This morning I received the coolest email from my editor—it was my book in a proofed PDF, page-laid-out form. It included the Library of Congress catalog page, dedication page, acknowledgement page…the whole shebang. In fact, Dave (my editor) told me they’re sending it to the printer next week. HOW EXCITING! So here is my final reflection of everything I learned, summed up in a nice little paragraph:
Question: What were the overall lessons I learned most from this process?
I learned that writing is difficult and it takes time, patience and a lot of self-forgiveness. Writing cannot be rushed. It cannot be taken lightly, but it also cannot be take too seriously—hence the self-forgiveness. The thing that stuck out to me most throughout this process was that the moment I started to be nice to myself without constantly beating myself up for not getting x-amount of pages or chapters done in x-amount of time, was also the same moment that the Lord freed my mind to write and clearly think through the edits. And from there the words, pages, chapters and edits started to pour out of me. I finished the totality of what it is to get a book ready for publication in such a short time, not because I was pressured into it because of the quick deadline, but because I had something to say and eventually figured out how to provide myself with the optimal environment for success.
I think that writing isn’t so much about what to say, it’s more so about setting yourself up with the best place and opportunity to say it. For me, writing was an organic expereince; one that became environmental at its core. I knew what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. I just needed to give myself the proper environment, room and time to be able to do so. And that environement, room and time ended up being formulated by me being nice to myself, forgiving myself, clearing myself from technological distractions and as a great friend of mine Dr. John Fuder says: “Andy, know that you’re writing for Jesus!” As soon as I truly and honestly believed that statement, I was good-to-go! And the rest is now officially, history.