Tag Archives: Crowdsourcing

How to Crowdsource Book-Writing Ideas

I've wanted to write one for as long as I can remember. I think it's time to try. Please help.

I’ve wanted to write one for as long as I can remember. I think it’s time to try. Please help.

I’m going to die.

I could be well over halfway to the end as I sit here and type. And I’m such a time-waster and procrastinator.

The hourglass—my hourglass—is always spilling from top to bottom. When it’s full, I’m gone.

Might be today.

I must never forget this.

That this might be the last post I ever write.

I want to think about it when I’m hugging my son. When a pretty girl is smiling back at me. When I’m surrounded by my family. By my friends.

I don’t want to live in fear. Or be scared or paralyzed by the morbidity of all of this.

I just want to be mindful of our precious time. To capitalize on all this world has to offer.

To live.

Because if I knew I had a week to live, I would do everything different.

So, why doesn’t knowing I MIGHT only have a week to live incite action within me?

Because I take things for granted, probably. Because the law of averages suggests I have more time.

Even if that’s true, I’m going to regret so much on my deathbed, all of my wasted, do-nothing moments.

It’s Time

If not now, when?

What am I waiting for?

I’m just scared. Really scared.

It’s time to write a book.

I’ve been blogging less than nine months. But the data sample is large enough and the evidence is clear: People care about personal, human, honest stories. And they REALLY care about their marriages, or their relationships with boyfriends or girlfriends.

It didn’t take me long to see the truth.

It doesn’t matter whether you live in Malaysia or South Africa or New Zealand or Spain or Korea or Canada or the United Kingdom, or here in the United States.

You love.

And you want to be loved.

That’s what we all do.

That’s what we all want.

Human relationships and all of the joy and sadness and anger and ecstasy and heartache and connection and brokenness that comes along with them affect each and every one of us. All seven billion.

There’s no market cap on the real gritty human being stuff that goes on within our minds, hearts and souls.

I always thought you had to be an expert to write non-fiction.

That’s another lie that so many of us believe.

You don’t have to be an expert. Because without asking the question, or having any way of finding an answer, I KNOW that all those well-read therapists and psychologists who are considered experts on marriage and family and relationships deal with the exact same bullshit we do.

No one is immune or safe from the human condition.

I am an expert.

And so are you.

I’ve written a series of posts titled An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands. There are six of them. Some are poorly excuted. Others are decent.

They are the only blog posts I’ve written which have been organically shared by hundreds of people to their friends and family on Facebook and Twitter outside of this WordPress bubble.

And I think I understand why.

I think I’ve written about something that millions of people fully understand and can relate to.

And I think I’m sort of uncomfortably right about most of it.

Families break apart and children lose their security—their entire worlds—because two adults who just three or five or ten years ago swore before God, friends and family that they would love each other forever, but now can’t take it anymore.

It’s so bad they are willing to lose half or more of their children’s childhood. They’re willing to sacrifice their comfortable routines. Their homes. Financial security. Friends. Entire families.

Because the person they loved above all others became the bane of their existence.

And for what? So we can go try again with someone else and figure out it’s the exact same shit with EVERY person on Earth?

Surprise! We’re all human beings!

It’s a big secret, I guess. But I don’t want it to be. Because I don’t think there has to be this much brokenness.

And—Lord, forgive me if this sounds vain—I think I can help. Not everyone. Not even a lot of people.

But maybe just one.

Because I don’t think the average man is ever going to read Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus. I don’t think they’re going to read The Five Love Languages. I don’t think they’re going to read my favorite—How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It.

And that’s great.

Because maybe they’ll read something I write.

Because I’d like to write something accessible to the average guy out there.

Guys just like me. Making the same mistakes as me. As well-intentioned as me, but maybe without the knowledge and tools to make it work.

Not because they’re not good enough. Not because they’re not smart enough. Not because they’re not strong enough.

But just because their toolboxes didn’t have the right stuff for the job.

I’m not cocky enough to believe I can help everyone.

But what if there’s one?

What if one family makes it because I spent some months writing a book? What if one guy reads it, and it just makes sense to him and he changes his life?

Isn’t that worth it? Even if it’s just a fool’s dream?

Of course it is.

I Need Your Help

I’ve never written anything longer than a couple-thousand words before.

I have no idea what I’m doing.

But I also believe I can do this. And that’s the first step.

My Questions for You

1. If you’ve been following along for a while, can you share what post topics you’ve read here that you consider meaningful enough to include? Ideas to expand upon. To research more. To potentially interview people about.

2. How long should a book be that we actually want men to read? As everyone paying attention knows, I’m entirely too wordy. When do we hit TL;DR status?

3. I will never repurpose a blog post in its entirety. That feels like cheating. But I am wondering to what extent I can use existing content (There are more than 250,000 words on this blog. The average book is about 75,000 or so, I think.) to help supplement the project and serve as the framework. What percentage of a book do you think is acceptable to supplement with previously written-about ideas?

4. Do you think this is a stupid idea?

5. What am I not thinking about, or what do you think I should be considering?

6. Would you think me an asshole if I scaled back on my posting frequency here in order to put more time into that?

7. Is this even remotely interesting to you? It’s okay to say no. In fact, I’m begging you to if you feel that way.

8. Do you think because I’m a divorced guy that failed at marriage that I’m in over my head trying to write a book like this? Or do you think it makes me the right guy for the job?

9. Do you ever wonder how long you have to live, and ask yourself why the hell you’re waiting to do something you really want to do?

10. I love you. Seriously.

The end is where we begin.
It’s crawling back, when
We run away, run away.
‘Cause the end is where we begin.
Where broken hearts mend
and start to beat again.
The end is where we begin.

­— Thousand Foot Krutch

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