Big News! Two New Book Contracts and How to Meet Your External and Internal Goals

Did y’all see the BIG news last week? If not, sign up for my newsletter.

On Monday, January 8th, I signed TWO new contracts for TWO new books! Each book will be released in spring/summer 2019.

My third book will be a 40-day guide to Christian meditation, published by Upper Room Books (publisher of Saffron Cross and For Sabbath’s Sake). My fourth book, Born Dying, will take an interfaith look at death, dying, the afterlife, and useful rituals for living and coping with modern grief. It will be published by Chalice Press (my first book with them). Each book manuscript is due this year—Book #3 at the end of April; Book #4 the end of July. I’m completely bonkers for agreeing to write two books in less than seven months, but it feels so good to be back in my writing chair.

The manuscripts will get done, but it’s going to take mad discipline and accountability.

Since writing and launching two books, I’ve spent time examining what it takes to make my deadlines. One of the most useful tools I’ve discovered is Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies. Have you taken her quiz to discover your tendency?

I’m an “Obliger” which means I can easily uphold external obligations/expectations, but have difficulty being accountable to myself. This is a classic ENFJ, Enneagram 2, helper/caregiver mentality—we love meeting the needs of others, but will burn ourselves out (or defer our own dreams) in the process.

Writing Books #3 and #4 this year means I need to make a shift. I long to become what Rubin names as an “Upholder,” someone who meets both external and internal expectations. I can still honor the Obliger in me, but I also need to stay accountable to my internal needs, too (Upholder). I will meet my external book deadlines imposed by my publishers if I’m taking care of the internal needs of my body, mind, and spirit through sabbath practices. This means that even as I chip away on these two huge projects, I must carve out time for rest, worship, community, exercise, and fun.

You see what I did there? I made both my internal and external expectations public, and I’m therefore I’m accountable now to you—and myself. I’ve satisfied both the Obliger side of me and am learning to cultivate the Upholder.

How do you view yourself? Are you’re an Obliger, Upholder, Questioner, or Rebel? Read more about Rubin’s tendencies and share your tips for how you interface with life.

Meanwhile, remember that winter—with its short days and penchant for cozy indoor time, is ideal for slowing down and examining these questions. What does the world expect of you? What do you expect of yourself?

Lent—coming Valentine’s Day–is also a 40-Day opportunity delve into your internal wilderness in order to return to the world buoyed by spiritual practice and ready to be of service to others. Need a last-minute idea for a a Lenten practice for you, your church, or your small group? Consider sabbath—an ancient rhythm of self-care, devotion, worship, community, service, and advocacy that embraces time to examine who we are, whose we are, and whom we are called to be. Upper Room Books offers discounts on bulk purchases of For Sabbath’s Sake! Click here to order!

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