106 - Busy Pastor's Guide to Writing - Leaders.Church


106 – Busy Pastor’s Guide to Writing

What’s in this Episode?

In this episode of the Church Tips podcast, Jonathan Hardy, author of Arrow Striker, is sharing more details about how to make time to write your own book with the messages God has birthed inside you.

Read the Transcript

Jonathan Hardy 0:00
Do you have a book idea in you but you’re just not sure how in the world you can get it done? Well stay tuned in this episode because we’re going to talk about the busy pastors guide to writing a book. Here we go.

Dick Hardy 0:16
Hey, friend, it’s great to be with you on this episode of The Church tips Podcast. Today, we’re going to be talking about a Busy Pastor’s Schedule to Writing the book and getting that which is inside you out in print and into the marketplace. And Jonathan has walked that journey here, and we’re going to talk about that at length here today.

Dick Hardy 0:34
I do want to remind you of the past couple of episodes, Episode 104 was the one that says Pastor, Got a Book Inside You?. That’s an inward this, we’re really flowing out of that in this episode. And then yesterday’s is when we talked about what’s truly live today. And that is Arrow Striker is live on Amazon for you to make your purchase. So anyway, talk to us a little bit about the book that was inside you that is now ready to go. Here it is.

Jonathan Hardy 1:03
If you’re watching on YouTube, you can see it. If you’re listening, he’s holding up the book in his hand. And anyway, yeah, Arrow Striker is officially live. As of yesterday, it was officially published on Amazon. And I’m very excited about it. Have had tremendous amount of feedback from people and people writing reviews and such. And I’m honored to have that.

Jonathan Hardy 1:22
But you know, in reality, all of us have busy schedules, and everyone’s schedule looks different and as busy for different reasons. But nonetheless, we’re all busy. And one of the things that we’ve seen with lots of pastors that we’ve interacted with, is that you have these book ideas in you, we talked about that, as Dick said in Episode 104, but then how do you actually get it out on paper, because, you know, it’s one thing to have this idea and you can maybe type up thoughts once in a while, or jot notes down.

Jonathan Hardy 1:48
But the reality of actually getting it out there can be difficult. And so we want to walk through maybe some ways in which you can actually make that a reality. Because as I shared in my experience, you know, the book idea that I had for Arrow Striker actually started 15 years ago. And so it took me 15 years, to get to the point where I actually have it now published. Now, I wasn’t spending time on it for 15 years. But this is the case for so many of us.

Jonathan Hardy 2:16
And I don’t know, if you find yourself in this position where you’ve had this thing sitting in your mind, you’ve talked to people about it. I mean, I can’t tell you how many people, Oh yeah, someday when I write a book, you know, some point we have to go from some day to now. Now it’s happening. Now we’re doing it and and so that’s our hope for you is because God has messages that he has given you to articulate to people. And if you’re a pastor of a church, if you’re a leader of ministry, you have people in your sphere of influence, and God wants to use that influence, to help get messages out that he has birthed inside you. And so we’re excited to be able to talk to you about

Dick Hardy 2:52
Yes, we really are. And before we jump into the nuts and bolts of that, I want to mention that in the show notes is the link for you to make the purchase of Arrow Striker. Now one of the reasons you’re gonna want to do this today, is that we have an Ozark Mountains Getaway giveaway that we’re doing a drawing for everyone who makes the purchase. So jump in, pick up your copy.

Dick Hardy 3:15
And then there’s a little form to fill out there. Again, the link in the show notes. And I mean, the giveaway is two airline tickets into Springfield to go to Branson, and we’ve got a beautiful condo for you. We’ve got two tickets for Christmas, Silver Dollar City. By the way, this is for the first to the 15th of December, so we would find dates that work for you. A great steak house, coffee with Jonathan and Ashley Hardy. So that’s, that’s worth the price of admission right there.

Jonathan Hardy 3:47
And I’ll note too that, that you can order either the paperback, the audio book, or the ebook, any of those. And then, after you do that, go to arrowstriker.com/giveaway. Yep. And that’s where you can go enter the form, you put the receipt number and put your details. And that’s how you get in.

