Tuesday, 7 May 2013

So, I've written a book!

Yes, apparently it's true. Apparently I really have written a book. I find this fairly astonishing. I actually have very little idea as to how it happened. In fact I wouldn't believe it all if it wasn't for the fact that I have a shiny book jacket with my name on sitting on my desk, and a quick online search reveals that something claiming to have been written by me is now available for pre-order. (But don't order online - order direct from me!!).

So many people have asked me how I went about it - how long did it take? when did I find the time? how did I get a publisher? how did I decide what to write about? had I always wanted to write a book?

The answers to most of those questions are boringly mundane really! I hadn't ever really thought very much about writing a book - it wasn't so much that I did or didn't want to, as that I couldn't ever conceive of doing it. I might as well have thought about unicycling around the British Isles! I knew people who had written books, certainly, and they were intelligent, academic, articulate people. I didn't feel as though I was any of those things, and I certainly didn't think I was 'clever enough' to write a book.

Even if I had got as far as thinking I might like to write a book, I wouldn't have had much of a clue as to what I might write about. I love reading books, but one of the consequences of reading a lot is that it can seem as though pretty much every book you could think of has already been written. I couldn't have really imagined what I might have to say that would add anything to what had already been said.

I'd read a few books on singleness, but not many - mainly because there didn't seem to be many around. I'd read a few from the US, which were interesting, but coming from a very different social and cultural background from ours here in the UK. I also hadn't really heard many talks on the subject. That was ok - it didn't seem to be a huge lack in my life. I was aware, however, and especially as I got older, that there were occasionally times when there was something of a miscommunication between me and my married friends, or when the language which was used in church suddenly felt a bit jarring.

[Throughout this time God was speaking to me about my own singleness and what that might look like for the future - but that's another story... (you'll have to read the book to find out more!)]

One day I was asked if I would speak at one of the New Wine summer conferences about singleness. I said no, because to be perfectly honest, having not read or heard much on the subject, I just wasn't quite sure what there was to say. Was this an area that really needed teaching on? And if it did, was I the person to do it? I wasn't at all sure. It seemed that God had different ideas though, because suddenly one morning I woke up with 2 seminar titles in my mind, and I was completely certain that I had to speak on those 2 subjects (that sort of thing doesn't happen to me often!). I did do those 2 talks, and have since done them in other places too, and those 2 titles became 2 chapter titles in the book - 'Living a God-obsessed life in a sex-obsessed world' and 'Living a God-obsessed life in a marriage-obsessed church'. (I knew the titles came from God and not from me because they were actually rather good!).

As I did those first 2 talks, and then subsequently as I did others in the months which followed, something began to stir in me. I found myself getting more and more passionate about the topic. I loved speaking about singleness! I loved reading about it and thinking about it and talking about it. I enjoyed meeting other single people and hearing their stories and learning from them and encouraging them.

Then one day, my friend said, "you know all these talks you're doing - you've got a few chapter headings for a book there." And I thought "ha ha, that's really funny." But the thought didn't go away. I kept wondering about it, and thinking of ways in which it actually might work. The problem was that I had no idea how to actually go about writing a book, and I was worried that no one would be interested in it anyway. I spoke to another friend, who had written a number of books themselves (one of the intelligent ones I mentioned!). He very kindly introduced me to Monarch, who had published some of his books, and they agreed to read some draft chapters. I thought there wouldn't be any harm in sending them a couple to see what they said.

From there, the whole thing just snowballed. I look back on it now and I can't remember quite how it all happened. I don't even recall the precise moment at which I thought "yes, let's do this." I just know that I started to write, and I found that I had things to say, and I really, really enjoyed it. Of course it was hard work fitting it in around everything else I was doing, but let's face it, we always find times for the things we enjoy doing, and we should always find times for the things we're called to do - and this was both of those!

As the deadline approached (terrifyingly quickly) there were a few crazed evenings where I finished 'work' at 10pm and then started on the book, sometimes not finishing till 2am. That wasn't a huge amount of fun. But the sense of achievement on getting to the end was amazing. I am SO excited about this thing that I have produced! I really hope other people like it too, and find it useful, but whatever happens, it's been an amazing experience. I'm pretty sure that if I can do it, you can do it, so if this has always been your dream, then why not give it a go!

Over the next few weeks I'll blog a bit about each of the chapters, to whet your appetite a bit, ahead of the release of the book in June. It is SO exciting and SO terrifying!


  1. This looks really interested - have pre-ordered (recommended by someone who's heard you speak). Thanks.

  2. Great! Thanks so much. Let me know what you think...

  3. Well done KW!!! Very excited to see this and yes, will be ordeirng one from you shortly. And I'm sure this will mean a whole lot of blog replies saying 'here's my hilarious story as a singleton' which can feature in the follow up book ;O))

  4. Lol Nik yeah that would be great! Tbh there's a new story most weeks - I'm never without material!

  5. So when are you off on unicycle adventure then? Proud of you! (for the book & numerous other reason - not cos of unicycling) kx

  6. Ha! You know how fond I am of cycling of any kind - maybe unicycling would be better!