Writing first book – Seeking Good

Goal: Write Seeking Good, a ~100 page book full of the skills, knowledge, insights that will be available to all those that discern joining the Family of Jesus or will work in one of the OneGood brands.

Benefits: The book will provide clarity on what I offer and specifics on what I believe at this moment in time.  The book will demonstrate my expertise in various areas and provide the ability to transition away from exclusively trading my time for money.

Obstacles: Family time, Summer fun, Self-doubt on the value of the project etc., External doubt on the value of the project etc., Publishing, Marketing

Skills Required: Getting published/self-published, Editing for the broadest reading audience while also maintaining maximum engagement and accessibility

Who will work with me: Mary D-W, Monica, Elizabeth K, Fernando/Juan Pablo, Victor/Katie-Sue, Kevin O’B, “Martin”

What are the 20% of things that will make 80% of the difference? 3 hours of writing daily Monday-Friday

What daily micro habits will you look to form around reaching your goal? Prep time for writing and reviewing materials from classes/retreats/books.

When will you set time aside to notice and recalibrate what you’re doing? On Wednesdays and Sundays

Who will help you? How does this break into short- and long-term deadlines?  Monica and Mary.  Monica will help with the short-term/daily tasks and whether I’m doing them, whereas Mary will help me to track how the chapters are progressing and what I’d need to get done to attempt to finish writing by mid-August.

5 thoughts on “Writing first book – Seeking Good

  1. 3-hours, 5-days a week.
    That is a major commitment.
    Is it realistic?
    (if so, great)

    What is your current writing practice? Or when are times in your life when you’ve had a practice that kept you centered towards achieving a goal? Is this something that’s new for you (writing a book)?

    Are you part of any writing groups?

    Would it help to break down goals for moving the book towards a completed draft by Sept 1? (do you have an outline, a sense of your research questions) — I have no idea what your own process is like, and I think every writer has one // maybe every book has it’s own journey to come to be. How does awareness about your own process bring you closer towards your goal.
    I.e. — what are your internal obstacles, how do you commit to overcoming them?
    What do you need to balance out this time (how does summer + family not get set in opposition to your vocational work of writing this book now — but how can they dance together, be mutually enriching)

    What writers on writing do you read or admire? (Ann Lamott comes to mind, Natalie Goldberg — “the secret art of writing” )

    What do you do now, when the self-doubt scripts start to play? How can you anticipate and actively build space and practices to resist those voices when they start creeping in? Who are writing heroes and saints to invoke!

    I want to draw attention to one place that may or may not be helpful in the future — Collegeville Institute offers summer writing workshops for pastors and faith leaders. There are wide ranges of topics, and it’s a well funded program (i.e. when you get in, maybe you just have to pay to get there, but the workshop/room/board is funded!)

    https://collegevilleinstitute.org/

    Finally; I’m not sure I’ve heard you share the WHY of this in its fullness. I wonder how your own life experiences, suffering, transformations are now bringing this thing to birth. That is – I wonder what showing will be needed for this book to be compelling and invitational for the lay ecclesial movement you want to build!

  2. Hi Daniel,

    “The book will provide clarity on what I offer and specifics on what I believe at this moment in time.  The book will demonstrate my expertise in various areas”

    Can you explore this a little more In this space? What is it, specifically, that you offer? What do you see as your own personal expertise and how might you share it effectively?

    Additionally, I don’t know a ton about lay ecclesial movements and I’m curious about who you picture becoming part of your community. Do you intend for families to participate? Or is the title Families of Jesus only to mirror the language of Society of Jesus? (I as ask this as someone who graduated form a Jesuit institution and was challenged to maintain roots in Ignatian Spirituality while, moving, working, and starting a family.)

  3. This sounds awesome and is needed especially in Latinx circles. I echo Casey in terms of connecting with other writers and resources. A friend of mine shared that the Writers of Color group has been helpful in their writing (https://www.writersofcolor.org/). Also the Hispanic Summer Program (https://hispanicsummerprogram.org/) and the Hispanic Theological Initiative (https://hti.ptsem.edu/).

    If you have shared this in another post, let me know…I am curious about where the name/title “OneGood” comes from. It resonates with me and would like to hear your thoughts about how it came into being.

  4. Hi Daniel,

    I am wondering also if writing three hours a day, Monday – Friday, is a realistic goal. How will you be able to balance this with the rest of your activities in life (family, work, self-care, etc.). What will you say to yourself if you were to not be able to keep this commitment? How long a time frame do you give yourself to finish this book?

    It sounds like you are getting more clarity about what you want to create with the Family of Jesus and the OneGood. I wish you blessings as you continue to move forward in this.

  5. Reflection for Week 4 (I’ll re-post as a separate post, but want to be sure to try and answer some questions listed here):

    3 hours a day “writing” for 5 days a week is a significant commitment and it would have been helpful for me to clarify that I intend for the 3 hours to be dedicated toward the intention of completing the book. I won’t be doing a great deal of research, but I’ve been fortunate to have taken many classes where I can easily draw the resources for a 10-12 page “chapter” and I’ll simply plan to do that the number of times that I have topics that seem worthy of that much focus.

    In terms of writing practices, I journal daily for ~30 minutes and would be comfortable going much longer (and would actually prefer to…but that’s another goal). The book intends to be mostly experiential with footnotes/endnotes to more specific resources if folks want to take a topic beyond my experience/training.

    My daily habits are a balance between the habits of prayer and discernment I’ve learned/practiced through Spiritual Direction and business productivity. My goal is to have the book drafted by August 1st (if it isn’t done, I’ll just update the goal to another date that feels like a realistic stretch).

    With all the reading I do and have done, the authors that most inspire me are St. Ignatius and the Gospel writers.

    The “Why?” for this book is essentially my sense that everyone deserves the life experience that Jesus offers and I feel that I’ve experienced as a result of taking seriously Matthew 6:25-33 especially verse 33. Since completing the Spiritual Exercises in ~2010 and being trained in Spiritual Direction in 2016, I’ve consistently found that God’s grace overflows for all of us…and yet so few experience this overflow.

    As it relates to my skills/expertise, my undergrad degree was in Psychology and I love personal development, so I’ve done a lot of reading/training on my own as well to add more tools to the toolbox. I got my MBA with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship and Management and then my MDiv where I took all the classes I could on spirituality.

    It was during my MDiv that I realized/received the call to create the Family of Jesus because there are so many (myself included) that would love the kind of formation Jesuits receive as well as the institutional support that participating in an organization of that size can provide. Lay people rarely have these kinds of organizations to support their educational/spiritual desires. If we perceive that we cannot follow our God given desires, how can we fully answer God’s call? The Family of Jesus will hopefully address most of the components of a fruitful response to that question.

    OneGood is an idea that came to me in 2007 when I encountered two organizations that included “One” in the name, but the rest of the name didn’t feel particularly lasting or fulfilling. As I explored the concept of oneness and what we may desire to be one with, I realized the concept of goodness was pretty universal. Likely in the midst of that process, I heard the passage, Mark 10:17-18 and I realized that OneGood will fulfill both the accessibility that Christian contexts sometimes lack and the universal truth that I believe all of us recognize, namely that God is the ultimate Good.

    Thank you all for your questions and support. I hope this response addressed most of them. Wishing you all a blessed Friday and weekend!

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