I had a funny email interaction the other day with a friend. I had emailed wondering if she would be willing to help design the cover of my new book. Her response was, “Of course…but I didn’t even know you were writing!” I guess I have not done that great of a job of making people aware of the project I have been working on. With that said, I am now at the point where I feel it is appropriate to publicly talk about it more and attempt to gain some energy and excitement for the book.
I have been working on the book since June 2014 – the idea came to me while running (big surprise) and after a few runs I kept coming back to the conclusion that there was something there. I spent most of the summer doing research. The research took a lot of time – I was consistently finding new sources to dig into, and burning through highlighters as I frantically gathered the information I wanted to use. During preseason for soccer, I would spend the five hours in between practices doing all my research. By November, I was finally at a place where I had the research done, and had the time and energy to dedicate a few hours each day to writing. So, for a solid six weeks, I spent a few hours every day with headphones plugged in as I typed away. Six weeks later, I was left with a very rough first draft of the 50,000+ word manuscript. For the past three and a half months or so, I have been diligently editing the book, meticulously combing through it trying to polish it up. I am beyond grateful for a number of friends who have also been sifting through the pages helping me make the manuscript even better. One friend focused solely on punctuation. One ensured my tenses were consistent and appropriate. Another has been managing my grammar. I had one friend sign up as my ‘theological editor’ to be another opinion in making sure my interpretation of Scripture is accurate. This has by no means been an individual effort, and I am grateful for all who have played a role in helping me reach this point.
A week and a half ago, I signed a self-publishing contract with Westbow Press – the same company Running Through Life is currently published through. I have found myself filled with a new sense of energy as I am taking obvious steps leading me toward publication. There is no definitive publication date set in stone, though I have personally set the goal of having a book in hand by October 2015. There is still a lot of work to be done, but we are getting closer each day.
But Tommy…what is the book actually about?
The book is going to be titled, Footprints of the Unnamed.
Within the book I want to retrace the footprints left behind by twenty different characters found within the four gospels. The one connection all twenty characters have in common is the fact their names are never mentioned. Some come and go in just a few verses. They are sometimes a side show, a mere passerby in a larger story that is being told. However, I fully believe the Holy Spirit found it worthwhile to prompt the gospel authors to include their stories for eternity, because they have something to offer us. If the Holy Spirit didn’t pass them by, I don’t want to either.
Throughout this journey I have been on with these twenty characters I have found myself being filled with encouragement. I may never write a book that gets as many readers as a Max Lucado book. I may never deliver a speech that falls on as many ears as a Francis Chan sermon. But, I am not here drifting through life purposeless. I am not here to take someone else’s oxygen. I have been given a purpose; a reason for existing. If the Holy Spirit is going to enable these nameless characters to leave a footprint, He can certainly do the same for me. I have been challenged in thinking about the legacy I am leaving behind.
Additionally, I have found myself continually falling more in love with Jesus as I study these individuals. I have been amazed at how many of them are mirrors of the characteristics we find in Jesus. After writing the tenth or so chapter I was humbled as I came to an obvious yet commonly forgotten message of Scripture… it all points to Jesus, something I hope to communicate through the pages of the book.
Over the next six months or so I hope to generate more buzz and energy about the book. I don’t care if I don’t make any money off the project. But, I am proud of what we have compiled and I truly believe the words in the book will have an impact on the reader. Though I’m not the biggest fan of social media, I am slowly trying to develop the hashtag #FOTU to help spur some excitement. Help me out and help spread the word as you see some tweets and facebook posts about the book’s status. Keep an eye on the blog as I will post things here and there about the progress of the book.
Thanks for checking in!