About a month ago I received an email from one Rob Bell.
“You are awesome” was all it said.
I answered back, “Thanks for your ‘you are awesome.’ Whether you’re the ‘real’ Rob Bell or not, I of course appreciate it just the same. (And if you are the Love Wins Rob Bell, good job on your book!)”
Turned out it was, in fact, the Rob Bell who wrote Love Wins. Who turned out to be an exceptionally nice guy.
Three weeks later I got an email from Rob Bell’s book editor, whom Rob had suggested look me up.
This morning I talked to that editor on the phone for ninety minutes.
Another nice guy!
And people say it doesn’t pay to know no one in real life and be a complete shut-in. Pffft. Losers.
No, but so here’s where it’s at: I’m going to write the book I would most want to write next under any circumstances. Once that book is finished I’ll send it to the editor who called me today. If he likes it, we’ll see where we’re then all at.
I would prefer to finish the book before showing it to him or any other publisher, because doing a book deal in the normal way — where you take advance money based on a book’s outline and a few sample chapters — almost can’t help but compromise the organic and utterly independent process that I believe indispensable to the writing of a creatively, intellectually, and spiritually honest book.
Rob’s editor understood and respected that, which I loved.
So there we have it. I’m looking forward to writing this book, and in so doing will continue to be grateful to the readers of this blog, who every single day do so much to encourage, guide, and inspire me.