In four months, this blog will be seven years old.
One of the reasons I started keeping the blog was I wanted to be a writer. I had been writing for a long time — I even had a draft of a novel that was already several years old, but none of it had anywhere to go. I had read Anne LaMott’s statement that a writer is one who writes not one who is published and, yet, I wanted to get my words out there to someone.
For me, writing alone makes about as much sense as eating alone.
As one who has never felt very adept when it comes to the skills of an entrepreneur, the blog platform was perfect. It wasn’t going to make me any money, but it wasn’t going to cost any either and I could write, put it out there, and see who found it. The words I have posted down all these days have given me a sense of purpose and accomplishment, have built relationships I never imagined possible, and have helped me claim my place as a writer. They also opened the doors for me to get a book published. Keeping the Feast: Metaphors for the Meal will be in finer bookstores everywhere and online in about a month.
In working on the book, one of the things I have had to learn is how to improve my entrepreneurial skills. I’m still learning. And I’m getting better. I’m proud of what I have written and I want to see it find a larger audience, yet I’m also learning that the task of being more self-promotional kind of calls me to live up to my own words, or at least the quote by the Buddha that gave a title to this blog:
There is no joy in eating alone.
I’m the guy who makes a point of saying and re-saying that both life and faith are team sports. I don’t want to eat alone. I am also learning that I write best when I don’t write alone: when I remember I am surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses who encourage me, teach me, read me, and love me. I trust that the reasons stories matter are they are what remind us of how much we are alike and how inextricably linked we are to one another. We are at our best when we share with and pull for each other.
Saying all those words is easier than incarnating them.
But I’ll try. I need more than what I can do to give this book a good life and to have the chance to make the connections and tell the stories and share the meals I think were meant to come out of this project. My publisher is working hard, but book tours aren’t in their budget. Nor are they mine. I need help to see my dream become a reality.
It seems you can’t really dream alone either.
This week I launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a book tour, which will give me some funds to buy gas and meals and hotel rooms and books so I can take to the highways and see who wants to eat and talk together. I am hoping to go to bookstores, churches, and dining rooms wherever I can we can share stories and meals. This link gives all the details.
The campaign is off to an amazing start. My request is that you share the link. Tell people about the book and the campaign and ask them to tell others.
And then invite me over for dinner.