Exciting news from the Briggs: we’re expecting a little bundle of joy over the next several months.
Before I start too many rumors, let me clarify it’s a literary bundle: I’m writing another book.
My apologies if I got you a little worked up there… No, it is not a baby. However, writing a book is very similar to the pregnancy/birthing process. There is excitement initially when finding out the news; but over the next several months, what results is a long process of preparation, checkups, exhaustion, occasionally intense feelings of nausea and a lot of emotional and mental stretch marks.
It all started a few years ago when I wrote a post on my blog about failure and ministry.
That post led to conversation with friends (and passionate strangers), which led to hosting the First Annual Epic Fail Pastors Conference.
This led to further conferences and events on epic failure and ministry.
Further conversation ensued, as did encouragement from a few friends for me to seriously consider putting this epic fail idea to paper.
In the months that followed, I secured a literary agent, who was brave (or naive) enough to start communicating with publishers about a book idea on, of all things, failure.
After much hard work over the past few months by my agent, we heard back from publishers regarding the project.
And, a few days ago, I had the exciting opportunity to sign a book contract with InterVarsity Press – tentatively titled The Epic Fail Pastor.
I’m very excited to be working with InterVarsity Press on this project and I feel confident this is the right home for this book. The purpose is to help pastors – all who have at some point wrestled through feelings of failure, some who have experienced incredible pain through the failures of ministry – and too few who have been willing and able to talk about their struggle openly and courageously.
This book is an attempt to provide that safe space for raw and authentic processing in order to move forward in freedom while developing a clear theology of failure (and success). It is quite congruent with the vision of Kairos Partnerships – to help to equip pastors, church planters and leaders as they experience significant kairos moments in their lives.
I’m thrilled – and yet I feel quite insecure about the writing journey ahead. This is completely normal to the writing process (at least that has been my experience with the other books I’ve written). It is a Yes! quickly followed by an Oh crap!
And yet, this book project has a gigant question attached to it that takes it to a whole other level of insecurity: How does one write a successful book about failure? It is a Catch-22 that is easy to over-think and difficult to get out of…
The completed manuscript is due to my editor right before the summer starts, so I have my work cut out for me in the coming months. There will be more updates in the future, but for now I simply wanted to share the good news of what has been started – and the insecurity that, I can assure you, has already set in.
I’ll enjoy this for a few days. But after that, it will be time to roll up my sleeves, pick up the proverbial pen, open up a vein and bleed all over one very large Word document.
As one author-friend of mine said to me when I told him the news: Congratulations. Let the neurosis begin.