Dick Hardy 4:03
And you’ll see when you go to the slash giveaway, you’ll see all the things we’re giving away. We’d love to have your name in the mix. And who knows you could be the lucky one.

Jonathan Hardy 4:11
That’d be awesome.

Dick Hardy 4:11
So let’s get started. Jonathan. The Busy Pastors Guide. Well, where does he start?

Jonathan Hardy 4:18
Well, whoever is wanting to write a book, you the first thing you actually have to do is start. I mentioned this in Episode 104. But I want to flesh it out a little bit more. So you’ve got the idea. Maybe someday you’re going to do it. Well, there’s no better time to do it than right now. And so that means to start and so the first part of that is the mental start. You have to prepare your mind to say okay, now I’m ready to take action. I’m ready to jump into this.

Jonathan Hardy 4:44
Because if your mindset isn’t there, then you’re not going to actually go do it. So you have to have the mindset that says okay, I’m on a mission now. I am going to do it. And maybe you can create a deadline for yourself to say I want to have a rough outline or I’d say probably multiple deadlines. Rough outline, maybe a little more detail, maybe you’d have a rough draft of the manuscript done by certain date and you kind of go and in you have benchmarks. These can be fluid. But if you don’t create these, if you don’t start saying, Okay, we got to do something here, it’s a lot harder to start.

Jonathan Hardy 5:19
And so that’s why this whole mental aspect of preparing your mind to say, Okay, I’m preparing my mind to take action now I’m ready to go. And then you actually have to start. You have to do it. And you know, whether that’s well, we kind of talked about time blocking. Offline, Dick and I were talking about time blocking, and what does that look like for pastors? And I don’t know if you want to flesh that out a little bit.

Dick Hardy 5:41
Yeah. When we were talking about before, I’m picturing a pastor who’s thinking, Okay, how much time do I have to block? And if I have to block large portions of time, I’m thinking that gets overwhelming and than I don’t do anything. Can they do it in short, like, could they do it in 30 minutes? Or do they need to do an hour or two to get into the flow of writing?

Jonathan Hardy 6:03
Well, that’s a really good question. I think it depends on what part of the journey you’re in. Yeah. So I think on the initial brainstorm, you could do 30 minutes, and you could well, even in the writing phase, you could do that. And I’ll talk a little bit more about mind mapping in a second. But if you’re in more of what we call the mind mapping stage, where you’re just trying to put some thoughts on paper, scribbling ideas down. You know, yeah, maybe you take just a little bit of time you say, hey, for 30 minutes, I’m just gonna go and I’m just going to basically put anything and everything I can think of. Just get it on paper.

Dick Hardy 6:36
And you said earlier that it’s not pretty. It’s it’s unedited. Forget about grammar and punctuation, just your throwing stuff out there.

Jonathan Hardy 6:45
Just let them flow. So whether you’re writing, whether you’re typing, just, you know, what I was doing at one point was, I just started typing words, and just going. And hit return. Okay, new thought, return. New thought, return. And it wasn’t pretty. And that can be hard, especially if you’re a perfectionist, which is me. And I wanted to oftentimes I wanted to go back and well, let me let me smooth that out. Let me word that differently. Let me try to make that a little better.

Dick Hardy 7:09
This is not the time to do that.

Jonathan Hardy 7:10
This first phase is not the time to do that. No, this first phase is you’re just trying to get words out there on paper. And then you can go back and make it smooth. Or you could go back maybe if you have someone. If you’re not super great at writing. Maybe you have someone come back and smooth it out for you. A lot of people do that. And that’s fine. That’s okay, you can do that. That’s, I mean, that’s a perfectly normal thing to do. You’re still the author, you know. You’re still the one and sometimes people think, well, it’s not my words, but you know what, it is.

