The 60 day challenge; can I write a book proposal?

Starting tomorrow, May 1st I’m starting on a book project. Since I’m a slacker who doesn’t get stuff done unless I have a deadline, I thought I’d go public about the project for some accountability & encouragement. I’ve been wanting to write a book for awhile, but as any of my friends who are authors have told me there is this thing called resistance when it comes to writing. Resistance whether it’s scheduling the time to do it, the mental hurdles of believing an idea is worth taking the time to write about, or finding an idea in the first place. As Renee Zellweger as a new breakout star said in the horribly awesome 1990’s movie Empire Recordswho knows where ideas come from? They just appear!” Well, I have an idea. And I’ve got some wind in my sails. And with your help blog friends, I think I can do it.

git r' done!

So- what am I going to do? I’m going to take the next 60 days to work on a book I’ve been calling Stones Over Water- about how Jesus shapes his witnesses in times of solitude and sharing the gospel. I’m going to focus on themes of the spiritual significance of water in scripture and in my own life. I’m a Great Lakes girl after all & there have been divine moments in my life watching a sunset over a glistening Lake Michigan, seeing the violent waves crash against the shores of Lake Superior or hearing the roar of shallow Lake Erie.  Because it makes the most sense I’m going to work on a submission to InterVarsity Press which includes:

  • 3 chapters
  • A cover letter describing the book and my passion for the project
  • research on similar books on the market
  • an outline for the book and approximate length.

I’m psyched, I’m scared, I’m bursting with joy to finally have a project to channel my ideas into. I really feel like it wasn’t until now that Jesus gave me release to write a book. And now, I feel like it will be straight up disobeying him and wasting what he’s given me if I don’t get my butt in the chair, put fingers to keyboard & let the words flow. So what could I use your help with? For one, I’d love some encouragement- words of affirmation are one of the ways I feel most cared for. I started this blog to interact with people about ideas & would really love your feedback or even just a short comment of “way to go!” or “that sucks” on the inevitable rough days where I’ll feel like every sentence I write is trash.

Tomorrow is my first writing day & my spiritual director has wonderfully offered to let me use her home during a writing day. Overlooking a river, in the woods surrounded by cozy furniture and really good Republic of Tea Coconut Cocoa tea I feel inspired just being in her home. I’ll post how things are going each week & invite you into the experience of what it’s like trying to get a book proposal done in 60 days- the good, the bad, and the ugly. Wish me luck friends!


  • Mae Ellen Fick

    I’m excited for you and proud of you! How I look forward to reading it. You are in our prayers as you work on it. Love, Mom

    • Jessica

      sweet! I might be scrounging up stories from other lovers of Jesus & the Great Lakes so perhaps I’ll be asking you for any significant experiences you’ve had.

  • clevelandjoe

    Wow! This is so cool. You should have mentioned it today because I would have loved to talk with you about it. As a writer of sorts with all sorts of book ideas floating around in my head, I enthusiastically support people who are actually putting the rubber to the road and moving forward with a book project. Please keep us posted with your progress and developments!

    This post actually reminded me that several years back at Cedar Campus I met the editorhead honcho of IV Press. Being a young and brash college student, I went up to him and asked him what one needed to do in order to get published by IV Press. He told me pretty much exactly the same types of things as you need to do. I guess he wasn’t just trying to blow me off and get back to enjoying the great barbeque that we were having on the shores of Lake Huron that evening!

    It was really fun hanging out with you and Dave today! What a great, unexpected blessing!

    • Jessica

      thanks Joe! Yeah- I guess I could have mentioned it today, great to hang with you guys too! What would you like to write about (the Cleveland Browns?;)

      • clevelandjoe

        Well, I like doing Browns articles, but there are TONS of books already about the Browns so probably not. Plus, I don’t remember their glory days very well since they happened in the mid-1980s when I was young.

        The ideas I had are:
        1.) A fiction book (the plot is too long to go into here). This is my favorite idea of the three and it’s the one to which I have given the most thought.
        2.) A non-fiction book about how to be a Christian in collegegrad schoollaw school without either losing your faith or falling prey to all of the stereotypes of evangelical Christians (which was the idea that I had when I talked with the IV press guy) but unfortunately I saw that a book just like this was written in 2004…I should have started earlier.
        3.) Perhaps a memoir about law school or teaching in the inner city? Might want to get some more experience in law before writing this one though.

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