Wednesday, September 12, 2007

needing a little help

Now I’m going to feel really stupid if nobody responds to this post, so please feel especially free to contribute to the comments section.

A professor from my leadership department urged me to write articles to sell to journals or something of that nature. He wasn’t able to give me much more specific direction. I’ve also thought of writing pocket sized works on themes in Anabaptist theology. Something that would not be like the “green monster” as Millard Erickson’s Christian Theology was nicknamed in the not so recent past by seminary students. It would be small and modestly priced—my aim is reform not profit. Where does one begin and who do you talk to? What themes would I pursue and what contributors would I include? I think I need a coach. These are mostly focus questions. I know I need a bit of help with focus. I swear I’ve developed ADHD over the past few years and it doesn’t do anything for my focus. How does one develop such a thing this late in life—I do have a very reasonable explanation, which I am certain nobody wants to hear.

I am also thinking of starting a business of sorts. I have some grand ideas for what I want it to look like eventually. But it includes vast fields of knowledge I know nothing about, like creating and maintaining a website and accounting. I also need to know folks in the design and textile industry. I want to create an organizational structure that supports a local community and has a decentralized and localized leadership. It would distribute or exchange local handcrafted items or clothing, connecting artesian, vendor and consumer in a personal way. Has anyone heard of something like this or know of an organization that works in this way. I’m sure it’s out there. I just haven’t run into it yet.

I also need to know how and where to begin moonlighting as an instructor to gain experience. The subject would be theological; unless you see other themes I would be good at in this chaos I call my blog. I know it involves developing a lesson plan. But it also involves selling myself, which I’m really terrible at, thanks to my humble upbringing. For the Amish and conservative Mennonites an entire strand of DNA has been genetically altered to ensure that no one bring undue attention to oneself in a prideful way. This makes a resume...ah, well, substandard in mainstream terms. But how do I start and where? I’ve already spoken numerous times in classes on pacifism mostly and to special interest topics relating to pillars in the Amish-Mennonite tradition but this hasn't given me many leads or other opportunities.


Mike Morrell said...

Publishers...Herald Press, or Wipf and Stock. Go for it!

Naomi said...

Another publisher that might be interested in your work is Cascadia at

Shalom said...

I'll go out on the limb with a little bit of a wilder idea. I have often thought that there was a market for 15-20 page essays on specific subjects. Why not get together with some individuals of like mind, buy a good printer and publish say 1 a month. You could narrow what you do by focusing upon submissions from pastors, students and lay people selected by, for example, a three person editorial board. The group could then use your Anabaptist/educational/church networks to publicize. Then sell it at cost.

I'm even willing to bet that you could get one of the local Anabaptist/Mennonite congregations to help you out by flying it under their mantle so you do not need to run it through your own checking account (make checks payable to First ABC Mennonite Church) for example.

Regarding the other issues I'm afraid I can not be of much help. You are leading me with ideas about building community. I will be watching with interest whatever it is that you do.

wilsonian said...

LOVE Shalom's idea.

As for being an instructor... I'm not sure how things work where you are, but where I live in Canada, the community colleges are always looking for programs/instructors for their continuing education programs. Their calendars always let you know who to contact, and you provide a proposal, etc. and they tell you if they have an interest or ask if you might be willing to shift to a similar topic. I personally think that Pacifism 101 would be something that many would be interested in.

Doug Hagler said...

Hello - I found your blog via Michael Westmoreland-White's, and thought I could comment here, perhaps helpfully. I'm more familliar with self-publishing than with conventional publishing, mostly because it is so difficult to break into the publishing world in general. There are a lot of options available outside conventional publishing, some of which are actually not too expensive. The one major category I'm familliar with is print on demand. There are also small-press publishers who will do print runs of less than the usual minimum of a couple thousand copies, and these options continuously get cheaper as technology and access improve.

I won't go on too long here in your comments section. If you want to talk about this more, feel free to email me (my email is available on my profile) and I can give you whatever information I have that might be helpful.

Either way, good luck. I'm also trying to get out a book this year and its definitely an interesting process...


espíritu paz said...

Thanks for the input, everyone. The publisher suggestions are helpful. And it's good to see there is someone else out there who edits stuff too for a living.

The instructor ideas are good as well. Pacifism 101. I didn't know that would even be a topic of interest. I suppose I expect that to be marginalized.