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In mid October, I stared down the barrel of November fully aware of what pain it was going to inf...

The Book Cover!
November has been a tough month. There have been way too many things on the go. In church-life it seems that all the events get planned for November, and in business you carry the pressure knowing that if you don't sell now you won't until mid-January again (if you're lucky). Plus countless other pressures like saying yes to a big part in our annual church play! (Why James? WHY?!)

And on top of all this, the culmination of my first book lands on the month of November.

How did I get here?

Well, I finally realised I need a deadline, especially for Christmas, but more so before the release of the End-Time madness movie "Left Behind" starring Nicholas Cage.

I had the vision to put together an article/essay on the End Times way back in April this year. On top of 2 other goals. But the primary goal was to get the End Times article published. Like I so often do, I thought it would be as simple as sitting in front of my computer for a few days and conveying what was in my heart. And like so often is the case I was wrong.

With a real-life troll antagonising me with his view on the End Times after every church service, I realised my article better have some solid theological and scholarly backing or else it wouldn't hold much weight. So the article was put on hold as I bought myself some of the most pertinent End Time books I could find (on recommendation of some scholar friends) and studied up. Fortunately, as I have mentioned in my video series so far, I was delighted to find much of what I believed was confirmed in historical theology anyway.

Come the end of July this year, I had pored through these books extensively, and felt confident to get writing. Which I did.

Writing an article of this nature was never going to be as simple as writing a good Blog Post or even some of the other articles or booklets I have written for church study. I knew it was going to take careful planning.

Adjusting the Plan

My problem was, I didn't realise just how much time I needed to give it.

My plan was to wake up early, before Joel's standard 6am wake-up time, for a few days in a row, and give myself about 90-120 mins at a time depending on Joel's wake up. As with all kids, planning around them is never concrete. Many mornings he was up at 5:30 while I was in the middle of a good flow. To get around this I called for backup, and asked Corinne to handle morning shift while I shot to the office nice and early (4:30am most times) to give myself a good run of writing while the office was dead quiet.

I've only done this four times to date, though. Which I thought would be enough by now, to be honest!

After 2 weeks of this extensive, early-morning writing everyday, I was only 20 pages in, and realised this was no article. As I kept writing, I realised there was very little chance this was going to be an article. I was 20 pages in, and wasn't even half way there. This was a book.

(As you can see in the screenshot below, I started writing in Google Docs. But as this became a book, I had to move over to Apple Pages for its better publishing standards.)



My vision and my desire was that my first book was to be around mankind's purpose on earth, and get writing by about February 2015 for it. Life has a way of changing plans. Turns out, my first book will be about the End Times.

Now that this article had become a book, I realised I had better brush up on my Scriptural knowledge of the End Times (apocalyptic Scripture) and reread the important books and passages. This included reading all of Daniel, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Revelation, Matthew 24, Ezekiel 37-40 and Romans 8, so you can imagine that was another month delay. By now, it was mid-October.

The plan, though, was always to start recording the End Time video series in November. And I had written 20 pages, and it was mid-October. And business needed focus, church was getting busier, life was hectic!

What did I do? I adapted.

Make Time and Use What You Have

I found time. In the midst of this busyness, I realised I couldn't do 4:30ams too much. And Corinne needed me at home in the mornings, so the office plan wasn't going to happen much. So I just found time where I could, that worked for Corinne, Joel and our lives.

I never want to sacrifice family time for personal pet projects, especially during a busy season. Well, not too much family time anyway. Of course there would be some family time that would get eaten into, but I tried to keep this to a minimum.

So instead I had to sacrifice other things. Saturday mornings. Blogging. Weekend mid-day naps.

And here I am. In the middle of November, 2 video sessions recorded, a book title, a book cover, and only half a book!

That's right! Only half a book! It hasn't been nearly enough time to finish authoring what is on my heart.

So, the careful planning and adapting will have to continue for the next 3 weeks or so in order to get this project finished!

Ideally, I would love to get away somewhere quiet for 3 or 4 days to focus and finish. But realistically that can't happen right now. I have to use what I have.

And that's what this Blog Post has been about. Just to give you an insight into my journey so far. And hopefully give you some food for thought if you find yourself with a similar personal project to tackle.

I can't wait for this book and series to be available! I hope it will be an asset to people all over the world questioning what is really happening in the world today, especially in light of the Good News.

My hope is that this study would provide just that: HOPE. Because that's what being a child of God is all about... living with seemingly unreasonable HOPE!

My Book-Writing Journey So Far

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Well, it's finally happened... I've decided to write about this myself. After mentioning ...

Dear all my wonderful subscribers,

Yes, that's you. If you're reading this in your email right now, it means you're a subscriber.

I need your help today. Nothing major. But it will require a short action from you.

(Most of you subscribers would have received this Email already at 07:35 South African Time - please forgive me that this comes to you again, my Blog automatically sends new posts out to all you subscribers - so if you've seen this already, simply ignore it!)

I just wanted to say thank you for subscribing to this Blog. It means a lot to me that you would trust me enough to send you an Email once a week with my material. I understand that your Email is most likely overwhelmed by all kinds of junk-mail, and it humbles me that you would want to receive my material on top of all the other Emails you receive everyday. Thank you.

(On a side note related to that; I hope you employ "filters" on your Email. I'm not sure what you use for Email, but I use Gmail online. And with Gmail I can filter whatever Emails I want to skip my inbox and go to a folder I have preset them to go to. If you're interested, you can read more in the first point of my most-read article ever: http://www.jamespreston.org/2013/07/the-4-basic-apps-you-will-only-ever.html )

Anyways... coming back to this Email. There are two reasons I write to you today.  The first is to say "thank you". As I mentioned above, but sincerely mean it: I really appreciate you. I am not publishing this Blog Post to Facebook or Twitter. I am keeping it private. For you alone. (Yes, it will be available on my Blog for visitors to my site to see, but most people come across my Blog through Twitter or Facebook anyway.)

The second is to ask you awesome subscribers a small favour.

I just want you to take a short survey I've created about my Blog. When I say "short", I mean short! It is only 6 very basic Multiple Choice Questions. I would love your feedback to help me serve you better.

In case you didn't know, my background is Radio (I got my first job as a Radio Presenter at the age of 16). So I love being in front of an audience sharing things with them. Whether it be what's on my heart, a reflection about the world, or helping them live better lives. And I am thinking about expanding this expression from my Blog to a possible YouTube Video Blog. And the feedback I get from you will be invaluable in helping me assess how I go about doing this. Or whether I go about doing it at all!

Would you mind doing taking the survey for me, please?

If you have an extra 90 seconds, just simply click this link: JAMES' SHORT BLOG SURVEY

I would be sincerely grateful.

On top of this survey; I would love to hear from my subscribers individually! I know that some of you are friends, colleagues and family, that's OK. I'd still love to hear from you! I also know that some of you are from the other side of the world who I have never met in my entire life.

No matter who you are, I would be delighted to hear from you. Even if it's just a short email.
Drop a mail right now by clicking this link: EMAIL JAMES.
(That Email address comes straight into my personal Email Inbox, so if ever you want to get in touch, please feel absolutely free to do so!)

Once again, thank you. I just wanted to take this time to appreciate you and thank you for reading my material every week! You are all amazing, and remember that you were born to change the world. No matter how small or great, it's all contributing to something greater! A better world!

Together in this journey of changing the world, with my sincerest regards.

Have an absolutely superlative day!

James

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