The Next Chapter of The Next Story

It is July 1 today, which makes it Canada Day in my home and native land. Technically the day marks the anniversary of the unification of the British colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the Province of Canada into a federation of four provinces. At this time what had previously been the Province of Canada was divided into Ontario and Quebec. This all officially took place on July 1, 1867. However, even at this time Canada did not become entirely independent and it was not until 1982 that Canada fully and finally severed political ties with Great Britain (kind of–we still have a Governor General who represents the Queen before the government). Today Canada Day is essentially a day that Canadians set aside to celebrate being Canadian. Communities each have their own traditions though they all end in the same way–with a fireworks celebration.

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Today seems like a good day to provide an update on The Next Story, the book I have been laboring on for about six months now. If I go back and review the original agreement I made with the publisher, i see that today is supposed to be my deadline. How humbling. Because of a series of factors, we subsequently bumped that due date to September 1. This means that I’ve got two months to get this book finished up if we want to hit the anticipated release date of April 2011 (which we really do).

At this point I anticipate that the book is going to contain ten chapters. And as of this moment I have three of them pretty much finished, two somewhat written and the rest barely started. That sounds scary but the good news is that the ones I have completed are largely the most important and most foundational ones. They comprise the entire first part of the book. I recently forwarded them to my agent and my editor and got a thumbs up from both of them. So this tells me that I’m on the right track.

I am taking the entire month of July to focus on the book. I’ve tried to clear everything else from my calendar (except for a week of vacation) to allow me to remain as undistracted as possible. And though today is technically a holiday, it all starts today and by the time you read this, I’ll be hard at work.

The Next Story has proven quite a challenge to me. The subject matter remains urgent to me and I am eager to keep writing about it. And yet somehow I’ve found it difficult to do so. Partly I blame the very technologies I am writing about and partly I blame my own inability to just settle down and get it done. Regardless, the fact is that I need to make some progress and I need to make it now–today, this week, this month.

May I be so bold as to ask you to pray for me? If I am going to make the kind of progress I need to make, I will need extraordinary powers of focus and concentration, both of which have been coming only with difficulty. I will also need to organize my time well and to find the ability to dig deep, so to speak, to push past the things that so often derail me. I know I have no hope of doing any of this without prayer but I have full confidence that with prayer, with God’s strength, I’ll be able to succeed. The more time I spend writing, the more I see how Christians need to receive good teaching about their use of technology. And so I truly do want to succeed here, to craft a book that will be of service to the church. If you would take the time to pray for me in the coming weeks, or even just today, I would be very grateful.