Confessions of a Christian Author

So this week I became an author…

A Christian author.

I can’t say that I like the adjective in this case. Chrissy and I wrote This Ordinary Adventure: Settling Down Without Settling for anyone thinking critically about US culture, for people wanting something more from their life right where they are, for people who feel stuck.

That’s not just for Christians.

So maybe I should have titled this post “Confessions of an Author.” But therein lies my first confession. I’m always thinking about how to get the most clicks, hits, sales, readers, reviews, and the rest. Here are some other confessions:

  • I wish we could add just one more book to the Bible. Mine.
  • I’m excited to get into drugs and hookers if I’m really successful, because a book about that would be really successful. I bet it could even be a made-for-TV movie.
  • I want to overhear people say, “I was just reading Adam Jeske’s new book…”
  • Most people have no clue about how little I am paid, unless I’m Rick Warren (which I’m not).
  • I want to be Rick Warren so that everybody knows me, but I can give away like 99% percent of my income, be really generous, and still live like a normal person. Plus, Hawaiian shirts. (Yes, I know he’s stopped wearing them, but I’d be into it.)
  • I get up ridiculously early and often stay up late.
  • I pace.
  • I worry about promotions, our next book project, how my colleagues at InterVarsity feel about this side work,  if I’m squandering an opportunity, if I’m neglecting my family, if my ego is getting in the way of something good, if God is pleased with my writing…
  • In conversations, my mind sometimes wanders, asking, “Will this make a good blog post?”
  • I hope I make some people laugh out loud at some point while reading my work.
  • I wonder if my friends are sick of me promoting my writing on Facebook. But I can’t stop.
  • I fear I’m not good enough.
  • I’m no better or smarter than other Christians (or anyone for that matter). I am just good at thinking of ideas and articles that editors, publishers, and readers want.
  • I want to be Christian enough that my theologically-rooted friends are not suspicious of me, but I want to be as jargon-free and open as possible, so that people who aren’t Christians might read our book, too.
  • I hope I get huge traffic on this post from atheists who see the title and think it’s about me getting into drugs and hookers.
  • At the end of the day, I want people to be influenced, changed, better off because of me. And maybe that’s what we all want.

I love it.

Go buy our book.

Open season on a new Christian author—what do you want to know?

  • Larry Shallenberger

    I remember all those feeling and emotions, and how with each book I felt them anew. I screwed up somewhere along the way and equated authoring and royalty checks with my identify. Rebuilding is a trip. My prayer for you is that you learn more quickly than I. You certainly are asking the right questions.

    My question for you is do you have good friends who don’t give a crap about all this? You’ll want them for the journey.

    • Adam Jeske

      Wisdom from Brother Larry. : ) Yes, I have very good friends who don’t give a crap. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Jeff Goins

      So I should stop reminding those friends of what a big deal I am? Huh. Interesting.

  • Dave

    If you can type “crap” this freely I seriously doubt you need to call yourself a “Christian” author.

    OMG! JK! My book on superheroes came out right around the time David Letterman was having a staffer field questions from the audience while she was dressed in weird costumes. When she walked out in a Batman costume one night, I emailed the Late Show suggesting they book me as a guest. It’s a sickness, honestly, this authorship.

    • Jon Boyd

      What did Letterman say? ;)

    • Jeff Goins

      I was really hoping you would’ve left just the first sentence, Dave. :)

  • Margot Starbuck

    Love love love the honesty. SO real. So true. No solutions from this gal.

  • Jessica Fick

    And I’m posting a comment hoping the people reading this post will click on over to my blog too ;)! I find myself having similar obsessions- save for the hookers. Maybe the drugs. It feels scary to possibly be pigeon-holed when you want to reach a wide audience from different faith backgrounds. I’m glad Jesus can sift out my messed-up motives, and he loves me regardless of what does or doesn’t happen with my writing.

  • Sarah H.

    That advice to find a friend who doesn’t give a crap about this stuff seems right on — glad that you have some.

    In a different context, it’s sort of the advice that Richard Foster gives to people looking for help with living simply if you have a lot of money — he says to find a friend who isn’t the least bit impressed by your money and use them to help you make decisions about stewardship. (If they admire you for it, they’re not the right person for the job.) Which reminds me, I’d love to see yours and Chrissy’s thought on my favorite book of all time, Freedom of Simplicity. It’s the only time I’ve ever successfully read a book alongside a friend (Maria Dahmus Kim) without losing steam halfway through.

  • grace

    ahahaha, Adam! This post cracked me up! I identify…A LOT…especially with the promotion on facebook thing…man that’s a tough one. Thanks for keepin’ it real, and for admitting that we all have some junk in our trunk when it comes to mixed motives but God still uses us any old ways. Can’t wait to read your book and hoping it contributes to my life being both more ordinary & more adventerous.