Beliefnet
O Me of Little Faith

Today we continue with Part Two of an interview with Anne Jackson, author of Mad Church Disease and the persona behind FlowerDust.net. (Read Part One here.)

Anne grew up the daughter of a West Texas pastor and had a front-row seat to the incredible hardships of ministry — the kind of stuff that undermines families, personal faith, and even an individual’s mental health. As a church staffer herself, she’s succumbed to these struggles, too. Mad Church Disease is her first book and Anne’s attempt to expose — and fight — the epidemic of burnout in church culture. It releases in 2009 from Zondervan.

JB: What was the process of writing your first book like? Was it enjoyable? Harder than you thought? More complicated than you thought?

Anne Jackson: It was both difficult and INCREDIBLY rewarding! I hit a writer’s block many times, and other times thousands of words came pouring out.

How and when do you write?

I typically can’t write at home. I cafe shopped: Panera, Starbucks, and a local place called Coco Flow. I also wrote some while traveling — in cars and on planes. Most people recommend a schedule, but my brain doesn’t work that way. It’s a little scary.

That IS scary. I’d place myself firmly into the recommending-a-schedule camp. But obviously you made it work, so who am I to recommend anything? Let’s talk about your blog. You’ve been able to build a pretty substantial blog community at FlowerDust.net. How has it helped you during the writing process? How do you plan to use it once the book comes out?

I love the community on my blog. They are the best. They have supported the book from Day One, promoting it on their own blogs and sites. They provided me with invaluable and instant feedback. I can’t wait to dialogue with them after the book is out!

What have you learned about the publishing business that you didn’t know before?

There is SO much that goes into a book going from my head on to a shelf. I’ve learned writing is not a perfect art. I’ve learned to write despite any insecurities. I’ve learned that the process is slow, but at the same time, complex and wonderful!

What have you learned about yourself during this process that you didn’t know before?

I’ve learned I can drink a lot of tea. And that inspiration comes at unlikely times. I’ve learned that my thoughts and philosophies are always changing.

What tips do you have for beginning writers looking to someday get their own book published?

Write because you MUST. Not because you’ll get a paycheck or see your name in print. Have faith that your words will reach their intended audience…how that looks might not be what you expect.

What advice do you have for beginning bloggers looking to build an online readership?

INTERACT, INTERACT, INTERACT! Be generous with positivity and be open to learn. Most of all, be patient. It takes time.

Time for a last word time. Any other comments, tips, or closing statements?

Love, love, love. Without it, everything else is meaningless.

———————

Thanks, Anne. Best of luck with the book. Mad Church Disease: Overcoming the Burnout Epidemic is scheduled for release in February 2009.

+ Here’s the Mad Church Disease website.
+ The Mad Church Disease blog.
+ Mad Church Disease on Squidoo.
+ Anne’s bio.
+ Anne’s personal blog, FlowerDust.net.

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