean, there’s LOTS better things to pray about than this–please, of course, spend your prayers on something more worthy. That’s why I said, “wish” me stuff, rather than pray–but perhaps I wasn’t clear enough on that distinction. But bless your heart for your kind offers of prayer! I’ll need them someday, life being what it is. So if you don’t mind, I’ll … take a rain check!

    And yeah, we have a sense of what the book is, for sure. And I’ve been playing around with the outline for a little while now. It’s good; it’ll be ready. I just needed to make sure I cleared a little real time to work on it today.

    It’s so kind of you to offer to pray for me. It’s really touching. Thanks.

  • Tony

    Good luck with your outline, John. I love deadlines, because it lets me know just how long I actually have to procrastinate!

    May your well of wit never go dry, and may your creative juices flow like the mighty Mississippi….or something to that effect.

  • snowhite197

    good luck and talent and vigorous work ethic and all kinds of brilliant insights that you can articulate with creatively stunning clarity, humor, and compassion John!!!

  • Wow! Thanks to you all! Excellent … input. I sure appreciate it. I wish I could tell you what the book is about; it’s a pretty exciting project. But, alas, I have no idea if I’m supposed to or not–which means I better not, since angels fear to tread where lawyers are lolling about the water cooler. But your words here have really helped me. Thanks again!!

  • So I did exactly NO work on the outline today, since (yay!) its deadline got moved to Wednesday. So today I wrote the "Top 10 Things Husbands Can Do…" piece, napped, washed dishes, made dinner, worked out, and … and I'm thinking you've GOT to have slipped into a Boredom Coma already….