The Kind of Book You Want to Read

Toni Morrison says you should write it

If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.

Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison Day was a couple of days ago, but I confess I got the above quote from dear Robert, who shared it in his own post recently. 

C.S. Lewis said something similar one time: 

I wrote the books I should have liked to read. That’s always been my reason for writing. People won’t write the books I want, so I have to do it for myself.

C.S. Lewis

Probably it just means that it’s time for these ideas. And as Ruth reminded me the other day, you can’t copyright ideas. Wording, sure, but not the ideas themselves. In a world where there’s so much division, I guess it’s kind of nice to know that there’s still a common humanity and even that the Holy Spirit still communicates across time and social intersections, you know? The similarity of the above quotes just kind of confirmed all that to me.

But also, both of these different and respected and beloved authors saying the same thing in slightly different ways hearten me by reminding me that, while I do have friends with similar ideas about certain things (and some different ones, too!) they are writing their books, and my book has still not been written yet. 

False. It has been written. It’s just not available for everyone else to read yet. But these quotes assure me it does have a place, and one of these days we’ll find it.

You can help!

I’m actively debating (with myself mostly), whether I want to keep trying to find an agent and a traditional publishing home for my book on Simon Peter, Jesus, and you, or whether I want to create a Kickstarter and self-publish it. I did not kickstart the publication of Favored One, but for Follower I would hire an editor and maybe a publicist as well as paying for the setup, and I can’t fund all this myself. 

Either way, I will need a broader and more visibly active base—on all the socials but, since this is where most of my writing lives currently—especially here on Substack. More subscribers would be great, but at least as good is knowing (and being able to demonstrate) that the subscribers I already have are reading my posts and engaging with me on them. Here are some ways you can assist:

  1. Open and read my posts. (Or, you know, at least skim them.)
  2. Like the posts.
  3. Share the posts.
  4. When you comment on the post, click the little box under your comment that says “share as note.” That way your comment and my post get more visibility. Win-win! (Unless my comment is extremely banal or pretty personal, I try to do that whenever I comment on your posts, too.)
  5. If you get this in your inbox, rather than responding to it in email, post your response as a comment directly on Substack.
  6. Ask me a question. Get me to clarify something. Beyond numbers, I just really enjoy the interaction. As long as you’re not being creepy or a troll, I always respond.

What to Expect the Next Few Weeks

The remarkable Kandi Zeller interviewed me for her Safe Spiritual Spaces feature and that should be posting…tomorrow, right, Kandi? (By the way if you’re not Kandi and you didn’t already know this, I really love being interviewed for written posts like hers and also for podcasts. Hit me up!)

For the next couple of Fridays, I’m going to share snippets of FollowerI would especially love feedback on those.

I think my paid content for a little while is going to consist of some ideas for yet another book I’ve had in mind that I really need to start working on.

Next week the Jenn Story is probably going to be a silly tale about how I hand delivered my manuscript to a publisher that doesn’t accept unsolicited manuscripts. And I knew that before I went. It is, after all, a Jenn story.

Stick around! It’s about to get more interesting over here.