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Going Public (again)


I’m not famous. Or even Fame-ish. Fame-ish-ish at best—and only in certain, super small circle of weirdos like me. With that said, when I was in the ministry, my life felt very public—with a dash of intoxicating wins mixed into a very measurable batter of heartbreak. When I left public life and got my first marketing gig, my life got oddly easy. Success came without a prayer. Doors opened mysteriously before me—the way I prayed they would doing more noble things in public ministry.

But then, why do I so passionately want to go back there? It’s easy to recall advice from mentors suggesting that success is how you know that “God’s in what your doing.” Following that advice, the wise thing for me would be to forget about the things that weren’t that “blessed” and ride the wave of prosperity. This advice has never satisfied my soul and is contrary to so many of the stories in the Bible.

I started writing five years ago, figuring it would be easy to bang out a compelling nonfiction book about faith, church planting, the creative process or business strategy. But … every time I started writing one, it became a crazy work of MG/YA fiction. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing fiction, but I think it’s time to stop hiding behind my stories and Mack Lines and get to the hard work of writing a very personal work of nonfiction. It will be no less feral than you’d read in a Darell book, but much more difficult to do it in public—not from behind the Mack Lines curtain.

Yesterday, I met with a publisher to pitch Genevieve, the Fix, Dare and Rock, Paper, Femur. I left very encouraged and will get busy filling their request for formal queries and samples of all three. So, that’s GREAT news. At the bottom of the page I included a brief mention of the nonfiction story God has been writing in my life for five years.

Empathy for the Almighty — Christian Living

Before I knew I was sick, God started preparing me to die. When the oncologist said I wasn’t going to “buy the farm”, I bought a farm, fell in love with God and learned to live.”

This caught his eye. “I’d really like to see proposal for this one!” His words continue to lay heavy on my heart. I’m at a writer’s conference to learn how to be a better fiction writer, but his words distract me. Because they will take me into public life again where it’s fair game to label things as successes and failures. Where people fantasize the worst of your motives. Judge expertise by degrees. Question if I could possibly have ideas that are worth reading. Where you stumble through landmines of hot buttons.

Genevieve’s feelings about fame feel very familiar to me now—how she longed to be normal again. But, if Genevieve was normal, her story ends with the world a much darker place. So … let’s write.