31 December 2015

Inbox: Why don't I write a book?

I've been asked this several times. I would love to but I don't have the time to do it and in the end the means of publication would be such that circulation would be low and overpriced. I would sell very few copies as the market for such a book would be very restricted. Conventional Christian publishers will not be interested either in me or my topics.

In addition, the book would be necessarily long. The range of topics that I wish to cover would require something extensive. Not all readers of these sites will understand how the various topics relate, but they do.

By writing articles and essays I can reach a wide range of people. Some are wrestling with prolegomena, a topic I wish I had more time to pursue. Some will come to these questions through the sermonic commentaries I publish at 'The Paths of Zion', something I very much wish to return to, but haven't had the time. I finished preaching through 2 Timothy some time ago but have not finished writing out the sermons. I only take a small outline of notes when I speak, one side of paper at the most. Afterward I flesh out what I talked about and the written form is usually close to what I said and hopefully developed a little better.

Others are wrestling with the political angles, both the narratives and events in a secular sense vis-à-vis the claims of the Christian Right. Others are happily questioning the whole nature of the Christian Right. They will come to these questions from a different angle. God willing the corpus of my writings will then open up other doors for them, challenge them and keep them thinking. They won't all the articles I write, but those they do will get them thinking.

A book could do that, but I could also lose readers early on.

I'm not trying to make money and I don't expect to enjoy a great deal of success. I've already exceeded my expectations in terms of the audience I am reaching. Of course I'm well aware that many regular readers are not fans and are just as likely to use my writings for fodder elsewhere. It's happened. Yet, I am in many ways content.

As always I simply wish for more time. There's so much more I want to write about. I have so many articles sitting in note form awaiting the time to flesh them out. I would really like to start some sort of podcast. I think that relatively simple enterprise could reach more people than a book could.

We (my family) need very little to live on, but we usually don't have a lot of extra. I can't take a lot of time off work and so my cyber-labours are restricted to the odd hours. My hope is that someday a modicum of regular support will come in and I can restrict my hours and devote more time to these pursuits. It probably won't happen but I can remain hopeful.

I don't believe in fancy marketing and other gimmicks. I think the topics are too sober and weighty to engage in strategies that I consider to be at the heart of worldliness. I do possess a strong bias against the attitude of the salesman. My father excelled at marketing, worked very hard to inculcate its values and methods within me. Alas for him, I have come to completely and utterly reject them as disingenuous and incompatible with Christian ethics.

I am content to be a voice in the wilderness and bear my burdens. God may change my circumstance in His own time. I suppose I'm something of the Decretalist in this sense. If God wants people to read my work they will surely stumble upon it, and thankfully a fair number have.

What's the telos of my labours? The glory of God I hope. God willing in another soon to be published post, I will lay out (somewhat) what it is I'm suggesting by writing about all of these topics. I will elaborate on what my ultimate hopes would be.