Honestly, I didn’t think much about the genre that my book would be in. Of course I knew I was writing a Christian book, but my writing is driven by the things I’m passionate about, so that has determined the genre. I’m currently working on a marriage book, but it will still be in the Christian genre, and I imagine a marriage subcategory. I have a couple of others in the works that will most likely land back in the Christian/Personal Growth genre.
What do you find most challenging about the writing process, and how do you deal with it?
The first difficulty in writing any book is simply the discipline of writing. For some writers they may find it easy to find time to sit down and write, and the words flow easily onto the page. For others, and I am definitely in this category, writing is a discipline just as much as it is an inspirational or creative process. This means hours staring at a computer screen and feeling like you have nothing to say. Or it may mean writing for hours, only to highlight all of it and hit ‘delete.’ But I found that I still have to sit down in front of my computer every day and ‘work’ at my writing.
What I found most difficult in writing Giant Killers was the transition from an academic document to a book that people would actually want to read. I didn’t want to simply produce information, I wanted to produce a book that people would want to read. I also wanted my book to be one that would be easy to understand and relate to. So with my doctoral project as foundation, I began the re-writing and revising process to turn an academic project into a book.
But I didn’t want to just change the language and the use less syllables in my words, I wanted my writing to have a certain feel. When someone reads one of my books I want them to experience it. As they read each paragraph, each page, each chapter, I want them to do so with a sense that they are sitting in a coffee shop with me talking. I spent an extensive amount of time editing, sometimes down to words and phrases, with that single thought in mind. I want people to read my books and feel as if they are talking with me. I want them to feel as if they know me, who I am as a regular, normal, everyday person, rather than an impersonal collection of opinions and information.
It’s important to me as a speaker and as a writer that I connect with my audience. Even as I just wrote that sentence I really don’t like the word ‘audience.’ It’s too impersonal. I never want come across that way. I had a saying as a pastor that I wanted to do everything within my power to “decrease the distance between the platform and the chairs.” Too many times there’s a disconnect between the speaker or author in those with whom they are attempting to communicate. And one of my main goals has always been to present myself in such a way that people can identify with me as a person and connect with me as a regular, normal everyday guy, rather than some expert who has said or written something that they need to hear.
When and where do you do your writing?
I am definitely a morning person. I haven’t always been that way, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve really grown to love still and the quiet of early mornings. When my kids were younger (I have three girls), early in the morning was the only time my house was a quiet. So really I became a morning person out of necessity.
Now that my kids are grown, I still find mornings most productive. Don’t get me wrong, I have learned to sleep in; but there are still several mornings a week that I will wake up really early and get excited about having several hours when my wife is still asleep that I can grab a cup of coffee and either just sit and read, or catch up on some writing. When I force myself out of the recliner and into my office, I am usually extremely productive during those early hours.
I should probably do that every morning, but, having been married to the hottest, most beautiful, most amazing woman in the world for 27 years, I still have a hard time tearing myself away from her. Besides, if I play my cards right, I might just get…umm, next question…
What have you learned about promoting your books?
Because I really had no idea what I was doing in terms of promotion and marketing. I had a Facebook page and I even developed an author Facebook page, but I wasn’t sure how to use it. I had a twitter account that was dormant. And I had started two different blogs that were eventually abandoned. So while I set up a new website with the intention of blogging once again, I didn’t have a plan. And I didn’t have a clue what was available in terms of pre-promotional advertising. So at this point it seems like I’m still playing catch-up. But I’m starting to figure some things out and have finally hired a virtual assistant with experience in social media marketing, design, and business development.
What are you most proud of as a writer?
I’m very passionate about the message of Giant Killers and its ability to be transformational in someone’s life. All of us face obstacles. All of us deal with struggles that we can’t seem to overcome. And all of us, at one time or another, have had opportunities pass us by because we weren’t prepared or confident enough to take them on.
I believe that can change. I believe that we can develop the skills and character qualities necessary to take on both obstacles and opportunities with confidence. And I believe with all my heart that God’s grace has tremendous power that we have yet to understand. And I am convinced that He is not only willing and able, he wants us to experience that power more than we ever will. And I believe that the combination of the skills and character qualities found in emotional intelligence combined with the power of God’s grace have the potential to make us an unstoppable force.
A former small-business owner and church planter, Steve Lawson recently stepped down as the senior pastor of Grace Community Church in Greenville, Texas, to focus on his writing, speaking, and leadership training activities.
He holds a doctor of strategic leadership degree from Regent University, a master of divinity degree from The King’s University, an MBA from Amberton University, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of North Texas.
Lawson owns Leadership Transformation Inc., providing emotional intelligence training and consulting to organizations of all sizes. More information on his consulting services is available at www.leadershiptransformation.net. An avid blogger and writer, Lawson is available for speaking engagements in churches, seminars, and conferences. You can contact him at www.stevelawson.us.
He and his wife, Karen, live in Greenville, Texas. They are the parents of three grown daughters.
On Amazon: http://amzn.to/1q0EPPs