Jonathan Hardy 7:43
But sometimes it helps if we have other eyes on it to say, okay, hey, we could smooth this out, or here’s a way you could word this differently. After I wrote my book, I’m kind of maybe jumping ahead a little bit. But after I wrote my book, the full first version, I sent it to, I think five people, maybe six people. And I said, Hey, I want you to read the entire book, they they agreed ahead of time that they would read the entire book. And then I wanted them to put thoughts down, I wanted them to, if they thought something didn’t sound right, or flow, right, if they thought, hey, here’s a better way to say this. That’s fair.

Jonathan Hardy 8:15
And I think that’s good, because you’re being a good steward of this message that you have, and you want to make sure that it’s the most understandable, the easiest to to read, very clear. And sometimes people can have other insight that makes you say, oh, yeah, that’s good. Or they there was multiple times where that someone else had a thoughtand I thought, Oh, that’s good, but I didn’t actually do it the way they suggested it. But I took that thought and said, You know, I think there is a better way I can do this.

Jonathan Hardy 8:41
And so I guess that’s a lot to say. You know, I kind of deviated a little bit from time. But the point is, you have to you do have to block off some time. And maybe to start with it is 30 minutes once a week, or an hour once a week. You know, can you can you do that? Can you get up one hour earlier? I know if you’re familiar with Michael Hyatt. Michael Hyatt used to be the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. But I remember he talked about in his days when he’s got this full time career job, but he was trying to write on the side, where he ended up waking up an hour earlier every day to be able to have the margin he needed.

Jonathan Hardy 9:17
Not saying that’s what you should do. But I’m just saying there are ways to do it. If God has given you a message to articulate, then then you’ve got to figure out with your current 24 hours that you have in your your day, how can you actually do it? Because if God’s giving you a message, then that means somehow he wants you to put it together and get it out.

Dick Hardy 9:34
That’s exactly right. So, you’ve talked about two major things. Start.

Jonathan Hardy 9:37

Dick Hardy 9:38
Second is time blocking.

Jonathan Hardy 9:39

Dick Hardy 9:40
And then you mentioned the mind mapping.

Jonathan Hardy 9:41
Yeah, so mind mapping is a concept I learned from a friend. His name is Chandler Bolt and hoping to actually get him on the podcast at some point. I think that’d be really beneficial for pastors. But he talked about mind mapping where you basically literally take a piece of paper or you work on a whiteboard. And in my process of writing Arrow Striker, I did both.

Jonathan Hardy 10:02
And so I take out just a blank white sheet of paper. Right in the dead center of the paper, I wrote the subject matter that I was trying to discuss. So like, let’s use the word busyness as an example, because one of the things that stops people from striking their arrows, as you’ll discover in the book, is busyness. And, so I said ok busyness. And so then I started thinking about, okay, so what is everything I can think of as it relates to busyness that stops people from doing all they can for God. And so then you get these little spokes that come off, and then you know, I write a thought, and then I circle that thought, and then after that, maybe like two or three more things come to mind.

Jonathan Hardy 10:39
And then before long, you have this whole picture. It’s just a circle with lines and circles and a bunch of little phrases, or thoughts, or concepts. And that can be a section of your book, that can be a chapter of your book, you can actually do that process to outline the entire book. And then what you do is you take this kind of this muddy looking map, and you say, Okay, now how do I put that in a way that’s going to flow?

Jonathan Hardy 11:04
This also, by the way, would include illustrations that come to mind stories, you know, statistics. So you can start just rattling off all this stuff and you just, you just kind of spew it out on this piece of paper. And then you come back and say, Okay, now how can I formulate this in a way that’s going to flow well for this section of the book.

Dick Hardy 11:22
And my bet is, correct me if I’m wrong on this, but that these prospective authors that are listening to this, they’ll be amazed when they take one word, one concept, and begin to mindmap that. A line goes here, a line goes there, and before you know it, you’ve got a page full of stuff that you literally then can begin to write about each one of those.

Jonathan Hardy 11:46
And I will say too that, you know, for some people, the message they want to communicate is maybe something they’ve already preached on. And then of course, that makes it easier because you’ve already done the work. Or maybe you even use your sermon planning process for this type of book. But I know, specifically for me, this was a way that really helped do it and do it in a way that was was actually rather quickly. And it’s just, it’s a way to be able to just start getting stuff out.

