I Guess I’m Writing a Book

In Writing by Chris Marlow13 Comments

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I Guess I’m Writing a Book. (yikes).

While trying to get through security in the Miami airport after spending 5 days in Haiti, my friend Jen looked at me and said, “Chris, you need to get serious about writing a book. These stories need to be told.”

I’ve already felt the call, but struggle to be a writer. You have to understand that writing is one of my greatest fears.

I’m a builder of organizations. I can speak anywhere, anytime, and I love any meeting that includes a whiteboard and some idea-makers.

Writing… not so much. My grammar capabilities have been stuck somewhere around the 5th grade level, which means both of my daughters tend to correct my writing all the time.

I’ve never read a book on writing, I’ve never followed a writing prompt, and I’ve never had a desire to write a book. Heck, I can’t even blog consistently.

A few weeks ago, I had to Google what exactly a Literary Agent actually did.

So Why Write?

I love stories and I love to read. And, if somehow God can use my writing and an epic editor (seriously, I feel badly for whoever has to edit my book) to help make an impact on the global poor and to help empower His Church to live on mission β€” then I will write.

Which means, I must face my own fears. This is difficult.

I Hired An Agent

I knew I needed an agent to help walk me through the process and mentor me. And, of course pitch my idea to key publishers.

I had two great conversations with two well-respected agents. They represent writers who I love and respect. I pitched my idea to them and they saw what I saw.

The idea is very different; it is creative and fresh. (I think) I can’t share it yet, but I can give a hint — we say it at Help One Now all the time.

Both agents were interested and I actually signed a contract with one of them. (See, I don’t even know if it is kosher to go public with his name. Tells you how much I know about this industry.)

Time To Write

In 2014, I will spend many early mornings and late nights writing. I want to write for God, the orphans, our local leaders in Haiti and Africa, and YOU.

But, I’m SCARED TO DEATH that I will write an average book that no one will read.

Trust me, if my books stinks, my own staff will ignore it, and there is a good chance my wife won’t even read it.

But I also know there’s a chance that the words on the page will have meaning, will bring some people to tears, and will open up new worlds and new realities. So, I’m now proclaiming that, “I Am a Writer.” (Just made Jeff very happy!)

Oh, and I heard authors get rich. Maybe I can send my kids to college after all, right? Okay, just kidding.

ps: My friend Ken does the majority of the editing for this blog and Help One Now. He’s good; you should check him out.


  1. Merritt

    You can do this, Chris! The thing about editors is they LOVE to edit so whoever gets to edit your book will receive great joy from the opportunity. Can’t wait to see what flows out of you onto paper or pixels.

  2. Colleen Connell Mitchell

    You already know this, right, because you live it all the time. The important thing is the story. The rest will fall into place. And you have the heart to tell one of the most moving stories there is to tell. Loving the poor. Knowing them. Watching their lives be transformed. It is worth battling back the fear to tell their stories. When you are afraid, remember the first time you reached your hand out to a Haitian or African leader, first time you embraced one of their children, and did not know if they would return the gesture. What happened?

  3. Carmen Rendon

    This blog encouraged me to write the book that’s inside of me. All the best with your writing I’m sure you’ll hit a home run!

  4. Jesse Hoover

    Excited for you! The books I’m drawn to are the ones with stories and I can’t wait to read yours. Cheers!

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