I recently read Do No Work by Andrew Gilmore and loved it. Well-written and professionally presented, this self-published ebook provides an excellent example of sharing one’s message in a thoughtful, credible way. (I’m already looking forward to his next book.) Andrew says he wrote the book to “help Christians beat down stress and draw nearer to God through the study and proper application of the Sabbath commandment.” And it’s clear through the book that he learned a great deal about the subject in the research and writing process.
Thanks, Andrew, for sharing your insights and experiences as a writer.
Q. What events, places or other writers have influenced your work?
A. Too many to list! But without Ernest Hemingway, I’m not sure if I’d be answering these questions today. After reading The Sun Also Rises for the first time, I knew I had to be a writer.
Other writers who have impacted me are Ravi Zacharias and Jon Acuff.
Q. What books are you currently reading?
A. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, A Whole New Mind by Dan Pink, an ESV Bible, and The Best American Short Stories of the Century (Eds. John Updike and Katrina Kenison).
Q. What’s your writing process / routine?
A. I try to write a minimum four days per week, but ideally I write six days a week. I have four kids, a wife, and a full-time job so I have to squeeze in the time to write around those commitments. I always try to put my family first which means getting up early or writing through my lunch break at work.
I don’t have a specific place that I write, but I prefer doing so in a comfortable chair with my legs kicked up on an ottoman.
For non-fiction I learned something long ago that has helped me to greatly reduce the time it takes to write a piece: begin with the headline first. Doing so forces me to focus. If I can’t write a compelling headline before writing the piece, then I don’t really know what I’m writing about. Sometimes I’ll spend an hour or more just coming up with the title. But once I get a good one, the rest is usually a breeze.
Q. In thinking about your writing, what do you know now that you wish you had known in your early writing days?
A. Consistency is vital. If I had to pick, I’d rather write for 30 minutes every day than for 8 hours in one day. There is something about making writing a habit that makes you grow. It becomes like second nature.
Think tortoise, not hare. If you’re a writer, you’re in it for the long haul.
Q. What are you working on now?
A. For my next book, I’m going to explore the topic of excellence as a tool for evangelism. I believe if Christians lived a life of excellence it would open many more doors to introduce others to Christ. I want to show how to discover the strengths God has given you and maximize them for His glory, not for personal gain. And in our weaknesses we can learn to rely on God and on other believers. From the Bible we have examples of this in people such as Daniel and Joseph. By the grace of God they were able to do amazing things which opened the door to tell others about God.
Q. What is your best advice for first-time authors?
A. As a new author myself, I should probably be receiving rather than giving advice. But having come out on the other side I can say this: persevere. You hear runners talk about hitting “the wall” when they feel like they can’t continue any longer. But if they can push through it, then they can make it to the end.
The same is true for writing. I don’t care how passionate you are about your topic or how skilled a writer you are, everyone eventually hits the wall. If you can persist you will finish.
You can connect with Andrew at andrewgilmore.net.
Ready to Get Focused?
Andrew noted that consistency is crucial to your writing success. If you want to improve your writing and your consistency, why not participate in the the Amazing Focus Challenge? Give yourself the gift of time–31 days, at least 30 minutes a day–and see what you can accomplish. I took the challenge and published my book, Get Personal, in May 2014.
The Amazing Focus Challenge is free and just might give you the push you need to take your project from concept to completion.