Lifeblood is about Tapping Into Jesus as the True Source of Renewal

Tapping Into Jesus as the True Source of Renewal

Out June 26

In the summer of 2016, I decided to write a book. It was not a decision I labored over. I sat down at a computer and started typing. Around 60,000 words later, the result of that spur-of-the-moment decision will materialize in print form. My first book, called Lifeblood, comes out June 26.

There are some really interesting facts about my career as a journalist that might be relevant here. It's a long story, and I explained some of it in a lighthearted way on my other blog. The short version is that I once worked in the corporate world but the retail giant who employed me at the time got really nervous after 9/11 and walked me out the building (on 9/18). I started writing game reviews in the fall of 2001, and had published my first feature article, in LAPTOP Magazine, that spring. My "day job” writing for Inc. Magazine started around 2007, and I switched from the magazine to online only about six years ago. I now write a daily column (well, almost daily) and also do some mentoring at a Christian college.

Since 2001, based on records I've kept in Plaxo's to-do list up until they closed and now maintain in Google Sheets, I've written somewhere around 14,000 articles in total in 17 years. Because many of the earliest print articles were around 2,000 words or more, and because most of my Inc. columns are around 1,000 words, I estimate that I've written a total of about 14,000,000 words, give or take a few million. (In truth, I wrote music game reviews for about two years before writing full-time in the fall of 2001. And I'm not counting the writing in that corporate job.)

Like LeBron James seeking another championship, you might wonder — why write even more words? What's the point of writing a book?

I can't really explain the reasoning to you. There's a hunger and a drive to relay information. Since my early teen years, I've thought about writing a book. The other part of this story is that I decided to write two books, one about business and one about my faith. I poured a lot more into the Christian book, and spent way more time writing the first chapter. The book is about my personal journey in finding a deeper devotion to Jesus Christ. Everything in the book is about that journey, and about what I've learned.

I learned a lot about how to write a book, and how to avoid typing yourself into a frenzy. While working on Lifeblood, I also kept writing my daily column and picking up odd writing jobs (including a column for Fox News). It was a crazy time in the fall of 2016. Fortunately, after a new grandchild was born, my wife and I flew to Austria for a visit and I wrote two chapters on the plane there and two more on the plane back. And, I type incredibly fast when I'm "in the zone” and the ideas are flowing. If you ever decide to write a book, know that you will have to basically memorize almost every ideas you put down and flesh them out, then revise them, then go back and revise them a half-dozen times again. I've heard that computer programming requires and incredible memory (so you can recall lines of code), but writing a book is somewhat similar. The "code” in my case is every story, every nuance, every tangent. some books, even best sellers, repeat information here and there, and it's probably because the author didn't quite remember saying things twice.

It's a labor of love. And, you have to love to labor. It is not easy. Every word has to be perfect, no typos. Every idea has to be fleshed out, there's no chance to go back and revise what you say after the book comes out. I loved the challenge, and I'm already thinking of ideas for the next book.

I will add a word of caution. The idea of writing a book is fun and interesting. The act of writing a book is really hard. It took forever — after the initial draft in the fall of 2016, I revised the book for another six months before ever submitting it to the publisher, and then the real editing started. My uncle Richard Burt was the main "pre-production” editor on the book, and I'll always be grateful for his kindness in reading it over so closely.

And now it is almost the day of reckoning. The book is already on Amazon, and I'm already starting to write a blog about it. Next time, I'll explain a bit about how I picked the topics for the book.

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