In some of the original meetings with my publisher they asked me: “We want this book published like yesterday, so when, as soon as you can, do you think you can get the manuscript to us?” How was I supposed to answer that question?! I had never written anything like a book before and I had no idea how long it would take. I figured if I stopped absolutely everything I was doing in life and just concentrated on writing, I could finish it pretty quickly. Looking back on it now, that was probably not the best thing to say to an eager publisher! So we set the timeline at 7 weeks and I was at that moment an author – not Andy, not President of The Marin Foundation, not husband, son or friend. I was Mr. Writer.
From the end of May to the beginning of July I did nothing but write. I didn’t hang out with any friends, I didn’t see my wife, I didn’t talk on the phone, I didn’t check my email, I didn’t go to school nor did I do anything related to The Marin Foundation. I went on sabbatical and entirely canceled my life. Knowing what I know now, that was not the best way to handle this situation and I know for the future how to parcel time out better; not just with the writing but also with the negotiations. I found out after we settled on a manuscript deadline that publishers usually give authors about 9 months to write a book. And then the book still doesn’t get published for another 11-14 months after that because of the editing process, making the whole thing take anywhere from 20-24 months. At that point I realized what just happened – from the date I signed my contract to the date my book will be in the bookstores will be 11 months. Less than ½ the time it normally takes! But I look at this all as such a blessing as the Lord has fast-tracked the publication of Love is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community. He has deemed this the time to do this book for it to make as big as an impact as it can, and so far be it for me to stop or slow any of it down!
Make sure you get ample time from your publisher so you are not rushed and are put in the best possible environment to succeed and thrive so you don’t have to quit life. Balance is good. My 7 weeks were not balanced and it wore me out very, very quickly.