Gerding International

The Meandering River – Figuring Out How to Write a Book

By Jordan Gerding

As some of you may have heard, I started writing a book back in April. The obvious follow up question is a book on what?

For the past year I have had an idea bouncing around my head that I would regularly come back to poke and prod to see what further parts that I could tease out of it. I was focused on how to help people understand what a relationship with God looked like, how to develop it, and how to keep from growing discouraged along the lifelong journey that it is.

The more I did this, the more certain I became that I had a working gridwork, a map with landmarks and destination points, along with lived experience to go along with it. The only problem was getting it out coherently onto paper. So I hired a coach to help me start on the writing process.

I quickly realized that I had way more information than I thought I had, and that this work was becoming a conduit and a translator for everything I have learned in regards to God and Jesus through the Bible, teachings, schooling, study, and personal experience. It was becoming a means for me to funnel all the geeky research, highs and lows of a life lived in pursuit of a relationship with God personally, and everything in between into a book that was a personal, approachable guide to learning how to trust God and become a partner with Him in the work and goals we pursue in our lives.

I remember the drive down to Eugene from Corvallis where the weight of it hit me. I was almost at exit 195A for the Beltline and getting ready to merge into the right lane to pull off I-5. The weight of what I was trying to create hit me, and I immediately felt so inadequate to pull this off. I began talking with God. I do not remember the exact conversation, but it went something like this:

“Jesus, how can I do this? What I am aiming for is creating a work that doesn’t just make you feel approachable to people but desirable, it is to create a longing to be with a good God who cares for them and wants to walk beside them in the day-to-day. I have so much information, and I do not know how to parse it down into what is helpful and what is too much. I want to do this, but I have no idea how I am going to be able to! If this is going to happen, I need you to step in strongly to this.”

What I heard back was, “That is why I want you to do it.”

I know and have come to accept that this is not going to be a linear path to completion. I already have gone through the process of having spent several months getting an introduction and a couple chapters finished or drafted only to look back and realize they were running parallel with the core message of my book but off on alignment. After weeks of deliberating, I finally had to acknowledge that they were not salvageable. The information was good, but it was leading to a slightly different destination. However, they were not a waste. It was a horribly frustrating paradox to admit and accept.

I have accepted that this will be the likely path to get to the end. It will wind along the rivers of my mind as I scout the contours and landscape, looking for the best place to lay the path from beginning to end. I have switched from large writing sessions to daily bits and pieces, being open to wherever my heart, head, and Jesus lead me day to day to write.

So here I am with a passion and a plan stepping forward into the unknown. I know what the core of the book is, the path that connects the dots, but I do not know what is going to be found along those paths as I journey them myself unearth and piece together what I have been collecting my whole life. All I know is that it will be a book about God, for God, with a lot of divine assistance given to make it to the end.

I look forward to sharing what I uncover and the connections I find, along with the simple journey of writing a book with you. Be on the lookout in the days, weeks, and months to come for other post and videos where I take the time to meander along this river of information and invite you to walk along beside me for a stretch of time.

To a Life Worth Living