Jonathan Hardy 12:13
And then maybe you say, Hey, that’s my 30 minute window for the week, or my hour window for the week, and I’m just going to do this. I’m just gonna get as much down and then leave it. Then maybe you come back to it and say, oh, man, I actually thought of a couple more things. Because you know how it is. Sometimes you step away from something for a while, and come back to it, and you say, oh, yeah, we’ve got we’ve got more we could talk about here.

Dick Hardy 12:31
Exactly. Okay, let’s suppose a person says, okay Jonathan, I’m willing to give this a shot.

Jonathan Hardy 12:37

Dick Hardy 12:38
What if they did this kind of thing? These things you’re talking about? For three months?

Jonathan Hardy 12:43

Dick Hardy 12:43
How? Obviously, they’re at point zero right now.

Jonathan Hardy 12:46

Dick Hardy 12:47
But if they did this for three months, where would they be at the end of that three months?

Jonathan Hardy 12:51
Well, a lot further along than they are on day one. Yeah, no. I mean, you really could you could really make some serious headway. In fact, my friend Chandler that I mentioned, he actually talks about writing a book from start to finish in 90 days.

Dick Hardy 13:03
Oh my goodness.

Jonathan Hardy 13:03
And kind of maps out a plan for that. But yeah, I think you could be very far. And it depends on what you’re starting with. If you have a sermon series, or if you have content, or if you’re starting from scratch. Nonetheless, you could have all your chapters, you know, outlined, you know, not necessarily fully manuscript and not necessarily fully smoothed out. Just it really depends on how many minutes or hours a week or you’re able to commit

Dick Hardy 13:03

Jonathan Hardy 13:03
So it’s kind of a little bit hard for me to fully answer that, other than to know you actually can make a massive dent. If you spent one hour a week for three months, you can make a massive dent into the creation of the content. So, it all goes back to the very thing we’ve been talking about kind of throughout this week is that the key is you just have to start. You can’t wait, you have to get started.

Dick Hardy 13:50
And then even at the end of those 90 days, in this illustration, you know. This book here is 17 chapters. At one point you had, did you have 19 chapters?

Jonathan Hardy 13:50
I think so.

Dick Hardy 13:53
Yeah. So you know, at some point on the journey, you’ve got content, that by the time you’re done, is going to be less or more than what the finished product is, that’s okay. Because the stage you’re in, you need to start, you need a time block, and mind map. If you’ll do those things for the next 90 days. I’m just telling you, you’ll be way ahead, And then there’ll be a certain time, you know, we didn’t talk about this, so I hope I answer right on this, but there’ll be a certain energy that begins to come with, Oh, I think I’m getting there. Which then spurs you on to move on further. Anyway, the Jonathan, give him another wrap up here on Arrow Striker.

Jonathan Hardy 14:42
Absolutely. Well, hopefully you found these tips helpful on how to get started into get your book written, despite your busy schedule. I really hope that you find it valuable and obviously reach out to us as you’re getting through the process. I’d love to hear how it’s working for you.

Jonathan Hardy 14:58
As it relates to Arrow Striker, yeah we’d love to have you purchase your copy, if you haven’t already done so you can go to arrowstriker.com. And there’s links there to Amazon or to our leaders.church website, you can purchase them both place. Again, we have the paperback, the audiobook, and the ebook. And then make sure to go to arrowstriker.com/giveaway so that you can be entered into the Ozark Mountain getaway. And this Getaway is going to be so awesome. It’s going to be super fun. And I hope that you’ll enter in and participate.

Dick Hardy 15:27
Could be the big winner. Just let me reinforce, this book is off of the 2 Kings chapter 13 story of Elijah and Jehoash. You’re familiar with it. But picking up the book, and beginning the process of writing that book inside you is you striking your arrow. So, we’d certainly love to have you do that. It’s been great to hang out with you on this episode. We’ll look forward to seeing you on the next one. Be blessed.

Show Notes
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1) Purchasing Arrow Striker.
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