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Welcome to the online home of Tim Challies, blogger, author, and book reviewer.
This, That and the Other Thing
July 23, 2010
Friday morning seems like a good time to give you a couple of personal updates and to ask you a question about this web site. But make sure that you don’t miss today’s A La Carte and Free Stuff Fridays.
I have been thinking a little bit lately about the quality of the content of this site. A few times I’ve run back through the articles I’ve written in recent weeks and have thought to myself that the quality of the posts is suffering a little bit. As I look to what I was writing a year ago, or even six months ago, and compare it to what I’ve been doing over the past two months or so, I can’t help but feel that the level of quality has dropped off. And I’m sorry about this. I’m quite frustrated by it.
I think this drop in quality is directly related to the book I’m writing. I’m into crunch time with the book and it is sapping the vast majority of my creative energy (and just about every other kind of energy I can create or can pour into my body through caffeinated beverages). This is inevitable, I think, and yet it is still frustrating. I am trying to adapt a little bit, mostly by readjusting my daily blogging routine. But I think the problem remains.
So what I want to do today is to ask you to bear with me. The book is due on September 1 and I think that as soon as it is complete and submitted to the publisher I will suddenly find myself with a lot more energy and a lot more creativity. There are several blog series I’ve been wanting to write, but I just haven’t been able to find time and attention to research and to write them.
One solution would be for me to blog less, to stop blogging every day, but I am hesitant to do that. The daily routine has proven really valuable to me over the years and has added an important element of structure to my life. I’d be loathe to let it go.
Again, bear with me and let’s assume that the fall will bring better things.
The Next Story
Despite the fact that it is sapping my creative energy (or perhaps because it is sapping my creative energy), the book is progressing well. For those who don’t know, it is set to be published by Zondervan in April of next year. The working (and near-final) title is The Next Story: Life and Faith After the Digital Explosion. It is a book that deals with living as Christians in a digital age. It describes how we got this way, how life has changed for those of us living in the aftermath of the digital explosion, and suggests how we can live with virtue in such a time as this.
I don’t exactly know how to quantify the amount I’ve written and the amount that remains, but I suppose I’m probably at about 75% completed after six months of writing. I have five weeks remaining to finish it up. However, I think this is quite typical—a lot of progress tends to come in the final days. Why put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow…
As I write the final chapters, I am also starting to think about cover design (working with Zondervan’s creative team) and to think about endorsements and possibly having someone write a Foreword. I have already mentioned this on Twitter, but if you can think of someone who would be a natural fit to write the foreword to a book dealing with technology and Chrisitan living, do let me know. I am eager for [good] suggestions.
And finally, a question.
While I was on vacation last week, I had a series of guest bloggers cover for me. Though individual posts received plenty of comments, I did not receive from any of you an assessment of whether you enjoyed reading articles from other voices. So I thought I would ask: What do you think of me making guest blogs a regular feature of this site? I would probably set aside Saturdays for this purpose, having someone different provide an article each week—some people who are known, some people who are unknown. Quality would be the criteria, not audience.
Let’s separate this question from the issue of quality above. The easy answer is to say, “If you’re having trouble generating good content, have someone else generate it for you.” But I’d prefer to separate the two since these guest posts would come in the good times and the bad.
So let me know what you think. Should I make guest blogs a weekly or a regular feature around these parts?