So maybe 15 years ago i wrote a book called, ‘If your christianity is easy, you’re doing it wrong.’
i put it on a metaphorical shelf and waited for something to happen with it and nothing did. And there was evening, and there was morning… the first day.
A few years later, i wrote a book called ‘All’ which was a play on the popular saying, ‘All or nothing’ but without the ‘or nothing’ part, because, as the tagline suggested, ‘Because there is no choice’ with the idea that choosing to follow Jesus meant you had to commit yourself totally. But in effect, ‘All: Because there is no choice’ was simply ‘If your christianity is easy, you’re doing it wrong’, updated and repackaged.
Evening, morning. [Repeat]
Years later, the book-writing bug hit again and so once more i used a lot of what had existed in ‘All’ and repackaged, updated, cut and added and neatly trimmed and just before we moved to Americaland [three years ago] i had finished my book, which was now titled, ‘i kissed hating [the church] goodbye.’ [a play on the very much outdated Josh Harris novel, ‘I kissed dating goodbye.’]
During our time in Americaland i did manage to get it in front of a publisher or two and while the feedback was good, i also realised that specifically with my style of writing [and intentional mangling of the english language and it’s rules of grandma] that the book would have to be self-published. More work, few more chapters, few retractions and of course a new title…
And so ‘i, church’ was born, or created, or something.
Then there was a process of editing and proof-reading and trying to find a cover [HOW AMAZING IS IT? Kirsten Sims, you absolute legend of note!] and finally taking it to the printers and going in to take a look at the pre-print copy and then returning home and waiting.
And all this time i felt like a confused goat wearing a suit being pointed at by the hand face of a suit-wearing hand-face man…
By this i mean it was all pretty surreal… it’s been a long time coming… and at some point it feels like you are going to be continually caught in this perpetual looking-forward-to-the-next-stage-but-never-quite-getting-thereness of it all.
Which is when THIS happened.
A real live in-the-flesh [well paper flesh] book arrived at my door, bringing with it 999 of its friends. Or to be more precise 873 of its friends. [Not quite sure what happened there – emails were sent – we’ll figure this out – CALM. THE. FLIP. DOWN. PEOPLE.]
And suddenly it was real.
Posted a pic on Facebook and within like thirty seconds or so it had been liked by 30 people.
Which was surreal in itself.
And then comments by people saying they wanted to read the book or even better, that they couldn’t wait to read the book.
To watch the like counter go up on the book picture was pretty special [and i know the praise for that has to go to Kirsten for delivering such a perfectly beautiful picture for ‘i, church’. Not quite what i originally wanted but exactly what this little thing needed.] and it now sits at more than 160.
We have a full first book launch and a growing second one in Cape Town, with a more intimate house kind of launch happening in the Winelands and busy working on ones for KZN and Jhb/Pta and even hopefully a small one in Oakland in June. So there again, people coming together to hear about the book [and some may actually buy a copy!]
Maybe it should have started out as, ‘If you think your book publishing is easy, you’re doing it wrong.’ Excepting that, although it took way longer than i would originally ever have hoped, i am confident that the book we have now [and it is a ‘we’ thing cos so many people have helped bring this together] is a whole lot better than what i started out with. It is not perfect, because if we waited for that it would never have gone anywhere – we did eventually just need to call it on the tiny edits and say, “Let’s do this!” But i am grateful for the time – it feels right.
And just so grateful for everyone who has shown the love – on Facebook, in real life… it has been such an encouraging time leading up to the time when anyone actually reads it and then we’ll see for sure. But much appreciative of the various communities i am immersed in. Thank you everyone. Looking forward to seeing you at one of the launches.
[and if you are overseas and can’t wait for a local tour, then if you head into the Amazon and google ‘i, church’ and brettfish you are likely to find it there]