Not long ago I got a lovely note from a reader with a question I had never been asked before.
I have to say, I was very touched. Most people assume that writing is a glamorous, easy job with big paychecks and an exciting social life. The reality is that it’s mostly a solitary existence in my basement office, grappling with ideas and digging up references. And writing is not a great source of income, unless you’re a very big name.
For many, writing is a sidelight profession, but for me, writing is actually the only thing, in part because I have an autoimmune illness that limits my energy in a day. My income comes from book contracts, selling books through this website and from speaking occasionally. Funds haven’t been a big concern in the past because I live modestly and don’t have a family to support.
I’ll admit that right now finances are tight, because I’m in the middle of writing my next book, Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus. To make time for writing, I’ve been turning down speaking requests and not posting many articles or sending out emails. Writing goes slowly because I spend days poring over sources before I feel comfortable writing about a new idea.
So, after years of not asking, I’m finally making a button if you would like to make a (non-deductible) donation toward supporting my writing.
What are some of the places where funds would go? One, towards are a long list of books I’d like to buy (used) for research. Or support for an assistant who could help with posting articles and sending out emails, so that I could interact with readers more regularly. Right now I have more immediate needs, like my recent “surprise” purchase of a new furnace — you have to be warm to write!
If you have a tight check book, don’t worry about it. Your prayers are far more precious than your finances. Could you pray for the following for my writing?
For clear thinking
To be sensitive to what people need to learn about
For how to approach and avoid destructive controversies
For enriching people’s faith, yet teach discernment
For what should be in current and future books
For balancing my writing life with time with family and friends
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your prayers – they really help.
You know, one simple way to help me out is to order from my bookstore page rather than Amazon if you need copies of my books. (It’s cheaper and just as fast.) Or, you’re welcome to use my new button to make a donation of whatever amount you choose.
Thanks for your very kind concern! I appreciate it a lot.
Warmest blessings –